Following the departure of Lincoln Riley to Oklahoma, Pirate captain Ruffin McNeill will keep the ship headed in the same direction. East Carolina announced the promotion of outside receivers coach Dave Nichol to offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
“Dave is an outstanding offensive strategist, football coach and tireless recruiter who I have known since my days at Texas Tech,” McNeill said in a statement. “Over time, Dave has earned my trust and I have faith in his ability to run an exciting, fast-paced and aggressive offense that the Pirate Nation and our players will love. More importantly, I trust Dave’s ability to get the most out of our players, both on and off the field.”
East Carolina ranked third nationally in passing at a shade under 372 yards per game to go with 31 touchdowns in an 8-5 season, the fifth under McNeill. Justin Hardy ranked among the nation’s leaders with 121 grabs for 1,494 yards with 10 touchdowns, and Isaiah Jones added 81 receptions for 830 yards and five scores.
Together with inside receivers coach Donnie Kirkpatrick, the pair was nominated for FootballScoop‘s Wide Receivers Coach of the Year award last month. Kirkpatrick was promoted to assistant head coach on Thursday.
Additionally, offensive line coach Brandon Jones was promoted to run game coordinator and former graduate assistant Garrett Riley will fill Nichol’s roll as outside receivers coach.
“We are blessed to have one of the best staffs in college football and have worked tremendously hard to groom our coaches for the next step,” McNeill said. “These moves will aid us in scheme continuity, coaching language and recruiting cohesiveness. Our top priority is to maintain the level of offensive production and success, and to have teaching consistency during this transition is a critical part of the process.”