East Carolina offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley says his initial perception of East Carolina couldn’t have been more off.
The former wide receivers coach under Mike Leach at Texas Tech, Riley did a solid job in his first season at East Carolina a year ago. Expectations were not as high as usual, but the Pirates made a bowl game and averaged 36 points per game.
While speaking at a local luncheon this week, according to the Daily Reflector, Riley explained, “When I got here, the first thought in my mind was, ‘It's a Conference USA school. I want to be a coordinator, but this is going to be little bit of a step down for me, as far as the quality of the school.”
“I think you have those preconceived notions, but once you get here, you see how special this place is, and really, how special it can become. I think this can get really big. I look at Greenville and I look at ECU and specifically ECU football, I don't see any reason why we can't be a power team in a BCS conference.”
He added, “A lot of BCS schools would kill for the atmosphere and the fan support that we have here, and I think it's just a matter of time.”
Riley will be tested early in the year. The Pirates first four games are against South Carolina (Ellis Johnson), Virginia Tech (Bud Foster), UAB (Tommy West), and North Carolina (Everett Withers). The South Carolina game will be played in Charlotte. The next three are in Greenville.