Mark Nelson has resigned as defensive ends and special teams coach at East Carolina after his involvement in NCAA violations. With camp starting in a matter of days, it may be too late to find someone elsewhere, and new head coach Ruffin McNeill would likely promote from within the ECU program. The coaching tree has come up with three potential replacements:
Cary Godette returned to his alma mater in 2010 as the Pirates' new director of football administration. Godette was a senior defensive lineman at ECU in 1976, which happened to be Ruffin McNeill's freshman year with the team. Last season, he coached the defensive line at Florida International. Godette has a wealth of experience, having spent time coaching at multiple colleges and also in the NFL, spending most of his years as a DL coach. This would be a perfect fit if Godette is looking to return to an on the field role. He has no experience with special teams, so if hired to coach defensive ends, expect RB coach Clay McGuire or LB coach John Wiley to take over the special teams unit.
Jimmy Lindsey was hired by his alma mater, Tennessee-Chattanooga, during the off-season to coach their defensive line and special teams. He has also coached at Tennessee-Martin, Miami (Ohio), and Gardner-Webb in addition to an earlier stint at Chattanooga. After his playing career, he joined the UT-C coaching staff as a graduate assistant, where he worked with current ECU assistant Donnie Kirkpatrick, who was the head coach for the Mocs from 2000-2002 after two years as the teams offensive coordinator. This job would certainly be a step up the coaching ladder for Lindsey, and would be a good fit for the Pirates with his experience coaching both defensive line and special teams.
Kirk Doll, another ECU alum, is currently the LB coach for the new UFL franchise, the Omaha Nighthawks. Doll was interviewed for the head coaching position at East Carolina in 2002, a job which ultimately was given to John Thompson, who only lasted two seasons at the helm. Doll has never coached defensive line, but was a defensive lineman for the Pirates in the early 70s. If Doll were to be hired, it would likely be as strictly a special teams coach, giving defensive tackles coach Marc Yellock control of the entire defensive line. It seems unlikely for a coach who was turned down for a head coaching job to later come in as an assistant, but he is currently a position coach in the UFL (not sure how that is looked at in comparison to a college job) and may be willing to return to his alma mater in a lesser role.