College Sports in the Carolinas
from the East
Friday, February 27, 2004
By Al Myatt
ECU Beat Writer for The News &
Winnowing of AD candidates
The search committee for East Carolina’s new athletics director meets this
morning and Saturday at a location near the Raleigh-Durham Airport.
The committee, chaired by Stephen Showfety, is scheduled to go into closed
session for interviews with candidates. The present intent of the search
committee is to narrow the field of prospective ADs to a group of finalists,
who will be evaluated by the new chancellor once that position is filled.
Known internal candidates include interim AD Nick Floyd and Dennis Young,
executive director of the Pirate Club. Floyd has handled the position with
an apparent degree of competence in the six months since Mike Hamrick left
to become AD at Nevada-Las Vegas. Floyd also is connected with television
and bowl interests from his time in the Conference USA office.
Young, ECU class of 1969, has successfully directed the athletics
fund-raising arm at his alma mater since September of 1991. The Pirate Club
recently announced new annual goals of $3.7 million in unrestricted gifts
and 9,000 members.
Other possible candidates to be interviewed outside the ECU community,
according to sources, include former Indiana athletics director Clarence
Doninger, Maryland assistant AD Joe Hull, South Carolina Gamecock Club
director Jeff Barber, Oklahoma assistant AD Rick Hart, Wichita State AD Jim
Schaus and Eastern Illinois AD Rick McDuffie.
Names of possible candidates that surfaced early who had indicated interest
in the ECU AD position are retired Air Force AD, Col. Randall W. Spetman,
and North Texas AD Rick Villareal.
Doninger was the Hoosiers AD during much of Bobby Knight’s reign as
Hull was instrumental in raising money for Maryland’s basketball arena, the
Comcast Center. He is an N.C. State graduate who is formerly associate
director of the Wolfpack Club. Hull was involved in raising funds for NCSU’s
portion of the RBC Center price tag.
Hart is the son of former ECU AD Dave Hart, now AD at Florida State. He is a
North Carolina alumnus, class of 1994. Barber is an ECU graduate who still
feels strongly about returning to his alma mater and has some support
through ties in the Greenville area.
LeClair birthday coincides with Invitational
ECU interim athletics director Nick Floyd said that baseball coach Randy
Mazey and director of operations J.J. McLamb would not make a decision on
the status of today’s games in the Keith LeClair Invitational based on
weather conditions until this morning. ECU (8-0) was scheduled to meet
Georgia Southern at 1 p.m. today and Clemson in the following game.
Information on the status of today’s games can be obtained by calling the
ECU ticket office at (252) 328-4500 or 1-800-DIAL ECU.
The forecast for Saturday and Sunday looks favorable. Saturday will be
LeClair’s 38th birthday. He was stricken with ALS, also known as Lou
Gehrig’s disease, during the 2002 season.
Clemson is coached by Jack Leggett, LeClair’s coach at Western Carolina.
Leggett got LeClair started in coaching as a Western assistant and LeClair
took over the head job in Cullowhee in 1992 when he was just 26 years old.
Georgia Southern Coach Rodney Hennon played for LeClair at Western, as did
Eagles assistant Mike Tidick.
LeClair has seen six of ECU’s eight wins from his customized van along the
right field line at Harrington Field.
“They have played extremely well defensively,” LeClair said. “They have
pitched as well as any ECU team I have seen. Offensively, they are doing
just enough to win and getting big hits when it counts.”
LeClair speaks at home by means of a computer keyboard on which he types
messages through a sensor linked to his eye movement. His typed statements
in the system are made audible electronically.
LeClair expressed hope that this tournament will raise awareness of ALS and
will encourage people to donate to the effort to find a cure.
Head to head competition is the first criteria when two teams are tied for a
seeding position for the Conference USA men’s basketball tournament. If the
teams split during the regular season, the next step favors the team which
has a win over the highest seeded team and so on down through the standings.
Houston, currently 3-10 in the league, as is ECU, holds the head to head
tiebreaker advantage over the Pirates. Houston’s remaining schedule includes
trips to TCU (Feb. 28) and Saint Louis (March 5) and a home game with
Charlotte (March 3).
ECU holds a head to head advantage over Tulane (4-9 C-USA). The Green Wave
hosts Saint Louis on Saturday and winds up with trips to Southern Miss
(March 3) and Charlotte (March 6).
If more than two teams tie for a seeding position, then their winning
percentage with other teams involved in the tie becomes the determining
factor. Then it proceeds to wins over teams in descending order in the
ECU needs a win over South Florida (1-11 C-USA) at 1 p.m. on Saturday in
Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum to continue its run for a berth in the
league tournament in Cincinnati, March 10-13. The top 12 teams among the 14
basketball playing members of C-USA make the league tournament field.
Saturday will be the final home game of the season for the Pirates, who play
at Marquette on March 3 and at Southern Miss on March 6..
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02/23/2007 12:45:06 AM