Students and fans embrace ECU sports changes

GREENVILLE, NC (WITN) - Students and Fans are reacting to news following an emergency ECU Board of Trustees meeting Monday morning where university leaders made two new hires official.

Jon Gilbert is leaving Southern Mississippi to become the new Athletic Director and former James Madison Head Football Coach Mike Houston will be leading the Pirates next season.

Students are embracing the changes. One student, Daniella Roberts, said the enthusiasm is good for game attendance. "I would definitely like to go to more games and see purple and gold winning games. That would be really nice," she said.

Student leaders echo those thoughts and say, they hope the hiring of two leaders in athletics will help bring back school spirit and are anxious to see how the new leadership will affect the plays on the field.

Student Body President Jordan Koonts said, "We need somebody who is going to embrace the spirit of Greenville and the spirit of Pirate Nation and reenergize everyone."

The new hires come with a big price tag, with Coach Houston making 1-point-3 million dollars. But students say the athletics department is worth the investment and that sports are integral to a university's success.