Longtime ECU defensive mentor Rick Smith announces retirement
Rick Smith, whose illustrious football coaching career spanned four decades and covered professional, college and high school levels, announced his retirement as East Carolina’s assistant head coach and defensive backs mentor Thursday.
Included in his collective 36 collegiate seasons are nine with a Pirates program that produced six bowl game appearances, a pair of conference championships, back-to-back scoring defense statistical titles and a combined 132 interceptions under three head coaches – Skip Holtz, Ruffin McNeill and Scottie Montgomery.
In all, he has played an integral role helping squads reach 12 bowl games during his career, which includes postseason showings as defensive coordinator at Tulane, Cincinnati and ECU, along with other invitations while at Georgia Tech, Alabama, Kentucky and USF.
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His career began in 1971 at the prep level, coaching football and baseball at Tallahassee’s Godby High School before serving as head coach and athletics director at Wakulla (Fla.) High School in 1975-76.
Elon: The Phoenix earned an 84-67 victory over Georgia State to close out its stay at the GSU Holiday Classic on Thursday.
Essence Baucom scored a career-high 18 points for the Phoenix (7-4), which won its third straight contest overall. Jenifer Rhodes added 17 for the maroon and gold while Lauren Brown contributed with 16. Shay Burnett filled the stat sheet with a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds while also adding seven assists and three steals. Both Baucom and Burnett were placed on the GSU Holiday Classic All-Tournament team.
The team returns after the holiday break for a home contest versus King College on Dec. 28. That game tips off at 5:30 p.m.
Campbell: The Camels closed the game on a 10-0 run and defeated Stetson 81-72 Thursday at Gore Arena.
Chris Clemons led five Camels in double figures with 22 points, plus 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 blocks and no turnovers in 37 minutes. Freshman Marcus Burk added a career-high 15 points on 5-of-7 3s, while Whitfield chipped in 14, Hamer 12 and Cory Gensler 10. Big South leader Andrew Eudy finished with a career-best five blocked shots.
After playing its third former league rival of the year, the team turns its attention to Big South Conference play, starting next Thursday (Dec. 29) at Longwood.
N.C. State: The team pulled away early and never trailed in an 89-57 win over McNeese State on Thursday night inside PNC Arena. The win was the Wolfpack’s fifth straight as the team improved to 8-0 at home and 10-2 on the year.
Dennis Smith Jr. led the team with 23 points while shooting 9-for-12 from the floor and adding six assists, four rebounds, three steals and two blocks in 20 minutes of action. Maverick Rowan added 15 points and four rebounds off the bench, while Torin Dorn added 11 points and Terry Henderson scored 10.
The Wolfpack will be back in action Dec. 28, as it hosts Rider in the final non-conference game of the year. The game will tip off at 7 p.m.
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