East Carolina

‘Fight with us, not against us,’ ECU’s AD says in homecoming letter to fans

East Carolina athletic director Jeff Compher celebrates after the Pirates’ 42-28 victory over N.C. State in 2013.
East Carolina athletic director Jeff Compher celebrates after the Pirates’ 42-28 victory over N.C. State in 2013. ehyman@newsobserver.com

East Carolina’s athletic director has urged the Pirate Nation to “fight with us, not against us” as the Pirates prepare for their homecoming football game against BYU.

“I would be remiss if I did not address the status of our football program,” Jeff Compher said in a letter to Pirate Club members, which surfaced in local sports media reports and on social sites Wednesday afternoon. “Frankly, we are not where any of us wanted or hoped to be.”

The letter went on to say that members of Pirate Nation are “stronger when we stand together and support each other.”

The Pirates are 1-6 and 1-3 in the AAC entering Saturday’s 7 p.m. game against the Cougars. The letter addresses the heightened level of competition ECU has faced since joining the American Athletic Conference in 2014. Compher noted four AAC teams have been ranked this year.

Compher also reaffirmed his confidence in head football coach Scottie Montgomery, a former Duke assistant who is in his second year as head coach of the Pirates. Montgomery, in his first role as a head coach, is 4-15 at ECU.

“I am confident Coach Montgomery will build on the sturdy foundation already in place and will continue to strive to make Pirate Nation proud,” Compher wrote.

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