With newly minted East Carolina Pirates head coach Scottie Montgomery finally finishing his 2015 season with Duke over the weekend, it is time to take a look at his coaching staff moving forward.
Hired 15 days ago, Montgomery immediately went to the defensive side of the ball for his first hires. He retained one defensive assistant, Rick Smith, while hiring former South Carolina defensive line coach Deke Adams for the same position. Montgomery also hired Vanderbilt linebackers coach Kenwick Thompson as his defensive coordinator. Thompson will also coach linebackers.
On the offensive side of the ball, Montgomery has only made a single hire. Miami Dolphins wide receivers coach Phil McGeoghan will take over the same position for the Pirates for the 2016 season.
The biggest miss so far by Montgomery has been Arizona co-offensive coordinator Rod Smith. The Wildcats coach turned down the offensive coordinator position with the Pirates. Smith would have been a great pickup as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. It was a bit of a long shot with Smith most likely seeing the move as lateral at best.
Let's take a look at the coaches that Montgomery has brought in so far for the 2016 season.
New Hires And Retainees:
Kenwick Thompson: The former Vanderbilt defensive coordinator should be a great addition to the program after leading the Commodores to an excellent defensive campaign in 2015. Vanderbilt, under Thompson, was in the top 25 nationally in scoring defense at 21.0 points allowed per game. He was a defensive coordinator before his time at Vanderbilt, leading the San Jose State defense. Thompson ran a 3-4 defense with the Commodores, so that should stay the same with the Pirates.
Rick Smith: Smith is the only ECU assistant to be retained by Montgomery at this point. He was an immediate target for retention after Montgomery was hired as head coach. The Florida State alum has coached at the college level since the 1979 season at East Tennessee State. Smith has coached at Alabama, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, and Baylor among other programs. He was part of the Skip Holtz staff at ECU from 2005-2009 before leaving with Holtz for South Florida. Smith is well known by the ECU fanbase and is by far the most experienced coach on staff.
Deke Adams: Adams is a former player at Southern Miss that got into coaching almost immediately after his college career ended. He has spent the eight seasons at the FBS ranks, starting at Lousiana-Monroe, before heading to Southern Miss, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Adams was with Larry Fedora at Southern Miss and North Carolina before taking a job in the SEC. He joined Steve Spurrier's staff and was with the Old Ballcoach during his last season with the Gamecocks. He will has coached several South Carolina defensive linemen that are currently in the NFL.
Phil McGeoghan: The 36-year old wide receivers coach is a former Maine Bear that has coached for the Naval Academy Prep School, and South Florida on the college level. He did also spend one year with Maine as a wide receivers and tight ends coach following the end of his professional career. His big break came in 2012 when he was named the wide receivers coach for the Miami Dolphins. McGeoghan has coached Jarvis Landry, Devante Parker, Mike Wallace, and Davone Bess at Miami. He will handle the same role at ECU.
So where does that leave us? The offensive coordinator, quarterbacks coach, running backs coach, offensive line coach, and special teams coach have all yet to be filled. It would stand to reason that whoever accepts the OC position will also take the quarterbacks coaching position as well.
We should also see some other positions hired soon (Graduate Assistants, Strength and Conditioning, etc.) depending on how big the coaching staff will be under Montgomery.
The biggest questions remain around McNeill staff members Brad Davis, Kirk Doll, Donnie Kirkpatrick, and Duane Price. All four were valuable assistants that should get a strong look from Montgomery in filling out the staff.
We should find out the fates of those four assistant coaches in the coming week with Montgomery finally having the time to fully evaluate the quartet.