GREENVILLE, NC (WITN) - The new course for Pirate football began today as East Carolina University's new atheltics director, Jon Gilbert, introduced the new head coach to Pirate Nation.
Mike Houston was hired yesterday to take over the football program after Scottie Montgomery was fired just five days ago. Houston and new A.D. Gilbert were both hired on Monday.
Houston comes to ECU with a lot of experience, taking James Madison University to two national championship games, and winning a national title in 2017.
Houston's career record is 80-25 and he's also won six conference titles. He takes over a football program that hasn't been to a bowl game in five years.
"You are inheriting a program that has struggled for a couple years," Houston told the media this morning. "But, the thing is, I took the job at the Citadel, and that is not an easy job and we were able to get that turned around. I took the job at Lenoir- Rhyne University, it's not an easy job, and we were able to turn around. We've been in this situation before and we have had success before. At JMU, we achieved a level that had not been seen, maybe ever. we have had a lot of experience with changing cultures and building programs and there is no reason we can't have here. "
The new coach will have to hit the ground running because in just two weeks is National Signing Day for high school football players.
"Everywhere he has been he has won," ECU quarterback Holton Ahlers said after the news conference. "I think he has only had one losing season the whole time he has coached. Players, 'ya know we look that up, even when he was just a candidate. obviously we know his track record and we are excited he is here."