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.


More AP college football: and

Updated December 3, 2018

Sports Data API Powered by STATS © 2019 by STATS.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS is strictly prohibited.

Teams Score Time
Carolina   7:00pm
Tampa Bay  
Teams Score Time
Seattle   7:05pm
San Francisco   7:10pm
Tampa Bay   10:10pm
Los Angeles  
American League
Los Angeles   6:35pm
New York  
Toronto   7:05pm
Detroit   7:10pm
Chicago   7:40pm
Texas   8:10pm
Kansas City   10:07pm
National League
Philadelphia   7:20pm
San Diego   7:40pm
Washington   7:45pm
St. Louis  
Cincinnati   8:05pm
New York   8:40pm
Miami   9:40pm
Teams Score Time
Ottawa 1 06:37 1st
Toronto 0
Buffalo   7:00pm
Carolina   7:00pm
Tampa Bay  
Philadelphia   7:00pm
New York  
Chicago   7:30pm
Dallas   8:00pm
Vegas   9:00pm
Anaheim   10:00pm
San Jose  
Edmonton   10:00pm
Los Angeles   10:00pm
Arizona   10:30pm
Los Angeles  
Pos # Name Start Pos
1 19 Martin Truex Jr 24
2 4 Kevin Harvick 3
3 2 Brad Keselowski 18
4 9 Chase Elliott 8
5 12 Ryan Blaney 23
6 88 Alex Bowman 19
7 24 William Byron 14
8 42 Kyle Larson 15
9 22 Joey Logano 22
Pos # Name Start Pos
1 2 Tyler Reddick 4
2 20 Christopher Bell 2
3 19 Brandon Jones 6
4 00 Cole Custer 1
5 7 Justin Allgaier 3
6 9 Noah Gragson 36
7 08 Gray Gaulding 16
8 23 John Hunter Nemechek 13
9 18 Riley Herbst 15
Pos # Name Start Pos
1 16 Austin Hill 7
2 45 Ross Chastain 2
3 51 Christian Eckes 1
4 2 Sheldon Creed 6
5 4 Todd Gilliland 3
6 30 Brennan Poole 18
7 24 Brett Moffitt 4
8 99 Ben Rhodes 13
9 18 Harrison Burton 9