Tim McCarty is coming back.
McCarty, who guided the East Central University football program to its best record in seven years (6-4 in 2004), returns to serve a second stint as head coach of the Tigers.
A formal press conference will be held Monday at 10 a.m. in the Estep Room of the University Center on the ECU campus.
McCarty, head coach at ECU in 2004 and 2005, just completed his third season as assistant head coach and offensive line coach with the Big 12 Conference’s Kansas State Wildcats. His 2007 offensive line was rated No. 1 in the Big 12 in fewest sacks allowed and the Wildcats had the No. 1 red zone offense that same year.
“This is absolutely great. What an exciting time this is for me and my family. We loved our first time here. We loved the school and loved (the Lone Star) conference,” said McCarty. “Because of the people, community and ECU, my family and I really had mixed emotions and opinions about going to K-State. With the first chance to come back here, we jumped at it. My favorite level to coach is at Division II and to coach in one of the best conferences in the country in Division II – the Lone Star Conference – is awesome.”
McCarty believes his three-year stay at Kansas State certainly enhanced his coaching abilities. He coached six all-conference players along the offensive line, including Jordan Bedore, who was on the Remington Trophy watch list and Greg Wafford, who signed with the NFL’s Washington Redskins.
McCarty was also part of one bowl team (Texas Bowl) at Kansas State in 2006 and the Wildcats were able to upset the No. 4 ranked and No. 7 ranked teams in the nation during his K-State stint. His offensive lines paved the way for quarterback Josh Freeman, receiver Jordy Nelson and company to set numerous school records in Manhattan, Kan.
One of McCarty’s primary recruiting territories for Kansas State was the state of Oklahoma. “I look forward to continuing those relationships,” McCarty said.
Posting a 9-11 record in his two seasons with the Tigers, McCarty coached 30 conference-recognized players and 15 who achieved academic accolades from the Lone Star Conference. Defensive end Justin Brown made six All-American teams under McCarty’s watch and linebacker James Callins was the 2005 LSC North Academic Player of the Year, along with being an Arthur Ashe All-American.
The 2004 Tigers, under McCarty’s direction, went 6-4 behind the running of tailback King Bennett, who netted 937 yards and scored 15 touchdowns and quarterback Wilson Pirtle completed 52.7 percent of his passes for 1,522 yards. Brown finished with 12 sacks, 10 broken up passes and three forced fumbles on his way to achieving a bevy of postseason awards. ECU, which won five of its first six games that season, was picked last in preseason polls, but ended up tied for third.
“I have an unbelievable excitement about coming back to coach where Pat O’Neal and Elvan George coached,” said McCarty. “Historically, there have been great teams and great individuals here. I want to instill that pride and put that pride back into this program.”
Another intriguing factor in McCarty’s willingness to return to ECU was the interview process.
“I thought Brian (DeAngelis, Director of Athletics) and the committee did a very professional job. It was extremely thorough and an intense process. Because of that, it got me even more excited,” McCarty said. “I garnered a lot of respect for the committee. They were very precise in their questions and wanted to know what plans, in detail, I had for the program.”
“I’m excited about the opportunity to have someone of Tim’s caliber back here at ECU, not just because of his coaching, but his character,” said DeAngelis. “His character, integrity and leadership skills will be a huge benefit to our football program and the university. With Tim’s arrival and the direction of our football program, we will continue to make strides in improving our team’s overall success.”
Prior to his initial arrival at ECU, McCarty coached a traditionally-beleaguered Tabor College (Kansas) program to success at the NAIA level. When McCarty took over the Tabor program in 1999, the Bluejays had only 14 players and managed only one winning season from 1967 until that point.
Though McCarty’s first team went 0-10 in 2000, the 2001 team finished 5-5 and the 2002 squad was 6-4, before the 2003 version of the Bluejays took off to set a school-record for wins with a 9-2 mark, advanced to the playoffs for the first time and was ranked 15th nationally. For his efforts, he was named 2003 KCAC Coach of the Year and NAIAFootball.net National Coach of the Year.
McCarty also served as an assistant coach at Greenville College in Illinois (1998-99), offensive coordinator and head track coach at Southwest Baptist University in Missouri (1994-97), offensive coordinator at Dodge City Community College in Kansas (1990-93), assistant at Middle Tennessee State (1988), graduate assistant at the University of Kansas (1987), assistant at Hays High School, Kansas (1986) and student assistant at his alma mater Fort Hays State (1984-85).
He was a captain and starter for a Fort Hays State team that went 8-3 in 1983. He also played one season at Memphis State University in 1982 after spending two seasons at Dodge City Community College, where he was an all-conference selection in 1980 and 1981 and was twice named defensive player of the week.
McCarty’s wife is Jillian and they have two daughters – Bailey, 15, and Kendall, 13.