Roark Promoted to ECU Defensive Coordinator

The East Central University football team has promoted Chad Roark to defensive coordinator and added Jihad' Wright to the full-time coaching staff for the 2015 season.

Roark, who has been the defensive line coach/recruiting coordinator for the past two seasons and a member of the Tigers' coaching staff for the past three years. ECU has also added Wright to the coaching staff as a full time coach that will work the defensive backs.

"Chad is a natural fit for our program," said head coach Tim McCarty. "He has been with ECU football for seven years. It's his time and I'm confident in his abilities and happy to have him move up to the defensive coordinator position."

Roark takes over as defensive coordinator after the departure of Randy Pippin, who left to take a job at Alabama-Birmingham.

The Ada, Okla., native started his coaching career with the Tigers in 2012 as the offensive line coach and quickly moved to the defensive line and added the duties of recruiting coordinator in 2014.

"I am extremely humbled and honored to accept the defensive coordinator title for my alma mater," Roark said. "We will continue to have high standards and high expectations for the Tigers defense and are looking forward to a great season."

In the past two years, Roark has helped produce six All-Great American Conference selections. In 2014 Daniel Holland and JuJu Turituri earned All-GAC honors, while in 2013 Alex King, Turituri, Kellan Taeatafa-De La Rosa and Charles Ramsey were honored.

Roark's move to the coaching staff came after playing for the Tigers on an offensive line that paved the way for ECU to rank first in the GAC in passing offense and passing efficiency and second in scoring offense his senior season.

Before coming to ECU, Roark was a U.S. Army All-American at Ada High School and spent a year each at the University of Nebraska and the University of Oklahoma.

Wright comes to the Tigers after spending two years on the Oklahoma Panhandle State coaching staff.

While at OPSU, Wright spent the 2014 season as the defensive backs coach and 2013 as a student assistant after playing for the Aggies. During his time at OPSU, he helped the defense become ranked No. 5 in the NCAA for total defense and No. 1 in pass efficiency defense in 2014.

ECU will open the 2015 season, Thursday, Sept. 3 when they face 2015 pre-season favorite Ouachita Baptist at Norris Field at Koi Ishto Stadium at 6 p.m.