It’s like clockwork in college football. A team with a coach on the hot seat loses a game that they should win, which then prompts the school’s leaders to publicly issue a vote of confidence in their coach to turn things around. Said coach usually winds up fired anyway.
“I think anybody whose blood runs purple would be disappointed after this past weekend, but the reality is we have another game Saturday. It’s a very important one,” chancellor Cecil Staton told Pirate Radio 1250. “We expect our student-athletes to get right back up and start preparing for our next game, so of course we’re very supportive of Coach Montgomery, all of his staff and his team, and we want them to do their very best this Saturday when the Tar Heels come to down.”
The Pirates do not have a permanent athletic director but former Tennessee AD Dave Hart has been overseeing the department as a special advisor to Staton. He also echoed the chancellor’s comments and threw his weight behind the head coach for the time being.
“Every coach understands having competitive success matters,” Hart said. “Having said that, Scottie Montgomery is our coach, and those young men are our team. We’ll continue to support them. There’s no question there are other factors that go into building a football program and a culture Scottie Montgomery has worked hard at and continues to be a priority. But the result Sunday, no one was more disappointed than Scottie and all the passionate people that support the East Carolina program.”
Interestingly, Staton indicated in the interview that the head coach would likely be kept around for the remainder of the season regardless of the team’s record. Despite having two years left on his deal after 2018, Montgomery seems firmly on the hot seat after the former Duke assistant coach went 3-9 each of his first two seasons in Greenville.
Beginning the current season with a loss to a FCS team certainly isn’t helping the advance the case that the program is trending in the right direction so all this talk is not too surprising to see at ECU.