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Bailey's Take on Pirate Sports

From the Anchor Desk
Wednesday, January 12, 2005
By Brian Bailey

Seasoned staff fits Holtz formula


Replay the audio archive of Tuesday night's Brian Bailey Show, with guest Greg Hudson, East Carolina's new defensive coordinator: Select clip


Replay the audio archive of Tuesday's press conference in which ECU head coach Skip Holtz introduced his new staff (recorded by Brian Bailey): Select clip

New East Carolina football coach Skip Holtz introduced his staff at a luncheon on Tuesday at the Murphy Center.

Holtz has been busy assembling the staff and recruiting, but he took a short break to meet the media.

“I couldn’t be more pleased,” said Holtz. “I certainly have no desire to start over because I don’t think I can top what we’ve put together.”

Holtz said early on that he needed a little mix of ECU and a little mix of Skip Holtz. He certainly got that with this staff.

Steve Shankweiler is now officially the offensive coordinator for Holtz. Coach Shank said it was an easy decision to return to Greenville.

“We’ve got great memories here,” Shankweiler said. “We’ve won a lot of football games out there (Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium) and there’s no reason that we can’t get that back to where it used to be.

“It’s funny, you know, you drive back into town and you realize this is where you’re supposed to be.”

Shank laid out the framework for his responsibilities under Holtz.

“My role is heavily geared to game planning and administrative duties," Shankweiler said. "That includes preparing the practice schedule, the practice scripts, what we’re going to do in practice.

"But Skip will be very involved with the offense, because that’s his thing. I’ll take the game planning and organizational issues off of him and that will allow him to be the head coach.”

Greg Hudson leaves Minnesota to take over the Pirate defense for Coach Holtz.

“I’m in the middle of talking to each player one an one right now to find out how they felt about the program last year,” said Hudson. "I want to know what their thoughts on defense are.”

Hudson continued, “We are going to see how the personnel matches what we want to do. We want to be an energetic and attacking defense.”

The new defensive coordinator says he will most certainly stress a return to fundamentals. Anybody that has seen the Pirates tackle over the last couple of years knows this return to the basics is essential to finding any success next season.

“When you are turning a program around, it all starts with fundamentals,” Hudson said. “Anytime something goes bad you hear coaches tell everyone that they have to get back to the fundamentals. But my question is why did you ever leave those fundamentals?”

Basketball Pirates brace for Bearcats

ECU basketball coach Bill Herrion isn’t smiling a lot these days. It’s nothing, though, that a win over 18th-ranked Cincinnati on Wednesday night wouldn’t cure.

Nobody works harder than Herrion. Still, the wins haven’t come as often as many Pirate fans would like.

Herrion is hoping for another magical night at Williams Arena. The Pirates have beaten nationally-ranked C-USA teams before, and that will be the goal this evening.

Herrion has a clear game plan.

“The first thing that has to happen, you have to play with a tremendous toughness and attitude,” said Herrion. “That’s how Cincinnati plays. That’s their reputation, they are as tough physically and mentally as any team in college basketball.

“You have to rebound the basketball. They are so physical. They really attack the glass. The first five minutes of the game are key because we have to get off to a good start. We have to protect the basketball. We just can’t give it to them, because they are so good in transition. You really have to come to play against these guys.”

Here’s hoping the Pirates do indeed come to play against Bob Huggins and the ‘Cats. Let’s hope for a huge, rowdy crowd and a night to remember at Williams Arena.

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02/23/2007 01:31:23 AM

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