Another 'Bear' disciple courted to
the replay of Terry Holland's Tuesday Press Conference,
in which he discussed East Carolina's search for a
football coach (recorded by Brian Bailey):
The job of coaching East
Carolina's football team is Danny Ford's if he wants it, a South
Carolina newspaper is reporting today.
The former Clemson and
Arkansas coach, 56, has been offered an $800,000 package to
assume command of the Pirate ship, according to a story to be published
this morning in The Post and Courier of Charleston.
reported on Monday that Ford had
apparently contacted former ECU coach Ed Emory, now head coach at
Richmond County High, to relay his interest in the Pirates job.
Ford, who played at
Alabama under the legendary Paul 'Bear' Bryant and adhered to the
college football icon's teachings in his own coaching career, won a
national championship during his 11-year stint as head coach at Clemson.
Ford is still afforded
celebrity status by partisans in the Clemson community, though his
tenure with the Tigers ended in 1989 with the program
mired in an NCAA probe.
His Clemson teams won five
Atlantic Coast Conference crowns and were fixtures in postseason bowl
games, including a 22-15 Orange Bowl victory over Nebraska on New Year's
Day 1982 that clinched the 1981 national title.
Ford would later hook on as an assistant coach at Arkansas before being promoted to head
coach of the Razorbacks in 1993, a position he held until retiring from
coaching in 1997.
unidentified sources, The Post and Courier's account states that there
is mutual interest between Ford and ECU. Citing another source, the
paper indicates that Ford could make a decision on ECU's offer as early
East Carolina has
previously experienced boom times under another leader with direct ties
to 'The Bear.'
Pat Dye, who
would later become one of Auburn's most revered coaches, successfully
ushered the ECU program into the Division I-A era during his six-season
reign over the Pirates after he was lured from Bryant's Crimson Tide staff by Leo
Jenkins and Clarence Stasavich in 1974.
Ford has resided on his
farm in the Clemson vicinity since departing Arkansas.
The Post and Courier's
article recounts a portion of an interview Ford granted last month to
The Associated Press, in which he declared he was "a thousand percent
convinced" he could still head up a winning program.
East Carolina athletic
director Terry Holland is conducting the search for a successor to John
Thompson, who was notified two weeks ago he would be fired at the end of
the season. The Pirates nosedived to a 3-20 record during Thompson's
two-year stay, which culminated last Saturday with a
52-14 walloping in
Charlotte by N.C. State.
Considering remarks made
by Holland in an
on-campus meeting with the media on Tuesday, Ford's
time away from coaching may not be a prohibitive barrier in gaining
ECU's consideration as it searches for a coach to lead it back to the
level of success on the gridiron its fans had come to expect, until
Though he declined to
discuss candidates' names, Holland indicated that he was not necessarily
opposed to the concept of luring a coach out of retirement to take over
the Pirates. [Listen to the
Bonesville Bytes audio archive
of Holland's entire press conference.]
The Pirates landed bowl
berths six times from 1991-2001, including postseason bids in each of
the three seasons preceding the atypical 4-8 campaign that led to the
bombshell ouster of
Steve Logan, Thompson's predecessor, in 2002.
reported that Holland has considered outgoing Florida coach
Zook, former South Carolina assistant and UConn head
Skip Holtz and William & Mary
Jimmy Laycock as contenders to
resurrect the ECU program.
In a development that has
the potential to propel another name into Holland's mix of candidates,
Tyrone Willingham is looking for employment after being fired Tuesday as
head coach at Notre Dame. Willingham has strong Eastern North Carolina
ties, having grown up in Jacksonville, and is familiar with East
Carolina, having lost to the Pirates in the 1995 Liberty Bowl when he
was head coach at Stanford.
02/23/07 11:30 AM
Compiled from Bonesville.net
staff reports. A story from The (Charleston, SC) Post and Courier was used
as a reference in writing this article.
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