Sources: Kirkpatrick, Trott To Join Mike Houston's New Staff at ECU
All signs are pointing to the Mike Houston bringing at least a couple of familiar faces with him to Greenville in the near future in veteran offensive mind Donnie Kirkpatrick and defensive coordinator Bob Trott.
Greg Madia, JMU football beat writer at the Daily News-Record in Harrisonburg, is citing multiple sources who are saying both Trott along with the JMU offensive coordinator and quarterback coach and former ECU assistant and recruiting coordinator Kirkpatrick are set to join Mike Houston’s new staff at ECU.
Kirkpatrick was on the numerous staffs at ECU from 2005 through 2015 including a pair of CUSA title teams and several bowl teams. Kirkpatrick is a long time fixture in Pirate football history. He served in the Skip Holtz and Ruffin McNeill coaching eras in Greenville.
During his time at ECU, the Pirates went to a pair of Liberty Bowls along with trips to the Military Bowl, the Birmingham Bowl and the New Orleans Bowl among others.
In three years with the Dukes, Kirkpatrick led one of the top offenses in the FCS, including a record-breaking 2016 that resulted in JMU winning the NCAA Division I national title.
In 2017, JMU’s offense was top 25 in five categories, including third in first downs (325). The Dukes were also ninth in completion percentage (64.9%), 15th in scoring offense (34.4), 22nd in pass efficiency (142.46 rating), 25th in rushing offense (194.3) and 30th in total offense (419.0).
This past season, Kirkpatrick and James Madison went 9-4, making it into the second round of the NCAA playoffs where the Dukes fell in a close game at Colgate 23-20. That was after beating Delaware in the first round 20-6.
The Dukes rushed for 200 yards and passed for 192 as JMU outgained Colgate 392-330 in total offense including 4-for-4 on red-zone scoring opportunities, but five interceptions proved to be their undoing in the three point loss.
Trott at 64 years of age is a veteran defensive mind who played his collegiate football at North Carolina from 1973-75 and has served both in the NFL and has had several stops along the way in college football.
Working with the Giants, Patriots and Browns in the pros and for Arkansas (1989), Clemson (1990), Duke (1996-2001), Baylor (2002), UL-Monroe (2003-04), Richmond (2010-15), and most recently with James Madison (2016-18), Trott’s specialty is in the defensive secondary.
Trott helped Houston turn the James Madison defense into one of the finest in all of FCS. In 2017 Football Scoop named Trott the FCS Coordinator of the Year.
Helping lead JMU to two straight appearances in the national title game, the Dukes had the top scoring defense (11.1 PPG) in FCS and led the country in interceptions (31) and total sacks (51) while safety Jordan Brown, defensive end Andrew Ankrah, and cornerback Rashad Robinson earned Associated Press All-American status.
Both Trott and Kirkpatrick have experienced great success over the course of time and will be critical hires in ECU’s quest to return to football respectability.
More as events unfold here on PirateIllustrated.com.