New defense, new attitude for Tigers
Bob Forrest Sports Writer
Over the past decade and half, the East Central University football program has rarely been ‘The Happiest Place on Earth’.
Since capturing an NAIA national championship in 1993, the Tigers have had just a handful of winning seasons, with 6-4 the norm in those years, and only once in the past five years have they won more than they lost. Upon winning state championships, high school players who were asked “Where are you going now?” almost never answered “to ECU!!”.
As a result, football Saturday nights at Norris Field since 1993 have almost always been just a chance to gather and recount past glories. Wins were nice but, in most cases unexpected, and they were easily outdistanced by losses piling up at an alarming rate.
In Kurt Nichols’ first two seasons as ECU’s head football coach, the trend continued. The Tigers were 3-7 in 2006, and adding an opener at rugged Tarleton State last fall only turned what would normally have been a 2-8 season into 2-9. ECU finished 0-5 in the six-team Lone Star Conference North Division (the poster child for parity in NCAA Division II football last year) and was the only team that DIDN’T tie for the division title (the other five finished 3-2 to share the crown).
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