East Carolina inks head coach Mike Houston to extension

Stephen Samraby:Steve Samra12/02/21


Mike Houston has brought the East Carolina football program back to respectability. Now, the Pirates head coach is being rewarded with an extension that will keep him in Greenville.

“It’s truly an honor and privilege to be the head football coach at ECU, and I want to thank Chancellor Rogers and Jon Gilbert for their continued commitment to building a program we can all be proud of,” Houston said in the school’s release. “We have built a solid foundation due to the discipline, determination and work done by our players, coaches and staff. 
“We still have unfinished business, but we are confident we are making strides daily to have a program we can all be proud of. Most importantly, Amanda and I, along with our two boys, love living in this community and being a part of the Pirates family. We look forward to seeing everybody in Annapolis on Dec. 27.”

Moreover, the specific details of the agreed-upon extension can’t be made public yet. Final approval by the East Carolina University Board of Trustees is needed.

“This is an exciting day for ECU Athletics and the future of our football program,” Athletic Director Jon Gilbert said. “Coach Houston, his staff and our student-athletes have worked tirelessly over the past three years to change the culture and direction of our program.
“As a leader, Mike has handled the adversity that has come our way and never flinched. He has an unwavering commitment to building a football program that will hold student-athletes accountable on and off the field, recruit at a high level, and expects to have sustained success in the AAC. Most importantly, he wants to be a Pirate. Having him lead the Pirates into the future is a major coup for us.”

More on Mike Houston

Furthermore, Houston became the Pirates’ 22nd head coach in 2018. Since then, he’s rebuilt the Pirates — capping things off with an impressive season that’ll end with a bowl game in 2021. Additionally, Houston’s teams have produced notable milestones on offense, defense and special teams each season since his takeover. The program was in flux prior to Houston’s arrival — posting four-straight losing seasons before his rebuild began.

Since becoming the leader of the Pirates, Houston’s focused on molding the Pirates into a physical juggernaut. In the process, East Carolina’s backbone has been the rushing game. However, their passing game has also benefitted, as well.

While the Pirates started the 2021 campaign 0-2, they rebounded big time — ending the season 7-5. Moreover, they’ve been fantastic over the second half of the season, winning four of their final five contests.

East Carolina is poised to keep climbing. Under Mike Houston, bright days are ahead for the Pirates.