College Sports in the Carolinas
Don't miss Al Myatt's
profile of ECU Chancellor Steven Ballard in the 2004
from the East
Monday, November 29, 2004
By Al Myatt
Holland hooking up with
BONESVILLE POWER HOUR
Listen to the archived audio of last week's
Bonesville Power Hour on WNCT-AM Talk 1070. Host
Patrick Johnson and Bonesville.net's Al Myatt
and Denny O'Brien delved into East Carolina's
search for a football coach and interacted with
WHERE TO BUY...
PAT DYE: Short on Tenure, Long on Impact
INSIDE PIRATE FOOTBALL
Tracking the Classes
NCHSAA & ECU: Smooth Sailing Again
HIGH HOPES FOR HOOPS
New Leader Takes Charge
SCOTT COWEN: Busting Down the Door
KEITH LECLAIR on ECU's Field of Dreams
BETH GRANT: Actress Still a Pirate
East Carolina athletic director Terry Holland has been doing a little more
than just making a list of head football coaching candidates and checking it
Holland talked to Skip Holtz, recently quarterbacks coach on South
Carolina's staff, prior to the
N.C. State-ECU game and visited with
William & Mary coach Jimmye Laycock on Sunday. Those conversations have been
confirmed and there also are indications that deposed
Florida coach Ron Zook will be in
Greenville early this week.
Louis "Skip" Holtz, Jr., is, of course, the son of recently-retired South
Carolina coach Lou Holtz. The younger Holtz played in his dad's program at
Notre Dame and later was an assistant on the Fighting Irish staff. He has
head coaching experience, guiding Connecticut successfully on the Division
I-AA level before joining his dad's Gamecocks staff.
Skip has been at USC for six years and was once thought to be in line for
the head job. After dad replaced him as offensive coordinator, Holtz
finished out with the Gamecocks as assistant head coach in addition to
working with the quarterbacks.
Laycock's Tribe advanced in the Division I-AA playoffs on Saturday with a
42-35 win over Hampton in Williamsburg, Va., on Saturday. Laycock has some
impressive achievements on his resume in 24 years as the head man at W&M.
An interesting twist in the search for John Thompson's successor is that
former Clemson and Arkansas head coach Danny Ford has apparently contacted
former ECU coach Ed Emory, now head coach at Richmond County High. Ford, who
has a farm near Clemson, told Emory that he is interested in the Pirates
The Charlotte deal
Count Terry Holland among those who would have preferred that ECU was the
home team in Greenville on Saturday rather than in Charlotte.
"To get the games, the way I understand it we had to agree to play two of
them in Charlotte to get one in Greenville and then one in Raleigh, of
course," Holland said. "And now the next two one will be in Raleigh (2007)
and one will be in Greenville (2010).
"We've at least got the series going. It's not what we want but they've
agreed to play us every three years."
As home team, ECU made the larger portion of the rights fees from Raycom,
which promoted the game at Bank of America Stadium.
"Both teams get a very nice check," Holland said. "It's a revenue date for
you, whether you're the visitors or home. It's more than we would make for a
home game. It's under a million (dollars), but it's closer to a million than
ECU sold single home game tickets for $25 this season. Tickets in Charlotte
were $45 for the lower bowl and $30 for the upper deck. Parking near the
stadium was 20 bucks a pop.
Pirate fans from eastern North Carolina saw their team take a
52-14 pounding before driving back
home in the rain. No doubt they would prefer to play in Greenville.
"I've never looked at the exact contract ... but it's a good deal for both
teams except for the fact that having an N.C. State at home is more
important to us even if we can't make more money off that individual game,"
Holland said. "It helps sell our season ticket package.
"We would always choose under normal circumstances to play a game like this
at home if it was our choice."
Pack defense praised by Pirates
With back-up quarterback Desmond Robinson at the controls for most of the
game, ECU managed just 140 total yards against an NCSU defensive unit that
was allowing an average of only 229.5 yards per game, the lowest in Division
I-A, coming into the game.
"Wow, ... wow," said ECU coach John Thompson, a former defensive coordinator
at Florida, Arkansas and Southern Miss, when asked about State's defense. "I
think a whole lot of them will be playing on Sundays. They looked like the
guys who play on Sunday (in the NFL)."
Although the Pirates had trouble blocking fronts at Louisville and Southern
Miss, ECU receiver Kevin Roach and quarterback Robinson agreed that the
Wolfpack was superior.
"They're definitely the best defense we've faced," said Roach, who had two
catches for 18 yards. "They're big, fast and very disciplined and they
showed it today."
Robinson was 7 for 23 for 62 yards passing with two interceptions. He was
the Pirates' top receiver with two catches for 35 yards, including a 33-yard
reception from Will Bland on a trick play. ECU rushed 40 times for a net of
"By far the best defense I saw all year," Robinson said. "Eleven hats to the
ball fast, athletic, big and they played very disciplined ball."
Hoops Pirates bounce back
Speaking of defense, guess what the focus was after ECU's surprising 90-60
loss at Gardner-Webb on Tuesday
"That was probably as poor a defensive performance as I've been associated
with," said ECU coach Bill Herrion, who is in his sixth season with the
Pirates. "We were just really bad defensively. Maybe that was kind of a
wake-up call. We watched tape and went back to square one with our halfcourt
man to man. We just worked on the basics containing the ball, keeping in
front of your man and rotating to the ball on the baseline.
"One thing we typically do is defend."
The Pirates were back to their old selves on Sunday in a
77-50 home win over Division II
Belmont-Abbey, limiting the Crusaders to 26.7 percent field goal shooting.
Next up is a deceptively-challenging Toledo team at Williams Arena at Minges
Coliseum on Wednesday night at 7 p.m.
"They won 21 games last season, lost to Marquette in the first round of the
NIT and have five starters back," Herrion said. "They've started 0-2 with
losses at Vanderbilt and at Wright State but it will be a very tough game
for us a great opportunity for our kids against a quality team."
Bronson not available
The Pirates could have used 6-foot-10 freshman Charles Bronson at
Gardner-Webb when frontcourt performers Moussa Badiane and Corey Rouse
encountered foul trouble.
Bronson will likely miss the rest of the first semester. His status for
second semester will be based on an academic evaluation.
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