NEWPORT, RI — Coach Scottie Montgomery as well as receiver Jimmy Williams and linebacker Jordan Williams are scheduled to represent East Carolina at the American Athletic Conference football kickoff, which starts today in picturesque Newport, RI, with golf and a clambake.
The event is being held about two weeks earlier this year than in the past.
“The conference respectfully assisted with the coaches’ request to move it up,” said Tom McClellan, assistant athletic director for communications. “It was backed up to start of fall camp before and coaches had no time to prepare for arrival, greet team, etc.
“Had a few coaches who felt like they had to leave media day early in the past because it conflicted with reporting date. Since we were able to do it after SEC and ACC, plus not interfere with reporting day, this year appears to have been planned well.”
Newport is about 45 minutes from Providence, where the AAC offices are located.
It has long been a resort area because of its beauty and favorable climate during the summer. The projected high for today is 76 degrees.
The Breakers is the grandest of Newport’s summer “cottages,” a symbol of the Vanderbilt family’s social and financial position more than a century ago.
St. Mary’s Church, in Newport was where John and Jacqueline Kennedy were married on Sept. 12, 1953. Kennedy was a senator from Massachusetts at that time. The couple vacationed in Newport, where her family had property. During those visits, including during his presidency, the couple worshipped at St. Mary’s, always sitting in pew 10, according to a WRPI report.
The renowned Newport Jazz Festival is coming up in early August.
In the meantime, the AAC players and coaches will discuss their prospects for the 2017 season. Randy Edsall has returned as football coach at Connecticut. That may be one of the main storylines this year. The Huskies will play Boston College at Fenway Park on Nov. 18.
Last year, the biggest topic was a potential exodus to the Big 12, which fizzled out shortly thereafter.