Wade joins ECU staff as offensive line coach, Montgomery also adds Johnson to administrative team
Published 2:54 pm Tuesday, January 5, 2016
GREENVILLE — Geep Wade, who played a pivotal role helping Middle Tennessee rank among the nation’s leaders in both rushing and passing for the past three seasons, has been appointed offensive line coach at East Carolina according to an announcement by head football coach Scottie Montgomery on Tuesday.
Montgomery also welcomed Ethan Johnson to his staff as director of player personnel after serving in a related capacity as an assistant director at Duke beginning in 2006.
Wade recently concluded his tenure with the Blue Raiders with an appearance in the Popeyes Bahamas Bowl, capping a stellar 2015 offensive performance which included 5,946 total yards and school records for passing yardage and touchdowns. Last fall, his line paved the way for an aerial attack that ranked 15th nationally with an average of 311.7 yards per game, a year after his group opened holes for a unit that stood 30th among all FBS programs in rushing.
Three members of the Blue Raiders’ offensive line – Jaylen Hunter (first team), Maurquice Shakir (honorable mention) and Chandler Brewer (freshman team) – were honored by Conference USA and gave quarterback Brent Stockstill ample time to produce a school-record 4,005 passing yards, which ranked 11th in the country. In addition, his crew was among the nation’s toughest to penetrate, rating 15th in fewest tackles for loss allowed and 22nd in fewest sacks surrendered.
Led by all-conference linemen Isaiah Anderson and Darius Johnson in 2014, Middle Tennessee had four different players rush for more than 100 yards in a game, while quarterback Austin Grammer became the first quarterback in school history to throw for over 200 yards in each of his first seven games.
In 2013, Wade helped develop all-league performer Josh Walker while engineering a group that helped five different players eclipse the 100-yard rushing milestone in a contest. The unit also played an integral role for an offense that ranked 31st nationally in rushing and topped Conference USA in ground yards during MT’s eight-game league schedule on the way to an Armed Forces Bowl showing against Navy.
In all, the Blue Raiders amassed over 5,000 yards of offense in each of Wade’s three seasons at Middle Tennessee.
“Geep’s expertise of what we want to do offensively is reflective in the balanced success he’s been able achieve on the line of scrimmage,” Montgomery said. “It all starts up front and we are all excited to have someone with his credentials at ECU.”
Wade made his way to Murfreesboro from Marshall where he coached the offensive line in 2012. His 2012 squad helped Marshall register 365.0 passing yards per game (first in FBS), 534.2 yards of total offense (sixth) and 40.9 points a game (seventh), all C-USA highs. His line also withstood the pounding of an FBS-high 90.6 plays per game that generated 24 rushing touchdowns. The offense also produced just over 20 plays of 10 yards or longer per game to lead the nation.
He spent two seasons leading the offensive line at alma mater Tennessee-Chattanooga, while also serving as the recruiting coordinator. He returned to the sidelines for his second stint as an assistant coach at UTC after serving on the Mocs’ staff in 2002 following his graduation.
Wade was in charge of the tackles and tight ends during the 2010 campaign, helping Chris Harr (OT) and Garrett Hughes (TE) to first team All-Southern Conference honors. The play of the offensive line allowed the Mocs to finish 11th among all FCS programs in total offense (430 ypg), while the unit threw for an average of 277 yards, second in the SoCon and eighth nationally.
Wade spent the previous four seasons as an assistant coach at Tennessee-Martin, serving as the offensive coordinator in 2009. In 2008, the Skyhawks posted an 8-4 overall record, ranking fourth in the country in scoring offense (37.33).
In 2007, Wade and the Skyhawk offense ranked No. 1 in the Ohio Valley Conference in total offense (433 ypg) and points scored per game (33.36). The team finished first in rushing offense (218.5 ypg) in the OVC, 12th in the nation.
Before coming to UT Martin in 2006 with head coach Jason Simpson, Wade was an offensive line coach at Western Carolina and Midwestern (Texas) State. He also enjoyed a stint at Tennessee where he was an offensive line graduate assistant for the Volunteers in 2004, the same year the team won the Southeastern Conference East Division title and the Cotton Bowl. In 2003, Wade coached the offensive line and served as the recruiting coordinator at Mars Hill College.
Wade was a team captain and an offensive lineman at UTC from 1999 to 2001, earning his bachelor’s degree in business management in 2002.
He is married to the former Amy Howell of McKenzie, Tenn. The couple has two children – Emma Kate and Jackson.
Johnson’s arrival in Greenville follows 10 years of service as assistant director of player personnel at Duke, where he contributed a key role in all phases of the Blue Devils’ recruiting efforts.
His primary responsibility was the organization of campus visits for prospects, which included travel arrangements, campus tours and catered meals as well as the coordination of one-on-one meetings with coaches, academic leadership and faculty members.
Johnson also cultivated relationships with student-athletes and assisted in the evaluation of their academic development potential based on previous performance, career interests and personal goals.
While at Duke, Johnson assisted current ECU Assistant AD for Football Operations Terrell Smith (2006 to 2011) and offered ancillary support with camps and clinics, administrative management, walk-on and tryout programs, budgeting, on-field recruiting evaluation and the enhancement of various video, software and social media platforms.
“Ethan’s dedicated and tireless efforts are directly tied into the lifeblood of our program – recruiting,” Montgomery said. “It is critical to have someone who is meticulous that can effectively convey our message in a personal manner.”
Johnson earned his bachelor’s degree in sport management from Liberty in 2005.
He owns NCAA (recruiting) and American Sport Education Program (ASEP) certification in addition to active membership and participation in Big Brother Mentoring, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the American Football Coaches Association.