Scottie Montgomery fired as East Carolina’s head coach


Not surprisingly, yet another Group of Five job has come open.  The timing, though, will raise an eyebrow or two.

Saturday, East Carolina will close out its 2018 season with a game against NC State.  Two days prior to that matchup, ECU announced that Scottie Montgomery is out as the Pirates’ head coach — effective immediately.  Montgomery informed the players of the university’s decision late Thursday morning.

Per the school, defensive coordinator David Blackwell will serve as interim head coach for this weekend’s game and on into recruiting season until a new head coach is hired.

“As much as we would have liked the outcome to be different, the progress of a program is ultimately measured by its competitiveness, win total and championships,” ECU chancellor Cecil Staton said in a statement. “It is our decision to move in a different direction with new leadership.

“He cared deeply for his players, was an outstanding mentor, and always focused on the word ‘student’ in student-athlete. We wish him all the best.”

In three seasons with the Pirates, Montgomery has posted a 9-26 record, recording exactly three wins in each of those years.  In each of the last two seasons, ECU has lost to a team from the FCS level; after the most recent loss, Montgomery was given the dreaded vote of confidence.

Per the terms of his contract, Montgomery will be owed a buyout of $800,000.

It’s believed that ECU will very heavily pursue James Madison head coach Mike Houston.  It was reported Wednesday that Houston would be taking over at Charlotte, although the coach himself later clarified that he had been offered the job but had not yet accepted it.

Alabama’s Anderson repeats as Bronko Nagurski award winner

Getty Images

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Alabama outside linebacker Will Anderson Jr. has become the second two-time winner of the Bronko Nagurski Award given to the nation’s top collegiate defensive player.

Anderson was presented the award on Monday night by the Charlotte Touchdown Club.

The 6-foot-4, 243-pound Anderson had 10 sacks for the No. 5-ranked Crimson Tide this season. He also won the award last year after recording 17 1/2 sacks.

Anderson, a junior, had two sacks in Alabama’s regular-season win finale against rival Auburn and had his first touchdown when he returned an interception 25 yards against Louisiana-Monroe.

Anderson joins former Northwestern linebacker Pat Fitzgerald as the only two-time winner of the award. Fitzgerald won the award in 1995 and 1996 and later went on to become the head coach at Northwestern.

It’s unclear if Anderson will enter the NFL draft or return to Alabama next season.

FSU standout QB Jordan Travis returning for senior season

Alicia Devine/Tallahassee Democrat / USA TODAY NETWORK

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis, the fourth player in school history to account for 3,000 yards and 30 touchdowns in a single season, is staying in school for his senior year.

Travis made the announcement Monday, the same day hundreds of players across the nation entered the NCAA transfer portal or declared for the NFL draft. Travis chose a different path and could be an early favorite in next year’s Heisman Trophy race.

“So many memories have been made on this field and we’re not done yet,” Travis said in a highlight video posted on social media. “See y’all in 2023.”

A fourth-year junior, Travis has 22 touchdown passes to go along with seven rushing scores, one receiving and just four interceptions. He has led the 13th-ranked Seminoles (9-3) to five consecutive wins as they prepare to play Oklahoma (6-6) in the Cheez-It Bowl on Dec. 29 in Orlando.

Travis joined FSU’s three Heisman Trophy winners – Charlie Ward in 1993, Chris Weinke in 2000 and Jameis Winston in 2013 – to account for 3,000 yards and 30 TDs in a season. He is one of six QBs in Power Five conferences with at least 20 TD passes and four or fewer interceptions.