Coach Cary Godette Back
in the Game
Healed up from knee surgery,
former ECU stalwart joins Rutgers staff
|Former East Carolina star Cary
Godette, pictured above during his coaching stint with the Miami
Dolphins (1996-2000), has taken a position a position as
defensive line coach at Rutgers. Godette was an All-America
defensive lineman himself in his playing days at ECU (1972-76).
Try as he might, former
East Carolina star
Cary Godette could not find
a way onto the John Thompson or Skip Holtz football staffs.
During a year off from
coaching, his first since he started, the one-time All-America defensive
lineman inquired about opportunity, but it was for naught.
So, the coach did what a
coach does when he is available: He took the next best thing and when he
arrived on the campus of Rutgers University a couple of weeks ago to
join coach Greg Schiano’s staff, Godette saw a lot that reminded him of
his alma mater.
“You know, this program is
very similar to East Carolina when they were struggling,” Godette — who
will coach the defensive line — said from his new confines in New
Brunswick, NJ. “There are talented athletes here but they just haven’t
done what it takes to take that next step over the threshold and get to
a bowl game. They will have a good win and then come up short against a
team they should have beaten. Then, they will beat a team they shouldn’t
Godette, who spent last
year rehabilitating his knee after surgery, was set to take over as head
coach at Athens Drive High School in Raleigh, when Schiano — former
Dave Alexander’s son-in-law
— came a calling.
“I was teaching at the
high school there in Raleigh,” Godette said. “But, the opportunity arose
(to go to Rutgers). The secondary coach, Chris Demarest had worked
together before at ECU in 1990-91 when he was a GA (graduate assistant
coach) there. We worked together again at North Carolina State… he gave
me a call.
“Chris mentioned to me
that the defensive lineman at Rutgers are going to look better than the
ones that I coached at North Carolina State and I thought, ‘Those guys
(at NCSU) went to three bowl games in a row. But, when I got up here, he
"The linemen here did look
impressive and they can run, but they haven’t got it done here and had a
winning season and gone to a bowl game. Why? Don’t know yet, but we will
find out this spring. They certainly do not lack the physical ability.”
You can sense that Godette
sounds like a guy relieved that he is back on the sidelines and
confident that it will be for at least a few years at Rutgers. Schiano
is well liked and respected, despite a disappointing season last year,
has made monumental strides in the recruitment of players.
“They have nice facilities
here,” Godette said of just one of the accomplishments under Schiano’s
watch. “By the same token, Coach Schiano has upgraded the talent level
and they are at the point now where they’ve got size and athletic
"They have been pulling
some of that talent back from Syracuse and Penn State. After having been
at N.C. State and ECU and being successful with kids that were in those
programs, I believe these guys have the tools to get it done. They have
to go out and get it done now. Where the ECU and State kids did got it
done, the kids here haven’t yet.”
As expected, Godette has
made a seamless transition back into coaching. He has already watched
plenty of film on his players and has settled into his office. If
anything has been difficult, it has been off the field.
“Honestly, we’re still
trying to find a place to stay… to live here,” he laughed. “My wife is
in town and we are in culture shock here (in the Northeast). The cost of
homes… it is crazy. Not comparable to any place we’ve ever lived before.
So we’re looking around.”
Though he will be too busy
to watch or get to any ECU games this year, Godette sends a clear
message to the Pirate community about his loyalties.
“Oh yes, we will be
following ECU with a lot of interest,” he said, adding: “Plus, you never
know what the future will hold. Maybe we will play some day in the
We can only hope that the
day the Pirates square off with Rutgers in a Big East matchup is sooner
rather than later, and maybe, with Godette on the ECU sidelines.
Send an e-mail message to Ron Cherubini.
02/23/07 02:05 PM
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