MTSU's Rick Stockstill Turns Down East Carolina Opening

Murfeesboro, TN (KAIT) - The frontrunner for the East Carolina opening decided to take his name out of the hat Tuesday.

Middle Tennessee head coach Rick Stockstill announced that he withdrew his name from the Pirates coaching search.

He led the Blue Raiders to a 10-3 record and a win over Southern Mississippi in the New Orleans Bowl in 2009.

Stockstill said the following in a statement:

"The timing is never good for a coach to change jobs. However, the timing of this opportunity came at a critical time in recruiting with both universities and to the fault of neither MTSU nor ECU. I have decided I will remove my name from consideration at ECU. I could not look in the eyes of these recruits and their families and tell them the things I believe in and what I want them to believe in and then leave Middle Tennessee with only two weeks left in the recruiting process. Also, I have so much respect and admiration for our current players that they were ultimately the reason I could not pursue this any further. We have invested a lot together during these four years which played a major role in this decision."

Stockstill is 27-23 in four seasons at Middle Tennessee and has twice been named Sun Belt Conference coach of the year.