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ECU Football and a look back at the season

The Adam Gold Show / Adam Gold
The Truth Network Radio
November 22, 2023 3:35 pm

ECU Football and a look back at the season

The Adam Gold Show / Adam Gold

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November 22, 2023 3:35 pm

Mike Houston, ECU's head football coach, talks about the season and he's overall take on how everything unfolded. Also, what went behind some change of personnel decisions? What does he anticipate for the next season? 

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That's piperlou.com. In what I hope will not be the final time for this season, because just on the low, we're gonna work something out next week. If the pirates do take care of Tulsa on Saturday at Dowdy Ficklin Stadium, Mike Houston, the head coach at East Carolina. Let's start Can I start with your seniors and their finale at Dowdy Ficklin and all the emotions that go into that from your perspective? What's going through your mind when these guys are coming out? Well, the vast majority of them have been here with us for four years, and you become very, very attached to your players as a head coach, and you go through so many things with them. The fans see them 12 Saturdays out of the year, maybe a little bit in the off season, but I spend virtually every day with these young men and go through a lot of things because we go through life stuff with them, and you go through the good and the bad, and it's not just football, and so you become very, very attached, and so it'll be emotional. I want to honor them. I have tremendous respect for these guys.

The bulk of this group is the group that saw us go from where we were when I got here to back to back bowl games the last two years and the big win in the Birmingham Bowl last December, right before New Year's, and even though this season has not gone the way any of us wanted it to for a one loss record, this group leaves here having accomplished a lot as a pirate. Do you get caught up in the emotion of it? I mean, you sort of alluded to it, but things run through your mind as each player comes out with however the whole ceremony is going to look. You think about everything that they have been through. Do you go through it emotionally with them as well? Well, if I didn't, then I don't think I would be true to who I am. Maybe some people can separate themselves from the connections, but I am very much a relationship coach, and I do feel very much a bond with my players, and so you do care about them.

You go through stuff with them. With all that, you try to keep everything in check, obviously, but yeah, no doubt. It's not like this is the last time we'll spend time together. I message with former players throughout the week every week for a variety of reasons.

There's a lot attached to it. Mike Houston is joining us here on the Adam Gold Show, East Carolina and Tulsa final game of the season, Dowdy Ficklen Stadium at 2 o'clock on Saturday. It's a big week for a lot of reasons, a big week for family because of Thanksgiving. How does that kind of maybe change the normal routine for this week? Well, we don't have classes, so there's no students on campus starting this afternoon, so we'll practice midday tomorrow, try to get the kids off their feet, give them some extra time tomorrow afternoon evening. Thursday we'll practice in the morning, and then we'll have a Thanksgiving lunch. We do have player families coming into town, so that gives them a chance to have maybe a Thanksgiving dinner together. It gives the players time to get off their feet. It allows our coaches to see our families for Thanksgiving dinner. You don't get the time that other families get, but at least you get to see your family for dinner that evening.

Friday and Saturday are normal Friday and Saturdays. You get up and you get going and you get ready for the ball game. Judging from tradition, maybe it's good to not be sitting around a Thanksgiving dinner with all the conversations that go on, but with that Thanksgiving lunch, is it turkey?

Oh yeah, it's it. We have it catered in from a local mom-and-pop's restaurant here in Greenville, so it's a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, lunch, whatever, with a southern flair to it. This is so cliché, but before I get to some more football stuff, what does your Thanksgiving plate look like? Well, I'm going to have turkey, obviously, mashed potatoes, dressing, some gravy. I'm probably going to have a deviled egg on there somewhere.

I'll try to get something green, but probably not much. And then I'm going to have some sweet potato pie. I know a lot of people love pumpkin pie, and I do too, but if there's a good sweet potato pie around, I'm going to have some of that. I'm an apple pie guy, and I have mashed sweet potatoes instead of sweet potato casserole. It basically is dessert, as opposed to mashed potatoes. Gosh, this stuff is good.

That's why I look the way I do. Mike Houston, East Carolina head coach, is joining us here on the Adam Gold Show. When it all comes to an end, Saturday afternoon, five o'clock, whatever it is, what's job one for you? Well, I think job one is talking to our team, and I think that's where it all starts. I want to talk with our team either Sunday or Monday, depending on Saturday, and just kind of put the season to close. And then with our returning players, talk to them about what we have to do and my expectations moving forward. I think that I've got to get my coaching staff geared up. We want to focus on our current players on our roster first, and then we are going to be extremely aggressive, solidifying our committed high school players and getting them signed, and going after the very best players that we can in the transfer portal. And so between December 1 and January 15, we're going to put together a very, very talented roster that will be our crew for next year, and that is going to be every waking moment between Sunday and when things go dead with the transfer portal closing in mid-January.

So, obviously, I have... I have an open offensive coordinator's position, so I will start interviews for that position next week. That will go very, very fast. I want to have somebody in place that can talk to our current players before they go home for Christmas break, and also can talk to our commits and talk to anyone that we're recruiting from the transfer portal. So, we have had already overwhelming interest in the position, so I've got to work through that pretty quickly this weekend and get the top candidates that we feel like are best for us, get them in here next week, and go through that process. Real quick about Coach Kirkpatrick. I mean, your reasons for deciding that this relationship needed to end? Well, I think first off, it's not an easy decision, and it's not an enjoyable decision. Donnie and I have been together for a while, and I care about him and his family, and I know he cares about me and my family.

We've had a lot of great times and won a lot of ball games together, so it makes it a tough decision. He is a consummate professional. He has handled everything as well as you possibly can.

He cares about our university. He cares about our players and our coaches, and he has been just as good as you could possibly want with the situation. Obviously, our one loss record and our performance on the offensive side of the ball this year has not been acceptable. We've worked very, very hard to try to get things corrected in season, but there are some things that need to change. I felt like a change in leadership was one of those pieces. I wish Donnie nothing but the best, and will always consider him a friend and support him, but I've got to get a different kind of leadership and style in here for our team. It's a great opportunity because we have a solid roster. We do need some pieces on offense that have been obviously missing this year. You can flip on the TV on Sunday and see a bunch of them playing.

That's the challenge right there. It's a great opportunity, and I think it's one that there's a lot of people excited about. I look forward to working through that process and getting the right person in here and getting to work on getting the Pirates back where we wanted to be. Coach, I appreciate your time all season long. Hope to talk to you next week. Be well. Happy Thanksgiving to you, and we'll talk to you soon. Thanks a lot. Happy Thanksgiving. Go Pirates. 18 plus terms and conditions apply. See website for details.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-22 17:33:17 / 2023-11-22 17:37:10 / 4

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