Gunter, Williams added to ECU football staff

GREENVILLE, N.C. -- J.P. Gunter and Tarron Williams have accepted positions on the ECU football staff in key administrative support roles according to an announcement by head coach Mike Houston on Tuesday.

Gunter was named director of player personnel and recruiting, while Williams will serve as director of player development. Both have assumed their duties immediately.

Gunter's arrival in Greenville follows a nine-year stay at The Citadel, which included eight full-time seasons coordinating the program's special teams and recruiting efforts. In 2015, he helped the Bulldogs capture their first Southern Conference championship since 1992 and earn a subsequent FCS Playoff appearance during Houston's final year as head coach before following with another title and postseason showing in 2016.

"J.P.'s organizational skills, ability to foster relationships, evaluation expertise and familiarity with our footprint is a perfect fit for ECU and our program." Houston said. "He has a perceptive understanding of our messaging and the proficiency to not only impact, but enhance our recruiting efforts."

In all, Gunter's recruiting leadership provided The Citadel with 58 All-SoCon selections, seven All-America performers and two league defensive player-of-the-year nods. In the classroom, three of his recruits earned Academic All-America distinction. In addition to actively recruiting a six-state area (South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama and Texas), Gunter was responsible for coordinating all of the Bulldogs' summer prospect and youth camps.

After initially joining The Citadel staff as a graduate assistant quality control analyst working with the special teams unit in 2010, Gunter later held coaching assignments with the Bulldogs' wide receivers and A-backs. He spent the previous year as the offensive line coach, running game coordinator and special teams coordinator at Pikeville (Ky.) College, where he recruited student-athletes from eight states.

Gunter began his coaching career at alma mater Lenoir-Rhyne in 2007 as a graduate assistant offensive line and tight ends coach before serving as the Bears' outside linebackers coach, camp coordinator and academic liaison a year later.

A four-year letterman at LR from 2003-06, Gunter started at center for three seasons, served as a team captain and was an All-South Atlantic Conference selection.

A native of Irmo, S.C., Gunter earned his bachelor's degree in sports management with a minor in business administration in 2007. He completed his graduate certification in sports administration from The Citadel in 2011.

Gunter and his wife, Megan, have one son, Turner.

Williams, who served as a defensive quality control coach for Houston at James Madison during the Dukes' back-to-back FCS National Championship Game appearances in 2016 and 2017, recently completed a one-year tenure as cornerbacks coach at Virginia Military Institute.

In addition to assisting current ECU Defensive Coordinator Bob Trott with the safety position, Williams was also responsible for monitoring academic progress and providing life skills development for the JMU program.

After earning a master's degree in community counseling with school licensure from Lenior-Rhyne in 2012, Williams moved to private business where he was a district manager for Pepsico (Frito-Lay Division) for three years in the Triad area and established increased performance ratings on various metrics ratings, including sales and service.

"Tarron offers an invaluable 'real-world' skillset to our program, which will be of great benefit not only to our players as student-athletes, but serving their communities in life after football. His diverse and creative ability to teach and manage, both in collegiate athletics and private business, is paramount in our desire to develop young men."

Williams initiated his coaching career as a student assistant coach at Gardner-Webb during the spring of 2009 before accepting his first full-time position as defensive backs coach at Darlington (S.C.) High School. He joined Houston's staff at Lenoir-Rhyne as a defensive graduate assistant in 2010 and played a key role in successive South Atlantic Conference championship squads in 2011 and 2012.

A three-year starter in the secondary at Gardner-Webb, Williams also excelled in the classroom with two selections to the Big South Conference Presidential Honor Roll. He earned his bachelor's degree in psychology from GWU in 2009.

Williams is an active member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) and an oft-requested motivational speaker in area schools to promote the importance and value of an education. He also holds membership in the American Mental Health Counseling Association (AMHCA) and offers community support working with youth diagnosed with Autism.