Following the shocking firing of beloved head coach Ruffin McNeill, East Carolina announced Sunday evening it had hired Duke offensive coordinator Scottie Montgomery as his replacement.
A Tar Heel State native, Montgomery served as David Cutcliffe‘s top lieutenant, carrying the title of associate head coach, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. (Let us take this moment to consider being second-in-command at Duke a positive bullet in a coach’s resume. What a time to be alive.) Montgomery coached at Duke from 2006-09, then left for a job coaching receivers on Mike Tomlin‘s staff with the Pittsburgh Steelers from 2010-12.
“Ten days ago I said that I was looking for someone who will be a fierce competitor, who will lead our football program to championships, while equally demanding academic success. As we worked through the entire search process, it became overwhelmingly clear that Scottie Montgomery possesses every attribute necessary to put our football program in a position to win championships and graduate our student-athletes,” ECU athletics director Jeff Compher said in a statement. “His foundation is his family and his character is exhibited through his reputation built by his unparalleled work ethic and the truly special relationships he develops with his players and coaches.
“While there was great interest by many during our search, the only offer we extended was based on Scottie’s success, vision and desire to be a part of Pirate Nation. That made our decision a clear and resounding one.”
Duke ranked 40th nationally in total offense this season, while Thomas Sirk became one of four Power 5 signal callers to lead his team in both passing and rushing.
Montgomery inherits a program that reached a bowl game in eight of his past 10 seasons, but slipped to 5-7 this fall, prompting McNeill’s abrupt dismissal.
Montgomery will be introduced at a press conference 1 p.m. ET on Monday.
The graduate transfer has become a great vehicle for Group of 5 and FCS players who over-perform at their level to shoot their shot at a Power 5 program. But Iowa this weekend added an extremely rare Division II-to-Power 5 graduate transfer.
Zach VanValkenburg on Saturday pledged his commitment to Iowa after being pursued by multiple Big Ten programs.
“So thankful for all the people who have gotten me to this point; my parents, my coaches in high school, and my coaches at Hillsdale,” VanValkenburg in an iPhone note posted to his Twitter account. “Leaving Hillsdale is bittersweet but I have reached the end of the road here educationally and my goals are uncompromising. I will always cherish the experiences I had here and the friendships I have made. With that said, I’m very proud to announce that I will be continuing both my academic and football careers at the University of Iowa this fall! Go Hawkeyes!”
Playing at Hillsdale College, a private college in an eponymous Michigan town, the 6-foot-4, 266-pound defensive end collected 70 tackles with 14.5 tackles for loss, 8.5 sacks and three forced fumbles in 2018.
He will be expected to add depth along Iowa’s defensive line after losing all four starters from last year’s team.
VanValkenburg will have two seasons to compete for the Hawkeyes.
Idaho wide receiver Collin Sather is battling advanced renal cancer, the program has announced. Renal cancer attacks the kidneys and most commonly attacks older men.
According to the Idaho Statesman, Sather began experiencing stomach pains on Jan. 17, and by Jan. 21 the pains had progressed to the point where he had to be hospitalized. He is currently undergoing dialysis and chemotherapy at Deaconess Hospital in Spokane, and once he is stabilized will be transferred to Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.
“We are with Collin every day during this fight,” Idaho head coach Paul Petrino said in a statement. “He is a great young man and the model of a great teammate. Everyone in our program cares a lot about him, and he will always be a valued member of this team.
“We keep Collin and his family in our thoughts and prayers each day. We are here to help him keep fighting, and we will be here to welcome him back when he wins his battle.”
A Spokane, Wash., native, Sather was an all-conference player in football and basketball at West Valley High School before signing with Idaho in 2018. He redshirted last fall.
Mark Dantonio signed a 6-year contract in 2016 that was essentially an indefinite contract. Under the provisions of the deal, MSU’s Board of Trustees each February have the option to tack another year onto the contract, making it essentially a rolling 6-year contract, and for the second straight year they have done just that, according to the Lansing State Journal‘s R.J. Wolcott.
Though he is 2-for-2 on automatic rollovers (the deal would remain a 5-year contract if MSU’s trustees for some reason did not approve the rollover), both extensions have come amid a fair level of turmoil around the program.
In 2017, Dantonio successfully rebounded from Sparty’s 3-9 2016 campaign to go 10-3 with a No. 15 finish in the AP poll, but he was dogged by accusations that he mishandled sexual assault allegations against a handful of Spartan players — amid a complete mishandling (to put it lightly) of sexual assault allegations elsewhere in the athletics department, against gymnastics trainer Larry Nassar.
In 2018, Dantonio watched Michigan State’s record slink to 7-6 and, instead of making changes on the offensive staff, he opted to retain his entire roster of offensive coaches, though in different spots.
Still, Dantonio secured his extension. The 2025 season would take Dantonio to his 19th season at Michigan State and past his 69th birthday.
He is 107-51 with three Big Ten championships, two AP top-5 finishes and one College Football Playoff appearance in a dozen seasons as the head Spartan.
After losing Travis Trickett to his old country roads of West Virginia, Georgia State’s new offensive coordinator is a name unfamiliar to most fans, but not to Panthers head coach Shawn Elliott.
Georgia State will hire Brad Glenn as its new offensive coordinator, a source confirmed to CFT.
Glenn is currently the associate head coach, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Western Carolina. Prior to that, he spent seven years on staff at Appalachian State, at times coaching the Mountaineers’ slot receivers, tight ends and quarterbacks. Elliott was App State’s offensive line coach from 2001-09.
Georgia State ranked No. 76 nationally in yards per play (5.57) and No. 104 in scoring (23.9 points per game) en route to a 2-10 season in 2018.