Holton Ahlers

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Temple wears down Pirates in Thursday game

Temple wears down Pirates in Thursday game

East Carolina opened its “Paint It Black” night on ESPN’s Thursday night national TV game with an impressive 12-play, 90-yard scoring drive. Then reality set in.The Pirates hung around with Temple for about 44 minutes before being worn down by the the Owls, who pounded out 237...

Pirates paint black their Thursday night return

Pirates paint black their Thursday night return

East Carolina football is back on the ESPN Thursday night game radar after a three-year blackout. The Pirates are eagerly promoting their own definition of a blackout, telling fans to dress for a “Paint It Black” night.That includes the players wearing all-black uniforms when the...

Spring ball is over and summer work underway

Spring ball is over and summer work underway

GREENVILLE, N.C. -- East Carolina football returns some promising young wideouts, but whether one enjoys a breakout season to extend the Pirates’ streak of seven consecutive seasons with a 1,000-yard receiver remains to be seen. Even in this pass-happy era that today’s relaxed...

Houston remakes look of facilities and players

Houston remakes look of facilities and players

By Tom ShanahanGREENVILLE -- East Carolina coach Mike Houston is compiling “before-and-after” pictures to illustrate his new football program’s growth. That explained staging not one but two media sessions to open his first spring football.Friday marked the Pirates’ initial...

Pirates motivation in place for spring football

Pirates motivation in place for spring football

My News & Observer storyBy Tom ShanahanAn early task first-year coaches contemplate is identifying a rally cry that bonds players and coaches new to each other, but East Carolina’s Mike Houston took over with that check-list item gift-wrapped.The final chapter to ECU’s 3-9...

A final look back and the view that is ahead

A final look back and the view that is ahead

Flipping the calendar to 2019 seems a good time to empty my East Carolina football notebook. Here is a look back at the chaotic dismissal of Scottie Montgomery followed by the ironically efficient hiring of Mike Houston four days later. Talk about turning the tables. In the...

Houston feels like he is back home at ECU

Houston feels like he is back home at ECU

By Tom Shanahan, CorrespondentGREENVILLE -- Mike Houston, sporting a purple tie highlighted with East Carolina’s logo, stepped to the podium and said all the right things to win Tuesday’s press conference as the right fit as ECU’s new football coach.He noted he’s from...

NC State ends long season for Pirates

NC State ends long season for Pirates

By Tom Shanahan, CorrespondentRALEIGH -- East Carolina thought it was a good idea to schedule a 12th game at N.C. State, but that was two months ago. Long before its tattered program arrived without a head coach and starting quarterback – not to mention an athletic director.The...

Blackwell on status of Ahlers and Snead

Blackwell on status of Ahlers and Snead

ECU defensive coordinator David Blackwell, who will lead the Pirates against N.C. State following Thursday’s dismissal of Scottie Montgomery, addressed the status of two true freshmen, quarterback Holton Ahlers of D.H. Conley High and wide receiver Tyler Snead of Millbrook...

Scottie Montgomery fired with one game left

Scottie Montgomery fired with one game left

For East Carolina’s last two home games, a loss to Memphis and a win over Connecticut, Lee Workman stood with a poker face at a side door to a team meeting room that doubles for post-game media sessions.Workman has been serving as the ECU athletic department’s acting chief...