WITN Learns Vernon Hargreaves To Become ECU Assistant

A source close to the East Carolina University football program tells WITN that Vernon Hargreaves will be named the new Defensive Line Coach replacing Donnie Thompson.

Hargreaves comes to ECU after spending a season at Bowling Green and the previous season at Florida International University. Prior to that, he had a successful eight-year stint at the University of Miami. At FIU, he coached Lombardi Award nominee Keyonvis Bouie. At Miami, Hargreaves is credited with molding some of the nation's finest linebackers, including 2000 Butkus Award winner Dan Morgan and 2004 first-round draft choices Jonathan Vilma and D.J. Williams, as well developing the UM defense into one of the nation's top units over the last five seasons.

For six consecutive years at Miami, one of his linebackers led the team in tackles and in 2003, Hargreaves shaped a unit that produced two of the 11 semi-finalists for the Butkus Award. Hargreaves went to UM after 13 seasons on the staff at the University of Connecticut, where he was outside linebackers coach from 1985-89 and inside linebackers coach from 1989-97. While there, Hargreaves was crucial in the development of linebacker Paul Duckworth who was a sixth-round pick of the Green Bay Packers in 1994.

A native of New Haven, Conn., Hargreaves attended UConn and received a bachelor's of science degree in sociology in 1986. He was a star linebacker for the Huskies from 1980-83, and was recognized as an All-American twice, earning honorable mention accolades in 1982 and third-team honors in 1983. Hargreaves was a two-time All-Yankee Conference first-team selection and tri-captain of the 1983 Connecticut team. He ranks fourth on the UConn career tackles list and holds two of the top-10 single-season tackles marks. One of only six Huskies to register 20 tackles in a single game, he signed a free agent contract with the Cleveland Browns and played professional football in Italy. In 1998, Hargreaves was named a member of UConn's 100th Anniversary Team commemorating the greatest players in the football program's first century. Hargreaves and his wife, Jackie, are the parents of three children: daughter Carina, son Vernon III and daughter Channelle.