College Football

ECU hires Jon Gilbert as AD, Mike Houston as football coach

GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) East Carolina has hired Mike Houston as its next football coach and Jon Gilbert as its athletic director.

Gilbert announced Houston's hiring Monday, moments after Chancellor Cecil Staton said the school's board of trustees approved the new AD's hiring.

Both Houston and Gilbert received five-year contracts, the school announced, though financial terms were not disclosed. Gilbert started his new job immediately and was to be introduced at a news conference later Monday, with Houston's introduction coming Tuesday.

Houston led James Madison to a 37-6 record, the 2016 national title in the Championship Subdivision and an appearance in the championship game in 2017. The Dukes lost to Colgate on Saturday in the second round of the FCS playoffs.

He also led James Madison to a 34-14 rout at East Carolina in the 2017 season opener.

Gilbert's hiring from Southern Mississippi ends a nine-month AD search after Jeff Compher's resignation under pressure in March. Former Tennessee AD Dave Hart had been the school's temporary special adviser for athletics.

"During the search process, Jon stood out as a great fit for the proud traditions we have at ECU and for the vision we have for this program," Staton said.

Houston has strong ties to North Carolina. He played at Mars Hill in the early 1990s and coached at two high schools in the state before spending three seasons at Lenoir-Rhyne. He led that school to the Division II championship game in 2013 before taking over at The Citadel.

He replaces Scottie Montgomery, who was fired last week during the Pirates' third straight 3-9 season.

Houston's hiring caps a bizarre seven-day stretch both at James Madison and at two schools in North Carolina.

It initially looked like Houston was headed to Charlotte.

He publicly acknowledged last Wednesday that Charlotte had offered him the job to replace the fired Brad Lambert. The next day - just 48 hours before kickoff of ECU's season finale at North Carolina State - the Pirates abruptly fired Montgomery.

Charlotte athletic director Mike Hill then issued a statement Friday saying the school was withdrawing its offer to Houston. The Dukes lost to Colgate on Saturday while the Pirates were routed 58-3 by the Wolfpack under interim coach David Blackwell.

James Madison then announced Sunday that Houston was leaving for a head coaching position at an unnamed Bowl Subdivision school.

Though it wasn't official on Sunday, Charlotte was out and ECU was Houston's destination.

"Mike made it perfectly clear to me this is the job he covets and he fully understands the tradition and prestige of Pirate football," Gilbert said. "He is a man of high integrity, a great communicator and believes in molding student-athletes on and off the field. He's going to be a great asset to our university and the Greenville community."

Montgomery went just 9-26 with a 4-20 record in American Athletic Conference play, and 17 of those 26 losses were by at least 20 points. He lost six of his final seven games. It's the least successful three-year period for the school since it won just eight games from 2003-05 under John Thompson and Skip Holtz.

Gilbert, who had been at Southern Miss since January 2017, has also worked at Alabama and Tennessee - where he was an executive senior associate AD under Hart, whose three-month contract extension was to expire Dec. 15. At the time of Montgomery's dismissal, the school said its AD search was "ongoing in earnest" and that person would "finalize the hire" of Montgomery's replacement.


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Updated December 3, 2018

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Teams Score Time
Florida State 67 F
North Carolina State 61
North Carolina 55 F
Louisville 72
Virginia Tech 60 02:30 2nd
Duke 82
Hurricanes 6 F
Maple Leafs 3
Teams Score Time
Kansas 64 F
Baylor 61
Marquette 72 F
Providence 84
Tennessee 66 F
Auburn 73
Virginia 59 F
Pittsburgh 56
Duquesne 70 F
Dayton 80
Houston 59 F
Memphis 60
West Virginia 60 F/OT
TCU 67
Villanova 64 F
Xavier 55
Florida State 67 F
North Carolina State 61
Georgia Tech 72 F
Syracuse 79
North Carolina 55 F
Louisville 72
Colorado 63
Clemson 82 F
Boston College 64
Florida 59 F
Kentucky 65
San Diego State 63
Virginia Tech 60 02:30 2nd
Duke 82
Oregon 36 Half
Arizona 33
Gonzaga   10:00pm
Teams Score Time
Orioles 0 F
Braves 5
Twins 2 F
Pirates 1
Phillies 8 F
Tigers 8
Athletics 0 5th
Cubs 5
American League
Rays 3 F
Red Sox 4
Blue Jays 2 F
Yankees 1
Royals   Postponed
National League
Mets 0 F
Cardinals 1
Marlins 5 F
Mets 3
Dodgers 10 F
Giants 4
Teams Score Time
Kings 112 F
Clippers 103
Nets 115 F
Hornets 86
Mavericks 107 00:08 4th
Hawks 111
Cavaliers 64 06:35 3rd
Heat 91
Suns 86 10:16 4th
Bulls 87
76ers 50 10:55 3rd
Bucks 61
Rockets 52 04:57 2nd
Jazz 57
Teams Score Time
Sabres 5 F
Penguins 2
Capitals 2 F
Devils 3
Jets 2 F
Flyers 4
Hurricanes 6 F
Maple Leafs 3
Canadiens 3 F
Senators 0
Sharks 2 F
Rangers 3
Blue Jackets 3 00:00 2nd
Predators 3
Lightning 3 18:42 3rd
Coyotes 4
Bruins   10:00pm
Panthers   10:00pm
Golden Knights  
Avalanche   10:30pm
Puerto Rico Open
Pos Name Score Thru
1 Viktor Hovland -18 F
2 Martin Laird -17 F
3 Josh Teater -16 F
4 Emiliano Grillo -13 F
5 Patrick Rodgers -12 F
5 Sam Ryder -12 F
7 David Lingmerth -11 F
7 Ben Martin -11 F
7 Tyler McCumber -11 F
Pos # Name Start Pos
1 47 Ricky Stenhouse Jr 1
2 22 Joey Logano 3
3 10 Aric Almirola 5
4 6 Ryan Newman 7
5 4 Kevin Harvick 10
6 2 Brad Keselowski 9
7 24 William Byron 4
8 48 Jimmie Johnson 6
9 13 Ty Dillon 24
Pos # Name Start Pos
1 08 Joe Graf 15
2 98 Chase Briscoe 2
3 22 Austin Cindric 6
4 10 Ross Chastain 25
5 19 Brandon Jones 9
6 7 Justin Allgaier 4
7 1 Michael Annett 8
8 11 Justin Haley 11
9 20 Harrison Burton 3
Pos # Name Start Pos
1 51 Kyle Busch 3
2 13 Johnny Sauter 1
3 16 Austin Hill 6
4 88 Matt Crafton 13
5 99 Ben Rhodes 18
6 21 Zane Smith 15
7 38 Todd Gilliland 25
8 15 Tanner Gray 14
9 52 Stewart Friesen 17