Bonesville: The Authoritative Independent Voice of East Carolina
Daily News & Features from East Carolina, Conference USA and Beyond

Mobile Alpha Roundup Daily Beat Recruiting The Seasons Multimedia Historical Data Pirate Time Machine SportByte™ Weather





Put your ad message in front of 1,000's and 1,000's of Pirate fans. Call 252.349-2111 for flexible options & rates.





From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, February 23, 2010

By Brian Bailey

'Family' ties bind Ruff regime

By Brian Bailey
All rights reserved.

Ruffin McNeill
John Wiley
Lincoln Riley
(Photos: ECU SID)


Replay Monday night's Brian Bailey Show with guest TOMMY EASON. Eastern North Carolina's longest running sports radio call-in show airs each Monday night at 7 p.m. on Pirate Radio 1250 and 930.

Replay Show
Pirate Radio Home Page


Bailey: 'Family' ties bind Ruff regime
BVL: Pirates perched in baseball polls
Batten: Ruff rounds up sound crop of recruits
BVL Audio: Billy Godwin after the UVa series
BVL Box Score: Virginia 14, East Carolina 11
BVL Box Score: East Carolina 6, Virginia 1
BVL Box Score: Virginia 6, East Carolina 2
BVL: Young fuels road win over Owls
Myatt: Life of Riley will be busy this spring
Peele: All-star hurlers anchor Pirates
Bailey: Forget the snow, it’s baseball season
O'Brien: Hoops success at ECU not impossible
BVL: Culpepper torches Pirates
Myatt: Flagships sailing against the wind
BVL: Updated Football Recruiting Thumbnails
BVL: Pirates fight off Tulane
Bradsher: Golfers aim for NCAA regional spot
Bailey: "23" ceremony gets emotions flowing

I had a chance to see new East Carolina football coach Ruffin McNeill before Sunday’s baseball game at East Carolina. I met the new first lady of Pirate football, Coach McNeill’s wife, Erlene.

Coach McNeill certainly outkicked the coverage as they say.

On Monday, McNeill introduced his other “family,” his coaching staff that is now complete.

McNeill takes family seriously. His team is a family and he genuinely loves the men he brought in to help him move this program forward.

“The main reason I brought them here is because of the trust factor,” said McNeill. “I trust them. I verified their trust through either coaching or playing with them. Some of these guys have been with me through some tough and trying times.”

There will be other trying times for sure. McNeill, though, has the staff to get through the process of continuing the championship tradition of Pirate football.

“I like the way they recruit. I like their knowledge. They are good men. Our kids our going to love them,” said McNeill.

If there has been a criticism, it’s been about the age of some of the new coaches. Lincoln Riley is just 26 years old but considered a whiz kid in coaching the Texas Tech style of offense.

“The age factor has been brought up,” acknowledged McNeill. “That doesn’t bother me as much as it seems to bother other people. I like the way they coach and I like the experience that they bring to our program.”

Monday’s luncheon was a chance for all of us in the media to meet each of the new coaches. As a group I was most impressed with what they had to say about their boss, Ruffin McNeill.

“He’s a great man,” said Riley, who was McNeill’s first hire after taking over for Skip Holtz at East Carolina. “He’s a great person. He’s somebody that I know, when he makes decisions, he’ll make them with me, my family and the other coaches’ families in mind.”

Associate head coach John Wiley agreed. He left Appalachian State after 20 years to join McNeill at ECU.

“He’s why I came,” said Wiley. “That coupled with the fact that this is a great fit for my family. The fan base is great here. I saw that when we played ECU to start the season. My wife’s family is from Raleigh. All of the pieces just fell in place together. But Coach Mac (McNeill) was the biggest reason.”

Lincoln Riley didn’t hesitate when he first got the call from McNeill. It’s all because of the character of the coach.

“He’s a person that knows everybody and you can never find one person who would say a bad thing about him. In today’s world, that’s rare. He’s a special person and a special coach,” said Riley.

“We went through some tough times in the bowl game this year," Riley added. "We’re 1-0 together so we want to keep that streak alive.”

With McNeill at the helm as interim head coach, Texas Tech beat Michigan State in the Alamo Bowl after the firing of Red Raiders coach Mike Leach.

McNeill and Riley will get their chance to build on that 1-0 streak come September.


E-mail Brian Bailey.

Brian Bailey Archives

02/23/2010 02:07 AM


©2001-2002-2003-2004-2005-2006-2007-2008-2009-2010-2011-2012-2013 All rights reserved.
Articles, logos, graphics, photos, audio files, video files and other content originated on this site are the proprietary property of
None of the articles, logos, graphics, photos, audio files, video files or other content originated on this site may be reproduced without written permission.
This site is not affiliated with East Carolina University. View's Privacy Policy. Advertising contact: 252-349-3280; Editorial contact:; 252-444-1905.