College Sports in the Carolinas
Don't miss Al Myatt's
profile of ECU Chancellor Steven Ballard in the 2004
from the East
Tuesday, November 30, 2004
By Al Myatt
Coaching update with a twist
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
In his search to find the right man to address East Carolina's current state
of affairs in college football, athletic director Terry Holland has come up
with a well known but unexpected choice.
Holland is holding a news conference regarding the coaching search at 10:30
a.m. today at the Murphy Center and Luther Van Damme is expected to be
introduced as ECU's new coach at that time.
Van Damme has been a longtime assistant to the well-known Hayden Fox at
Minnesota State and subsequently was on Fox's staff with the Orlando pro
The Van Damme character was portrayed on the television show "Coach" by
comedian Jerry Van Dyke. Van Damme's style was generally to mess something
up but get it straightened out within the show's 30-minute time frame.
Holland has confided to close associates that he believes Van Damme's
tendencies will allow him to make good adjustments at halftime.
There is a possibility that Van Damme will bring longtime MSU and Orlando
assistant Dauber Dubinsky as part of his staff. Van Damme spent much of
Monday on the phone with Holland and trying to e-mail directions to
Greenville to Dubinsky.
"I couldn't give a Van Damme why you're calling me," was Fox's only
statement when asked about the hiring of his former aide.
Holland would not comment on the unanticipated emergence in the Pirates
coaching search, but the perceptive Pirates AD has apparently come to the
realization that everyone associated with the ECU football program could use
some tension-breaking laughter. ...
Real world notes
Seriously, folks ... there are some substantive developments on the ECU
And we'll get real.
Various sources have indicated that former Florida coach Ron Zook and
former South Carolina assistant Skip Holtz
will be in Greenville today.
The Pirates may actually be close to a deal with Zook, although his desire
to coach the Gators in a bowl game may be a sticking point.
Holland wants someone to get started as soon as possible to maximize ECU's
recruiting efforts. The timing of Holtz's visit may serve to show Zook that
Holland has plan B in place if Zook is not ready to come aboard.
Speaking of plan B, William & Mary coach Jimmye Laycock is another viable
option on Holland's second tier of candidates. ...
The Pirates have retained running backs coach Jerry McManus, strength coach
John Grieco and Harold Robinson, who works in high school relations, to hold
down the fort until the new coach has his staff in place.
McManus, the senior member of the ECU staff, has said he would like to
continue coaching with the Pirates. McManus said ECU plans to honor its
offers to high school players who have verbally committed to the Pirates.
"We know those players are subject to being re-recruited by other schools
after the developments here," McManus said. "We can't do anything officially
until signing day in February. Nothing is official until then."
Sources indicate the remainder of the staff of former coach John Thompson
will be paid through March, although they have been relieved of their duties
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02/23/2007 12:46:54 AM