McCarthy steps down as ECU coach|Will move into fundraising role

Published 3:19 am Sunday, March 7, 2010

By Staff
ECU Sports Information
GREENVILLE — East Carolina Head Men's Basketball Coach Mack McCarthy, who has led the Pirates to their highest three-year Conference USA win total in program history during his tenure, will relinquish his coaching duties and move into a fundraising role within the athletics department. McCarthy announced his intentions following ECU’s final regular season contest against Southern Miss late Saturday.
McCarthy will officially step down from his coaching position following the Pirates’ participation in the C-USA Championship Tournament next week before transitioning into a planning and fundraising capacity aimed at the development and construction of an on-campus basketball practice facility.
“Over a period of time, (East Carolina Athletics Director) Terry Holland and I have discussed a change in my role at ECU related to the basketball program and Pirate athletics in general,” McCarthy said. “Although it is never easy to give up something you love doing as much as I love coaching, it is the right time for me to take advantage of this exciting and challenging opportunity. Initially, my main focus will be on the planning and fundraising for a much-needed practice facility.”
McCarthy has posted a 34-56 mark guiding ECU since the 2007-08 campaign after serving as the Pirates' associate head coach for two seasons. Before producing a current 10-20 record this year, he directed East Carolina to a 13-17 finish last season, which marked the highest number of wins for a Pirate squad since 2003-04. Of the 13 victories, five came during C-USA play – matching the program's top league win total since becoming a member of the Irving, Texas-based conference in 2001-02.
In addition to a school-record 14 C-USA triumphs over a three-year period, McCarthy's squads also set program standards in 2009-10 for single-season C-USA road wins (3) and completed its first sweep of a C-USA opponent (Tulane) since 2004.
During his three-years of leadership, the Pirates have notched victories against a pair of Top 50 teams, including East Carolina's first-ever triumph over an Atlantic Coast Conference opponent, and produced a five-game winning streak for first time since 2003-04.
“Coach McCarthy has earned the respect and admiration of the Pirate Nation with his tireless effort as our coach and I am convinced that he will give equal effort to the development of a game plan to make our practice facility a reality,” Holland said. “There is certainly no one more aware of the need for this facility in order for ECU Basketball to compete for conference championships and post-season opportunities. His initial charge will be to gather as much information as possible on the best facilities around the country and then help our major gifts officers find the resources to pay for a first-class facility.”
McCarthy, 57, has compiled a 342-233 record during his collegiate head coaching tenure, which includes 14 winning seasons and eight 20-win campaigns. Prior to rebuilding the Virginia Commonwealth program, which he capped with a 21-11 mark in 2001-02, he led Chattanooga to unprecedented heights during his 12-year stay that included five NCAA Tournament and two NIT appearances. While at UTC, he was a three-time Southern Conference Coach-of-the-Year selection and left the league as the winningest coach in its history. He enjoyed his finest season in 1996-97, leading Chattanooga to 24 overall wins and NCAA Tournament triumphs over Georgia and Illinois to help the Mocs reach the Sweet Sixteen for the only time in school history.
McCarthy has three years remaining on a five-year contract he signed prior to the 2008-09 season after serving one campaign as the program's acting head coach.
Holland indicated a search for a replacement will be done in an expeditious manner, stating “the candid conversations that Coach McCarthy and I have had over the last few weeks have allowed me to begin thinking about the search process for finding a new coach.
“My goal as the AD is to help get our personnel into positions that allow them to be the most effective individually so that the athletic department team can collectively be the most successful as possible,” Holland added. “Coach Mack will be terrific in this new role and our overall program will benefit greatly when this practice facility becomes available for use by our student-athletes and coaches.”