Team preview: East Carolina

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(All information as of July 1, 2005)


Skip Holtz knew a little bit about the Pirate Nation before he arrived in Greenville last December. He was, after all, a kid growing up in Raleigh, about 90 minutes west of Greenville, in the mid-1970s when his old man, Lou, was the head football coach at North Carolina State. That's back when the Wolfpack and Pirates played every year, and the rivalry between the two schools really began to simmer.

Things have changed dramatically Down East in the 30 years since the Holtz family packed up for Arkansas, Minnesota and, eventually, Notre Dame, where Skip Holtz played for and was an assistant coach to his father.

But that knowledge of the area -- along with his five years as a head coach at Connecticut, followed by five years as his father's assistant head coach and offensive coordinator at South Carolina -- is something Holtz believes he can use to his advantage in trying to rebuild ECU's flagship program.

And, after spending the winter, spring and summer getting started, Holtz has a greater appreciation for just how much the ECU faithful want to be good again.