MURFREESBORO - Middle Tennessee Head Football Coach Rick Stockstill announced this morning that he has withdrawn his name from consideration for the head coaching vacancy at East Carolina University.
Stockstill, who was named the Tennessee Sports Writers Association Coach of the Year today, led the Blue Raiders to a 10-3 season and a win over Southern Miss in the New Orleans Bowl in 2009. Stockstill, who also earned Sun Belt Conference Co-Coach of the Year honors this season, has twice been named SBC and TSWA Coach of the Year (2006 and 2009) in his four years at the helm.
Stockstill is currently on the road recruiting and has issued the following statement:
"I am very humbled and appreciative of the interest East Carolina University has shown in me about their head coaching position. ECU is an outstanding University, community, and its football program has a great tradition and has been very successful throughout the years.
"The timing is never good for a coach to change jobs. However, the timing of this opportunity came at a critical time in recruiting with both universities and to the fault of neither MTSU nor ECU.
"I have decided I will remove my name from consideration at ECU. I could not look in the eyes of these recruits and their families and tell them the things I believe in and what I want them to believe in and then leave Middle Tennessee with only two weeks left in the recruiting process. Also, I have so much respect and admiration for our current players that they were ultimately the reason I could not pursue this any further. We have invested a lot together during these four years which played a major role in this decision.
"Personally, I want to thank Dr. (Sidney) McPhee, Chris (Massaro), and Middle Tennessee for giving me the opportunity to be the coach of the Blue Raiders. They gave me a chance to be a head coach four years ago and I will always be grateful for that opportunity."