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ECU officials continuing search for coach, will meet this Sunday

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GREENVILLE, Pitt County - Officials at East Carolina University who are involved in the search for a new football coach say they are still working to find a replacement.

ECU issued a press release on Friday that said the school's Board of Trustees will hold a special called meeting at 5 p.m., Sunday. The meeting will be held in Conference Room 105 in Spilman Building on the campus of ECU.

According to the press release, the purpose of the meeting is for the board to considerconfidential or privileged personnel items and to consult with University Counsel. That could be an indication the board is moving closer to making an announcement on a new coach. The board has to announce the meeting at least 48 hours in advance but can postpone the meeting if needed. They can't meet before the publicized time.

NewsChannel 12's Brian North said a source within the program told him the news. North also said a new coach has not yet been hired. North is told the goal is to have a new head coach in place before Monday, when the recruiting dead period begins. That's a stretch of time when coaches cannot meet recruits face to face until Jan. 14.

Officials have also said they will not rush the hiring process just to meet that deadline.

Ruffin McNeill was fired as football coach of the Pirates last Friday. ECU finished this past season with a 5-7 record after a 19-16 loss to Cincinnati last Saturday. McNeill compiled an overall record of 42-34 (.553) and captured one bowl victory at ECU. He has been a coach or assistant coach for the past 30 years.

ECU named McNeill as head coach on Jan. 21, 2010. The ECU graduate was the 20th head coach at the school. He came from Texas Tech, where he served as interim coach during the Valero Alamo Bowl.

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