Reports: ECSU targets Savannah State coach to lead Vikings in football

Elizabeth City State’s voyage in selecting its next coach could be near the end.

Television station WJCL in Savannah, Georgia reported Friday that Savannah State head football coach Earnest Wilson III was offered the same position by Elizabeth City State.

The station reports that Wilson plans to make his decision within the next 24 hours.

ECSU athletic director Derrick Johnson said Friday that the report that ECSU offered the job to Wilson was false.

“We are nearing the final stages of our search,” Johnson said. “Nothing has been offered to anyone.”

In three seasons leading the Tigers, Wilson compiled a 2-32 record. Savannah State was 1-9 overall and 1-7 in the Division I FCS Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.

Savannah State posted a 0-12 record in 2014.

The Tigers snapped a 24-game losing streak by beating Florida A&M 37-27 last October.

If Wilson indeed is the pick for ECSU, those who know of Wilson say that he kept Savannah State players out of trouble.

Wilson’s hire would be approaching 100 days since ECSU fired Waverly Tillar as football coach in November.

Tillar compiled a 69-68 record in 13 season leading the Vikings.

The Vikings finished the regular season losing three of their final four CIAA games.

It was a part of a downward trend where the Vikings had three consecutive losing seasons, in which ECSU went 12-17.

Before leading the Tigers, Wilson was the offensive coordinator at Hampton and Jackson State.

Wilson has Division I experience as the running backs coach and recruiting coordinator at New Mexico State for five seasons.

Before his time with the Aggies, Wilson was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Benedict College from 2003-2004.

Wilson was at Benedict during the same time Johnson served as the head baseball coach at Benedict.

With the rumors swirling, ECSU offensive lineman Avery Wright is focused more on the team than the next coach.

“We the players are ready to win,” Wright said. “It’s more than a team with us it’s a family. We’re planning to dominate the CIAA no matter what the circumstances, we believe in us that’s all we need.”

For Wright it was not difficult for him to remain focus during offseason training, while not knowing who would lead the Vikings on the gridiron in the fall.

“As a leader I lead my team to push through each workout,” he said. “They push me to go harder. The way I described the team as is a brotherhood.”

Malcolm Shields

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