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From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, December 15, 2009

By Brian Bailey

It's back to work for Pirate football

By Brian Bailey
All rights reserved.


Replay Monday night's Brian Bailey Show with guests TOM MURPHY of the ARKANSAS DEMOCRAT- GAZETTE and MIKE STEELE. Eastern North Carolina's longest running sports radio call-in show airs each Monday night at 7 p.m. on Pirate Radio 1250-AM and 930-AM.
Replay Show
Pirate Radio Home Page


Bailey: It's back to work for Pirate football
O'Brien: ECU better positioned for jump
BVL Audio: Skip Holtz Sunday media session
Myatt: Coaches have histories with bowl foes
Monroe: This urban legend more than a myth
Bailey: Pirates and fate make formidable team
O'Brien: ECU has a hot commodity
BVL: C-USA Bowl Lineup & Scoreboard
BVL: BCS Standings
BVL: Harris, Associated Press & Coaches Polls

Skip Holtz has never kept it a secret. While he loves the excitement of game day, the roar of the crowd and the thrill of the competition, the East Carolina football coach's real passion comes on the practice field.

Bowl preparations give teams extra workouts, designed to get teams ready for the postseason.

Most teams, though, use the extra time to get ready for next year.

It’s a huge advantage for teams that make it to bowl games, especially those that are fortunate enough to go in consecutive years. East Carolina is set to make its fourth straight bowl appearance.

“It’s really been good,” said Holtz on Sunday afternoon, after his Pirates completed a rainy workout. “We’ve kind of gone Friday, Saturday and Sunday this weekend. We’ve really been working with the underclassman. We’ve taken the upper classmen and lifted and ran them, but we really didn’t do a lot of football related stuff.”

Holtz enjoys practice especially when there is no game to immediately prepare for. It’s mostly fundamentals in the spring and during the early schedule in bowl preparations.

“We’ve kind of used these days as back to spring practice,” Holtz continued. “We’re already beginning to put next year’s football team together. Some of these younger players, who have held cards all season at practice, are now getting a chance to do a little bit.”

The Pirate schedule is a complex one to close out the year. The team will be in exams the rest of this week until Thursday.

The squad will get back together and practice late Thursday, when they will start working on Liberty Bowl opponent Arkansas.

East Carolina will practice until the Monday before Christmas before breaking for the holiday.

The Pirates will then reconvene in Memphis to kick off bowl week.

Hopefully, the coaching carousel will slow down a bit as we get closer to the New Year.

Holtz has been linked as a candidate at Virginia and Kansas.

Now it’s Cincinnati, a school that came after Holtz harder than many people realize the last time the Bearcats needed a coach.

“I have not talked to anyone at this point,” said Holtz after Sunday’s practice [SELECT AUDIO CLIP]. “You can’t react to every rumor that hits. This football team will definitely hear it from my lips if anything goes on. I’m not interviewing. I haven’t talked to anyone. If you listen to the rumor mill then I’ve taken three jobs.

"It’s flattering. I have a great situation here. I love it here and I’m not trying to hustle up a job. I’m just looking forward to the future here at East Carolina.”

That immediate future is a tough test in the Liberty Bowl against Arkansas.


E-mail Brian Bailey.

Brian Bailey Archives

12/15/2009 02:04 AM


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