WR Terrance Copper

2002 Statistics

Coach: John Thompson
1st year
2002 Record: 4-8
at Duke LOST 16-23
at Wake Forest LOST 22-27
at West Virginia LOST 17-37
ARMY WON 59-24
at Louisville LOST 20-44
at Houston WON 54-48 (3OT)
at UAB LOST 29-36
TCU WON 31-28
at Southern Miss LOST 7-24

2002 Final Rankings
AP-UR, Coaches-UR, BCS-UR

2003 Outlook

Coming off a disappointing 4-8 season, expectations are somewhat restrained for Coach Thompson and his new staff. With few exceptions, Thompson put together a very young group of coaches, most in their early 30's or younger. This will make it easier for his staff to relate to the players, and possibly make it harder for them to jell and become a productive, big-time college staff. But young, hungry staffs like this often make waves quickly, too.

Thompson's aggressive, fast-paced approach on both sides of the ball will make the Pirates a more entertaining team to watch, but not immediately more successful. With holes to plug on the defensive line, secondary, and wide receiver, this will be a team challenged to make big plays offensively and stop them defensively. Out of conference games at Miami and Wake Forest and home against West Virginia and North Carolina give East Carolina little margin for error. Another season hovering around .500 should reflect an evident boost in the quality of play by the year's second half. Going into 2004, the prospectus should be of a Top 50 team with enough momentum to challenge for the conference title. Really.

Projected 2003 record: 5-7
RB Art Brown
FB Vonta Leach
LB Chris Moore
K/P Ryan Dougherty
QB - 3 DL - 1
RB - 3 LB - 2
WR - 2 DB - 2.5
OL - 2 ..

Passing: Paul Troth, 359-177-20, 2315 yds., 15 TD

Rushing: Art Brown, 214 att., 1029 yds., 14 TD

Receiving: Terrance Copper, 30 rec., 395 yds., 0 TD

Scoring: Art Brown, 17 TD, 1 (2-pt. conv), 104 pts.

Punting: none

Kicking: none

Tackles: Josh Chilsom, 74 tot., 30 solo

Sacks: Josh Chilsom, 4 sacks

Interceptions: Chris Moore, 2 for 57 yds.

Kickoff returns: Damarcus Fox, 20 ret., 22.4 avg.

Punt returns: Terrance Copper, 30 ret., 10.9 avg.


OFFENSE: Richard Alston-WR, Torey Morris-WR, Phoenix Evans-OT, Kevin Miller-K
DEFENSE: Hosea James-DE, Ja'Waren Blair-DT, Christshawn Gilliam-OLB, John Williamson-OLB, Kelly Hardy-FS, Jerome Steward-CB, Antwane Yelverton-DB, Antwan Adams-DB, Ronald Pou-NG, Jarad Preston-P

written by James Johnson

East Carolina's new head coach John Thompson has brought in veteran Rick Stockstill as his offensive coordinator. This move will usher in a new era in Pirate offensive football.

Stockstill had served as an offensive assistant at Clemson for the past 14 seasons, most recently as wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator. He helped Tiger head coach Tommy Bowden install the wide-open fast break offense Clemson was so successful with when quarterback Woody Dantzler ran it. Look for Stockstill to implement parts of that style this season as he recruits players more suited for future seasons.

The Pirates have a solid base for success, with experienced junior QB Paul Troth returning to lead the offense.

Troth had an inconsistent sophomore year, throwing 20 INTs (10 of them in three games) against 15 TDs. He also completed less than half of his attempts. He showed flashes of brilliance, recording 300-yard passing games against South Florida and Houston. Though Troth is not particularly mobile, his size is considered perfect for a pocket passer. He will greatly benefit from Stockstill's tutelage and a year of experience.

Troth's backup is Desmond Robinson, a junior. He is a more of a mobile quarterback in the Dantzler mode. His passing numbers were less impressive than Troth's in limited playing time, but he should still see some action as a changeup for opposing defenses.

Senior fullback Art Brown returns as the feature back. He scored 14 touchdowns and averaged 4.8 yards per carry as he missed two games with a groin injury, or else he would have threatened several school records. Coach Thompson will be looking for more consistency from Brown this season. He gained nearly two-thirds of his total yards in his best four games and posted 60 yards or less in each of his worst four performances.

Marvin Townes, returns as Brown's backup. He also showed inconsistency similar to Brown's. The Pirates' other running backs all have little or no game experience, putting the rushing load squarely on Brown and Townes.

The Pirates' receiving corps appears to be thin. 2002's top two receivers were seniors, and the next two in line were Brown and halfback Terrance Copper, a 6'0, 211-pound senior who is now the premier wideout. The leading returning receiver is flanker Richard Hourigan, who averaged only 10.4 yards per catch. Lacking a deep threat, East Carolina will have to move the ball by primarily using their ground game and a short passing game, leaving little margin for error. With that in mind, they will have to see a major drop from 31 TOs.

This strategy will work with a quality OL, and the line should be strong with four returning starters. The line is anchored by senior center Doug White and senior tackle Brian Rimpf. White will enter his third year as a starter. Former coach Steve Logan called him "one of the best linemen I've ever coached." Rimpf has earned All-CUSA recognition and was on many 2002 watch lists for the Outland and Lombardi awards.


OT Brian Rimpf


Returning Starters in bold
QB Paul Troth-Jr (6-5, 233) Desmond Robinson-Jr (5-10, 201)
FB Vonta Leach-Sr (6-0, 253) Jason Pender-So (5-10, 224)
TB Art Brown-Sr (5-9, 207) Marvin Townes-Jr (6-0, 198)
WR Richard Hourigan-Sr (6-0, 189) Edwin Rios-Jr (5-8, 167)
WR Terrance Copper-Sr (6-0, 211) Marcus White-Sr (6-1, 195)
TE Tutu Moye-Jr (6-3, 223) James Myrick-So (6-4, 288)
OT Brian Rimpf-Sr (6-6, 318) Eric Graham-Fr (6-6, 307)
OG Charlie Dempsey-Jr (6-3, 300) Hagen Mason-Jr (6-1, 302)
C Doug White-Sr (6-0, 310) Hunter Wood-So (6-3, 281)
OG Brian Fox-Sr (6-2, 293) Gary Freeman-So (6-1, 318)
OT Brandon Pope-Sr (6-4, 289) Corey Schmidt-Sr (6-5, 303)
K Cameron Broadwell-Jr (6-3, 200) Chris Baglio-Jr (6-3, 230)



written by James Johnson

Coach Thompson has made his living as a defensive coach, spending 19 of his 21 seasons as a defensive coordinator. He has molded powerful defenses at Southern Mississippi, Memphis, LSU, and Florida. Upon taking the East Carolina job, he said, "We are going to be up-tempo, fast-paced, aggressive, and unpredictable. We will dictate the rhythm of the football game. We will not make our players adjust, we will adjust around the talents of our players."

When he identifies his available talent, he should start at inside linebacker. The two returning starters, sophomores Josh Chilsom and Chris Moore also led the returning players in tackles last season. These two combined for 16 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks, two interceptions, and five forced fumbles.

Junior Eric Butler and sophomore Richard Koonce also saw extensive playing time with marginal success. Koonce will be called upon to handle the Bandit (end) position. They all help add some size to compensate for the relatively small Chilsom and Moore. This will be a very strong line backing corps that will thrive in Thompson's aggressive schemes.

Senior safety Travis Heath will look to anchor an improved secondary that allowed 238 yards passing per game last season. Heath is joined by returning starter, Reicko Jones a sophomore cornerback. The top three right cornerbacks listed on the depth chart weigh no more than 170 pounds, making an inviting target for opponents with big wide receivers.

This lack of size in the secondary will put more emphasis on the Pirates' ability to generate run-stopping and a pass rush from this young defensive line. Senior nose guard Damane Duckett, an enormous physical presence at 6'7, 300 pounds, is the only returning starter. Tackles Derek Helms and Guy Whimper saw limited playing time and are projected as the new starters. These three linemen combined for only 1.5 sacks last season. They will also need to drastically improve their ability to control the line of scrimmage if they expect to reduce their rushing yield of 207 yards per game.


LB Josh Chilsom


Returning Starters in bold
DE Guy Whimper-So (6-5, 271) Lorenza Pickett-So (6-1, 235)
NG Derek Helms-Sr (6-3, 298) Dontre Brown-Fr (6-0, 296)
DT Damane Duckett-Sr (6-7, 300) Eric Foushee-Sr (6-2, 275)
DE Richard Koonce-So (6-0, 236) Ike Emodi-So (6-4, 231)
SLB Kent Nealy-Sr (5-10, 224) Shawn Hodges-Sr (5-11, 219)
MLB Chris Moore-So (6-0, 208) Eric Butler-Jr (6-1, 240)
WLB Josh Chilsom-So (5-10, 220) Dashaun Stephens-So (5-11, 222)
CB Brandon Rainer-Sr (5-10, 182) Donald Whitehead-Jr (5-10, 189)
CB Reicko Jones-So (5-8, 154) Jared Brogden-So (5-8, 170)
SS Travis Heath-Sr (6-2, 198) Wes Herlocker-Jr (6-2, 211)
FS Richard Moton-Sr (6-3, 196) Antonie Nealy-So (6-0, 184)
P Ryan Dougherty-Fr (6-1, 211) Woody Schmidt-So (6-3, 196)




The Pirates will be auditioning new place kickers and punters this spring after losing outstanding seniors Kevin Miller and Jarad Preston. Their success here will impact their ability to improve their mediocre punt and kickoff coverage from last season. Field position is a factor that can drastically improve any teams' prospects - look for defensive depth and new blood to improve this area.

The kick return should be in good hands this season. Senior Terrance Copper averaged nearly 11 yards per return. The kickoff returns will again be shared by juniors Damarcus Fox and Marvin Townes.