East Carolina Pirate
Basketball fans have been asked to endure a lot of things in the last
fifteen years. To start with, our entire basketball legacy since
the guys stopped wearing shorty-shorts, revolves around one player,
Blue Edwards and one team, the 1993 CAA Champions. I was never
very good in math, but that means success has lived somewhere else for
the last 14 years.
Sure there were shining moments (not the CBS Final Four kind), but
highlights for the program, such as Joe Dooley won 17 games in his
first two years as coach in 1995 and 1996. But, he was shown the
door two years later.
A quick coaching footnote. Joe Dooley was the last coach to have
a winning overall record at East Carolina since Howard Porter's last
year in 1958-59. Holy cow!!! That means in the last 49
years, ECU has had one winning coach.
Now, Pirate fans have been asked again to endure another program
"Right now it looks like we are in great shape from a coaching
standpoint. We've always felt we've had a strong coaching
staff. And I don't think that has changed at all and if anything
it has changed us for the better," Terry Holland said July 19th on
Pirate Radio's "Live at Five" with Troy D. and Ellerbe. Monday,
he announces that Ricky Stokes is being reassigned to become the
associate athletics director for basketball, leaving fans with more
than a few questions.
From the release Monday, "Coach Stokes' career change will allow him to
continue building a first-class basketball program here at ECU by
helping us plan and finance a practice facility for our basketball and
volleyball programs." Volleyball? I thought he was the
assistant associated athletic director of basketball.
Another paragraph read, "The important building blocks for future
successes are in place at ECU because of Coach Stokes' hard work and
leadership over the last two seasons." I am sorry, but going
14-44 in your two years as head coach does not translate to building
blocks for future successes. That would be like saying we can
thank John Thompson for building the future of the ECU football program
by going 3-20.
We all know that Terry Holland coached Ricky Stokes at Virginia, so
they have a special relationship. However, Holland has the most
to lose in this situation. His credibility could come into
question if this doesn't play out well. After all, in his two
coaching stints at Virginia Tech and ECU (six years), he won 60 games
total. That's an average of 10 wins a season. And now he's
the associate athletics director for basketball.
Mack McCarthy, who is a good friend to the Pirate Radio family, has the
unenviable task of taking over the program less than two months from
the start of camps and practice. Not to say that the 14 players
on the roster won't play well, but he is definitely between a rock and
a hard place. Giving Coach Mack some props, he has more than 300
coaching wins to his record, so he is no slouch coming in on an interim
basis. People and players respond very well to him and we all hope that
results in some wins this season.
Coach Holland also said in the July 19th Pirate Radio interview,
"Certainly every job has its frustrations and there are days where you
are pulling out your hair, but I like solving problems. "
It shouldn't be hard to spot Coach Holland at the ECU-Virginia Tech
football game; he will be the 6'8 bald guy.