Academics have improved greatly in terms of graduation rates during Steve
Logan’s tenure as football coach at East Carolina.
“I don’t know what the graduation rate was when I got here,” Logan said.
“But it wasn’t what you would want. In my perception, there was a lot of
tension between the academic community and the athletic community.
“We’ve done everything we could do in the last 11 or 12 years to
communicate with the faculty. We have a guest coaching program and we’ve
worked to develop a real positive relationship with the faculty.
“I think the faculty has a real good understanding of what these kids go
through and I don’t think that they think that we put up with any monkey
business. We hold players accountable academically.”
Logan and the football staff work closely with Darrell Bryant, the
assistant athletics director for student development, to monitor players’
academic performance. Position coaches keep up with class attendance for the
players with which they work.
“Mrs. Bryant and the assistant coaches have done a great job of staying
on top of it,” Logan said. “I’ve exited kids from the program who were
academically eligible. We check class attendance constantly. Kids skipping
class will exit. Every now and then you’ve got to do that to some pretty
good players. Then the other kids realize we mean business.”
ECU was recognized recently by the American Football Coaches Association
for graduating over 70 percent of its incoming freshmen in 1996-97, one of
only 25 Division I-A programs to do so. That class included Mbayo Ahmadu,
Andrew Bayes, James Bell, Rashon Burns, Devone Claybrooks, Rod Emery,
Kwabena Green, Marcellus Harris, Sherwin Lacewell, Jamie Wilson and Marc
Additionally, ECU ranks second to Army in terms of grade point average
for football programs in Conference USA.
ECU’s February signing class reported to campus over the weekend and has
been working out this week.
Those with the best chance to play in 2002 are incoming defensive backs,
which include Jared Brogden of Apex and Reicko Jones of Riviera Beach, Fla.
Junior college transfer Richard Moton of Northeastern Oklahoma A&M Junior
College was recruited for immediate help at free safety and qualified
The incoming class includes two non-qualifiers, defensive tackles
Shauntae Hunt of Warren County and Eric Terry of Richmond County.
The lone signee who did not report was offensive lineman Steve Mercier of
West Brunswick. Mercier missed the East-West game because of an ankle
“The injury had not responded and the young man had been discouraged by
that,” Logan said. “He decided he wasn’t going to play college football.”
Several walk-ons have joined the signees including offensive lineman
Caleb King of Havelock, receiver Jamaal Dickens of Wilson Beddingfield,
safety Cameron Briggs of Washington, D.C. and kicker Steve Drewnainy of
There has been speculation that punter/kicker Ryan Dougherty of Orlando
might play immediately but Logan said he would like to get him a redshirt
year and develop him exclusively for punting.
Chris Baglio, a sophomore from Apex, will get a look for kickoff duties.
He has a strong leg and may solve ECU’s problem of relatively shallow
kickoffs in recent seasons.
ECU will have an appealing and challenging non-conference football
schedule in 2003. Non-conference games are scheduled at Wake Forest and 2001
national champion Miami. The Pirates will host North Carolina and West
Virginia in addition to playing eight Conference USA games.
ECU has agreed to a multi-game contract with West Virginia. In 2004, ECU
will visit the Mountaineers, host Wake Forest and meet N.C. State in
Charlotte. There is also the possibility of meeting Virginia Tech in the
Black Coaches Association game that season, according to sources.
Discussions are ongoing about additional games with Syracuse and a game
that was moved off the schedule this season with the Orangemen, due to C-USA
going from seven to eight games, has been moved to 2006.