East Carolina fires Scottie Montgomery; David Blackwell to coach finale

East Carolina fired coach Scottie Montgomery on Thursday after three seasons.

Defensive coordinator David Blackwell will coach the Pirates (3-8) in their season finale on Saturday at NC State (Noon ET, ESPN App).

"As much as we would have liked the outcome to be different, the progress of a program is ultimately measured by its competitiveness, win total and championships," ECU chancellor Cecil P. Staton said in a statement. "It is our decision to move in a different direction with new leadership.

"He cared deeply for his players, was an outstanding mentor, and always focused on the word 'student' in student-athlete. We wish him all the best."

East Carolina is also still seeking a new athletic director after Jeff Compher stepped down on May 1. Whoever is hired for that position will finalize the hiring of the new football coach, the school said.

Montgomery was 9-26 overall at ECU, including a 4-20 mark in the American Athletic Conference. It's the least successful three-year period for the school since it won just eight games from 2003-05 under John Thompson and Skip Holtz.

The 40-year-old Montgomery had two years left on his contract with a base salary of $400,000 that will be paid by the athletics department, the school said. The former Duke and NFL receiver came to East Carolina after a successful stint as Duke's offensive coordinator.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.