ECU hires Anderson as inside linebackers coach

Published 12:47 pm Monday, January 11, 2016

GREENVILLE — Ryan Anderson has been named inside linebackers coach at East Carolina according to an announcement from Pirate first-year head football coach Scottie Montgomery on Monday.

Anderson’s hiring completes Montgomery’s initial full-time coaching staff at ECU, following the appointments of defensive coordinator Kenwick Thompson, offensive coordinator Tony Petersen, special teams coordinator Shannon Moore, defensive line coach Deke Adams, running backs coach Antonio King, wide receivers coach Phil McGeoghan, secondary coach Rick Smith and offensive line coach Geep Wade.

His acceptance of the East Carolina position concludes three years of service as a defensive assistant at Southeastern Conference member Vanderbilt from 2013 to 2015. During his last two seasons in Nashville, Anderson worked alongside Thompson and helped build the Commodore linebackers into one of the SEC’s more notable units.

“Ryan is a dynamic young coach whose successful background in the SEC and knowledge of our defensive philosophy was a perfect match,” Montgomery said. “I don’t think there is any question his group will quickly embody his energy and passion.”

Coaching primarily the inside linebackers and defensive ends, Anderson assisted a unit that statistically ranked among the NCAA’s top 25 in fourth down defense (4th), first down defense (5th), redzone defense (6th), third down defense (7th), most fumbles recovered (20th) and scoring defense (23rd) by allowing only 21.0 points per game in 2015. One of his top players, Zach Cunningham, earned Associated Press First-Team All-SEC honors after ranking among league leaders in tackles for loss (16.5), solo tackles (69) and overall stops (103), forced fumbles (4) and recovered fumbles (3).

In 2014, Anderson played a key role developing inside linebacker Nigel Bowden into a Freshman All-Southeastern Conference performer. Bowden topped all SEC first-year players in total tackles (78) and became the first rookie to pace Vanderbilt in stops since 1998.

The Commodore defense stood among the nation’s best in several categories during Anderson’s first campaign in Nashville in 2013, including passes intercepted (13th), turnovers gained (13th), pass defense (23rd) and total defense (23rd).

Anderson joined the Vanderbilt staff after serving as defensive line coach at Reinhardt (Ga.) University in 2012. During the 2010 and 2011 seasons, he worked at Cumberland (Tenn.) University as linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator, guiding the Phoenix to No. 1 and No. 9 NAIA rankings in third down defense and total defense, respectively.

His first coaching assignment came at E.C. Glass High School in Lynchburg, Va., where he mentored linebackers and tight ends in 2009.

Anderson was a standout linebacker at Presbyterian (S.C.) College, earning letters in 2006, 2007 and 2008. He received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from PC in 2009 before adding a master’s of education in community development & action from Vanderbilt in 2015.

He is married to the former Ashley Cook.