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Insights and Observations

Henry's Highlights
Thursday, March 3, 2005

By Henry Hinton

City abuzz with coaching gossip


It has been yet another uneventful end to the basketball season in Greenville (guffaws). No matter where you come down on the Bill Herrion firing, one thing is for sure: Terry Holland is letting no grass grow under his feet in his first year at the helm.

Where will the new AD go to look for his new coach?

Rumors have persisted for weeks that former UNC-Chapel Hill coach Matt Doherty has been seen in Greenville. If you believe the grapevine, there have been far more Matt sightings in Pitt County than even Elvis could imagine.

I even talked to someone this week who told me they knew someone who had lunch in town last week with the former Tar Heel head coach.

If that is true, perhaps Doherty had come to Greenville to partake of one of our famous barbeque restaurants.

Replay this week's archives of Talk of The Town with Henry Hinton: Select clip

He was NOT here to meet with Terry Holland about the East Carolina job. As we reported on Talk 1070's Talk of the Town on Tuesday (Replay archive), we have learned that Doherty is not a candidate for the position.

The other hot name that will not go away is former Holland disciple Ricky Stokes. No one can really confirm that Stokes is a candidate but many are using the concept of association to further this theory.

Stokes played on Holland’s final four team at Virginia in 1984. He coached under Holland as a graduate assistant and is currently on the South Carolina staff under Dave Odom, considered one of Holland’s closest friends.

Just one problem: Holland has staked himself out that while Bill Herrion has represented the program excellently, he just has not taken ECU to an acceptable level in the win-loss column.

If Stokes is the guy when the smoke clears, partisans will wonder how it made since to fire Herrion and bring in a coach with a 45-70 record in his four years as a head coach at Virginia Tech.

The argument that Seth Greenburg is winning with Stokes’ players at Tech also will not sit well with those who think Herrion has the table set for the new Pirate coach for next season in a watered-down Conference USA.

The truth is that there are probably only two people who know who has the inside track on the ECU job at this point. They are Holland and Associate AD Nick Floyd.

Remember, there were innumerous rumors circulating in the fall about who would replace John Thompson. People thought Holland already had someone in mind when he obviously did not.

He had never met Skip Holtz before their initial interview that took place Thanksgiving weekend.

It would stand to reason that his choice for basketball, however, will be someone with whom Holland already has some sort of relationship.

Clark-LeClair Stadium on deck

Reading Woody Peele’s inaugural Bonesville column a couple of weeks ago about Harrington Field brought back some memories.

I would also like to publicly thank Woody for reminding everyone of one of my finer broadcasting moments — the night I lost my dinner in the old Harrington press box. It was just my way of saying good-bye to the old place.

Having watched my first game at Harrington as an ECU freshman in 1971 and subsequently having the opportunity to enjoy many significant moments there over the years, I can honestly say there has been a little lump in my throat watching the old stands come down and this beautiful new facility get built.

There are many things I will miss about the old place. Honestly, there are many things I will not.

Having suffered through many afternoons and evenings doing the ECU baseball radio broadcasts from outside the press box at a table in the stands, I endured everything from sleet, to temperatures so cold I lost feeling in my feet, to wind so strong it was hard to keep my scorebook from becoming airborne. There were also hot days that I got cooked.

And oh yeah. No bathroom. Try knocking back a few Diet Pepsis and then holding it for nine innings. Commercial breaks between innings are only one minute long and getting to the outhouse behind the stadium was not an option.

I think it is only fitting that I get to do the first broadcast in the beautiful new press box, so I will. Along with my Talk 1070 sports colleagues we will do a live morning show from Clark-LeClair Stadium on opening day. We will be live from the press box from 7-9 a.m. this Friday morning on Talk 1070. It will also be streamed live on the net thanks to

In addition to our sports team, including Patrick Johnson, Geoff Thompson and the ever loud Yankee Boy, we will have guests including the stadium’s largest benefactor Bill Clark, Coach Randy Mazey and ECU operations chief J.J. McLamb.

Other invited guests, still to be confirmed, include Chancellor Steve Ballard and Terry Holland.

As the sportswriter who logged the most miles in the old wooden press (cracker) box, Woody Peele also deserves some airtime. So we have invited the retired Daily Reflector writer and former sports editor to join us as well to reminisce and celebrate the new facilities.

I have promised Woody not to lose my breakfast and ruin his morning.


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02/23/2007 10:16:07 AM

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