East Carolina, Charlotte hire new coaches

East Carolina has hired Mike Houston as its next football coach. Houston inked a five-year contract, though financial terms were not disclosed. Houston led James Madison to a 37-6 record, the 2016 national title in the Championship Subdivision and an appearance in the championship game in 2017. The Dukes lost to Colgate on Saturday in the second round of the FCS playoffs. He also led James Madison to a 34-14 rout at East Carolina in the 2017 season opener. Houston has strong ties to North Carolina. He played at Mars Hill in the early 1990s and coached at two high schools in the state before spending three seasons at Lenoir-Rhyne. He led that school to the Division II championship game in 2013 before taking over at The Citadel.

Will Healy, an Eddie Robinson Award winner as the National FCS Coach of the Year, has been selected as the head football coach for the Charlotte 49ers. Healy, who has coached at Austin Peay State University for the last three years, is known for infusing energy and enthusiasm in his program, engineering one of the greatest turnarounds in college football history. A gifted recruiter, he has helped attract top five FCS recruiting classes in four of the last five years. Healy joined Austin Peay in 2016, and, according to Yahoo Sports, signed the FCS's number one recruiting class in 2017. He parlayed that talent into an 8-4 season that included a 7-1 mark in the Ohio Valley Conference. The Governors, who had gone 1-45 over the previous four seasons, snapped a 29-game losing streak, which was the longest in the nation. Three of the Governors' four losses came to FBS schools and the team tied the school record for most wins. Austin Peay broke a slew of records during the 2017 season, especially on the offensive side of the ball. The Govs finished sixth in the nation and set a school record with 3,105 yards rushing. They also set records for rushing touchdowns (32), total touchdowns (45), yards per rush (5.35), yards per game (387.2), total offense (4,646), and total points (327). Healy received the 2017 STATS FCS Eddie Robinson Award as the National FCS Coach of the Year and was named the OVC's Roy Kidd Coach of the Year. This past year, the Governors went 5-6 overall, to post a five-win season in back-to-back years for the first time since 1984-85. In the 25 years prior to 2017, APSU won at least five games just twice.  Over his last two years, the Governors have posted a 13-6 record against FCS opponents. Healy spent seven years as an assistant coach at Chattanooga before taking over as head coach at Austin Peay. Again, Healy was part of a big turnaround, helping the Mocs jump from 1-11 prior to his arrival to a 6-5 mark in his first season. The Mocs won or shared Southern Conference Championships in each of Healy's last three seasons and made the FCS playoffs in 2014 and 2015. In his final season with the team, Chattanooga went 9-4 and defeated Fordham, 50-20, to advance to the FCS Quarterfinals. A native of Chattanooga, Healy served as quarterbacks coach, wide receivers coach, passing-game coordinator and recruiting coordinator for the Mocs.


December 4, 2018

College Football