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Watch for Al Myatt's profile of new ECU Chancellor Steven Ballard in this summer's Bonesville Magazine.

View from the East
Friday, July 23, 2004

By Al Myatt

Quest for head-hunter closes in on target


The search process for the athletic director's position at East Carolina will get a second wind with the approach of its first anniversary as chancellor Steve Ballard selects a consultant firm to assist in the hunt.

The seven-member task force, which includes Dr. Ballard, has completed its evaluations of potential headhunting firms. Task force members will submit their top choices to the chancellor and he will make the final decision. Look for an announcement soon, possibly on Tuesday.

Bill Carr, a former AD at Houston and Florida, and former Big Eight commissioner Chuck Neinas have apparently emerged as the top candidates to act on ECU's behalf as it seeks a successor to Mike Hamrick, who left in August of 2003 to become AD at Nevada-Las Vegas.

Ballard's ideal profile for the AD post includes someone with a passion for ECU athletics, experience that would be beneficial in the performance of AD duties, a fit within the chancellor's leadership team and connections that would might serve to enhance ECU's future conference affiliation.

Carr who played center at Florida when Steve Spurrier won the Heisman Trophy, may be the stronger candidate regionally but task force members Margaret Ward and Danny Kinlaw have expressed reservations about his association with Gene Corrigan. Hired on a consulting basis by former ECU chancellor William Muse, Corrigan authored an upbeat evaluation of the ECU athletics department in the final year of Hamrick's controversial tenure as AD.

Meanwhile, Nick Floyd continues to take care of business from the senior associate AD's office on the third floor of the Ward Sports Medicine Building. Although he withdrew from consideration for the AD post after becoming one of three finalists generated by the original 14-member search committee, Floyd should not be ruled out as a candidate for the position as the process continues in its second phase. The athletic department has been running smoothly under Floyd's leadership.

The interim AD has the authority to direct departmental position searches. The assistant AD position for student development formerly held by Darrell Bryant is one of those vacancies. A national search has been conducted and academic coordinator Nita Boyce has emerged as a prominent in-house candidate. Floyd also has been involved in a search for a sports information director, a job Jody Jones has handled very effectively on an interim basis.

Ballard has expressed hope of having the AD search completed within 60 days but concedes that any sort of timetable is secondary to hiring the right person.

The Mild Bunch

The late Marlon Brando once starred as a leader of a motorcycle gang in a movie called "The Wild Bunch."

In contrast, "Voice of the Pirates" Jeff Charles will be leading a cycle contingent from Greenville to Wilson on Oct. 16 to raise money to benefit the Eastern North Carolina School for the Deaf.

Charles rides a Honda Magna and hopes to enlist assistant men's basketball coach George Stackhouse, who has a Harley-Davidson, and former interim chancellor William Shelton, another Harley rider, in the cause of charity. ENCSD in Wilson is restarting its football team with an 8-man squad and needs money for equipment. The school's swimming pool also needs funds for repairs.

Charles said breakfast and lunch will be served for those making the circuit from Greenville to Wilson and back to Ron Ayers' Motorsports on Memorial Boulevard in Greenville. There likely will be prizes for categories such as the rider who comes from the farthest distance away, the oldest rider, etc. Participants also will pick up playing cards at stops along the route and the rider with the best poker hand at the end of the trip will get a prize, too.

For information, call Ron Ayers Motorsports at (252) 752-5531. Donations may be sent to Dave Richmond, Eastern North Carolina School for the Deaf, P.O. Drawer 2768, Wilson, NC 27894.

The ride is scheduled for an open date Saturday during football season. Riders will pay an entry fee.

"It's going to be fun," Charles said. "In visiting with the kids, they have a real need ... and they don't have a lot of money so we're going to try and help them out."

Hopefully this one can be painted green with proceeds for a worthy cause.

East-West action

Several future Pirates closed out their high school careers in East-West games in Greensboro this week.

Josh King, who will join the basketball program, had a great quote about why he played in the midsummer classic, which began in 1949.

"I wanted to break Pete Maravich's record," King told the Greensboro News-Record. "The history of the game is why I played."

"Pistol Pete" poured in a game record 42 points in 1965. King scored 10 on Monday night but the state's career and single season 3-point leader dropped a shot from behind the arc to complete a late 14-5 run that drew the West within 79-70. The East eventually won, 85-74.

The East reportedly had a play called "Josh King" but it was designed to free Raleigh Millbrook's Josh Haymond, an Elon signee, behind the arc. Haymond had a game high 13 points.

It seemed that the passing of ECU signee Patrick Pinkney (Fayetteville Pine Forest), who was 7 for 16 for 86 yards, might be a catalyst for an East football win. That was until fellow Pirate signee Quentin Cotton, a linebacker from High Point Andrews, snared a 22-yard pass in a fourth and 12 situation to keep a late West drive alive. The West kept moving for a touchdown and a 10-7 win.

Radio waves

ECU appears to be on the verge of enhancing the signal span of its radio network with a second station close to the home front. An official announcement is expected soon that WNCT-AM in Greenville will be joining the Pirate Sports Network for football and basketball game broadcasts. At 10,000 watts, Talk 1070 is the strongest AM station east of Raleigh.

WGHB-AM Pirate Radio 1250, which has its studios in Greenville and broadcasts from a 5,000-watt transmitter in Farmville, will also continue the broadcasting relationship it established with ECU last season, which includes a nightly menu of locally-produced programs.

Both WNCT and WGHB are Internet partners of, which provides the technology resources for the stations' live streams and on-demand audio archives.

Quick hits

Incoming ECU athlete LaShawn Merritt has been named USA Track & Field's athlete of the week after winning three gold medals at the 2004 IAAF World Junior Championships held last week in Grosseto, Italy.Merritt won the men's 400 meters in 45.25 seconds. He ran the anchor leg on Team USA's gold medal-winning 4x100 relay squad and the second leg of the victorious 4x400 relay.In the 4x100 relay, the winning time of 38.66 seconds set a world junior record. The 4x400 relay's time of 3:01.09 also was a world junior record. In June, the 17-year-old Merritt won both the 200 meter (20.72) and 400 meter (46.80) national titles at the 2004 USA Junior Outdoor Track & Field Championships, in College Station, Texas, where he was named the male athlete of the meet. ... In other track news, former ECU assistant Len Klepack has taken a position as an assistant in the track program at Texas.


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02/23/2007 12:46:03 AM

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