East Carolina fired head coach Scottie Montgomery on Thursday.
Montgomery, who went 9-26 in three years, will not coach the Pirates vs. North Carolina State in the regular-season finale on Saturday, per a release. And his replacement will not be named until ECU fills the athletics director vacancy.
"The search for ECU's new athletics director remains ongoing in earnest, and that individual will finalize the hire for Montgomery's replacement."
With Montgomery out, who might ECU target as their new head coach?
Current Position: Defensive Coordinator – Mississippi State
In their AD search, ECU is reportedly targeting Southern Miss' Jon Gilbert, who, prior to arriving at Southern Miss in early 2017, spent the previous six years as executive senior associate athletics director Tennessee.
In his Gilbert's final year in Knoxville, Bob Shoop was Vols' defensive coordinator. The connection isn't strong, but Shoop is a highly regarded coordinator with head-coaching experience (Columbia, 2003-05).
Current Position: Offensive Coordinator – Clemson
Last December, when rumored to be a candidate for the UCF opening, Tony Elliott said he "wasn't prepared" to interview but didn't discount the possibility of seeking an opportunity down the road.
Elliott, 39, is a former Clemson receiver who's been on Dabo Swinney's staff since 2011 and has spent all 13 years of his coaching career in South Carolina. He's reportedly on the radar of Georgia Tech.
MORE: App State Candidates if Satterfield Leaves
Current Position: Head Coach – Arkansas State
Clearly, Scottie Montgomery wasn't ready to be a head coach. He was a hell of a coordinator at Duke and might be a hell of a coordinator at his next stop, but he wasn't ready. That is no concern for Blake Anderson.
Arkansas State's 49-year-old head coach bounced around FBS assistant jobs for 15 years before landing in Jonesboro in 2014. He's 39-24 in five years, has two Sun Belt titles and, without a head-turning breakout season yet, could be looking for the next stepping stone.
Current Position: Head Coach – Elon
This is a "who?" hire for most fans, which might be tough — even for a strong fan base — after the disastrous Scottie Montgomery era.
But chew on it: Cignetti is former Nick Saban assistant who was Alabama receivers coach and recruiting coordinator while Gilbert was associate athletics director. He spent seven years at NC State (2000-06), has more than two decades of FBS experience and led Elon to back-to-back playoff appearance.
Current Position: Defensive Coordinator – Oklahoma
Would the new athletics director admit the mistake of the previous administration and fix it by rehiring Ruffin McNeill?
McNeill went 37-29 in his first five season as ECU head coach (2010-14) before a 5-7 mark in 2015 led to his dismissal, one that was widely criticized by current and former players.