PirateIllustrated - De'Rail Sims Headed to Louisville
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De'Rail Sims Headed to Louisville

East Carolina running backs coach De'Rail Sims has accepted a new opportunity at Louisville
East Carolina running backs coach De'Rail Sims has accepted a new opportunity at Louisville (PirateIllustrated.com photo)

ECU’s loss is Louisville’s gain as the Cardinals have hired Pirate running backs coach De'Rail Sims to fill its recent opening that occurred when Norval McKenzie departed recently for Vanderbilt.

Sims has been one of the spiritual leaders of the team and has been stellar both in coaching the running back corp at East Carolina in addition to being a solid recruiter.

The Union, S.C. product, who also coached the running backs at James Madison for three seasons under current ECU head coach Mike Houston, has been in Greenville since 2018 and has contributed to a solid group of players that he recruited over the past two recruiting cycles.

Among the recruits Sims helped land while coaching for ECU over the last two years are Joseph McKay, Demetrius Mauney, Cruz Temple, Rahjai Harris, Keaton Mitchell and Taji Hudson.

Harris rushed for a school freshman record 624 yards to go along with four touchdowns. Keaton Mitchell was also very solid in rushing for 443 yards in 2020.

The Athletic's Bruce Feldman was the first to report the news of Sims’ hiring this afternoon.

In his first year coaching running backs for the Pirates, Sims’ group accounted for 1,696 rushing yards, the most for East Carolina since 2014. The team combined for a total of just three lost fumbles in Sims’ first year for ECU in 2019. The Pirates followed that with 1,564 yards rushing last season for 173 yards per game in 2020.

East Carolina went 3-6 overall last season and 3-5 in American Athletic Conference play after going 4-8 in 2019.

Stay tuned for more on this developing story here on PirateIllustrated.com.