Ruffin McNeill’s leadership style is more like a father than the CEO model that some coaches around the country choose to take after.
McNeill told the Virginian-Pilot, "It's a choice. People in coaching, they choose to run their programs in an IBM CEO-type mode, and that's OK. I choose to run it more as a family because I want the kids to feel good about coming into our offices and speaking to our coaches, understanding that everybody's accountable, everybody works to put food on the table.”
Inside receivers coach Donnie Kirkpatrick says, "Ruffin is running the team in a way where he is not really involved daily in the offense or the defense or the special teams. He's running it more as the father to the kids.”
Associate head coach / linebackers coach John Wiley describes McNeill, "His biggest gift as a coach, and I recognized it early on, is a unique ability to motivate kids. Everybody thinks he (just) loves 'em up, and he does love 'em up, but that allows him to be extremely demanding. I've never seen a guy able to get on someone as hard as he can get on them, and have them almost thank him for it."
The Pirates finished camp on Monday afternoon. McNeill said, "I think we're almost there on fundamentals. I like our progress. The fundamentals override everything. It seems simple, but blocking and tackling are two things you have to be able to do well."
You can watch McNeill's post-practice media sesson from Monday through this link.
East Carolina hosts Tulsa on September 5th. The non-conference schedule includes at Virginia Tech, at North Carolina, NC State, and Navy.