Pirate Season Opener Against Golden Hurricane

GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) -- One of the few new things for Ruffin McNeill these days is his title.

The surroundings certainly won't be unfamiliar for the new East Carolina coach who's back in his home state to coach in the same stadium where he once played.

And when he looks across the field Sunday, he'll see a familiar face -- Tulsa's Todd Graham.

McNeill's debut at his alma mater comes against a coach he's known for years when his Pirates take on Graham's Golden Hurricane in the Conference USA opener.

McNeill has spent the past three decades as a career assistant. That includes 10 years on Mike Leach's staff at Texas Tech. He returned to East Carolina in January after Skip Holtz left for South Florida.

He's in charge of a program that has won two straight C-USA titles.


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