East Carolina tabs Houston as coach

Former James Madison Dukes head coach Mike Houston reacts after getting dunked after the game against the Youngstown State Penguins in the D1 college football championship game at Toyota Stadium on Jan. 7, 2017.Photo Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

East Carolina has hired Mike Houston as its next football coach, the school announced Monday.

“I am so pleased to welcome Mike Houston, his wife, Amanda and their two boys to the East Carolina family,” East Carolina athletic director Jon Gilbert said in a released statement. “Mike has worked his way up the coaching ranks and has a track record of success at every program he has led.”

Houston led James Madison to a 37-6 mark and a 2016 national title in the Championship Subdivision by ending North Dakota State’s dominance with a win in Fargo, N.D. North Dakota State, however, got its revenge by besting James Madison in the title game the following year.

The 47-year-old North Carolina native guided James Madison to a 34-17 romp at East Carolina in the 2017 season opener.

James Madison was eliminated in the FCS playoffs this season in the second round to finish with a 9-4 mark.

East Carolina has finished with a 3-9 record in each of the last three seasons, resulting in the parting of ways with Scottie Montgomery. The Pirates posted an 8-5 mark prior to that in their first season in the American Athletic Conference.

East Carolina also announced the hiring of Gilbert on Monday.

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