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Don't miss Al Myatt's profile of ECU Chancellor Steven Ballard in the 2004 Bonesville Magazine.

View from the East
Tuesday, November 30, 2004

By Al Myatt

Coaching update with a twist

Bonesville Magazine

• PAT DYE: Short on Tenure, Long on Impact

• Recruit Profiles
• Rookie Books
• Tracking the Classes
• Florida Pipeline
• NCHSAA & ECU: Smooth Sailing Again


• STEVE BALLARD: 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 football franchise.

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 football front.

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. ...

Staff fates

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 at ECU.


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02/23/2007 12:46:54 AM

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