College Sports

Charlotte 49ers withdraw football coaching offer from Mike Houston

James Madison coach Mike Houston has had a contract offer pulled by the Charlotte 49ers.
James Madison coach Mike Houston has had a contract offer pulled by the Charlotte 49ers. AP

It’s on to Plan B for Charlotte 49ers athletics director Mike Hill’s search for a football coach.

Hill said Friday he has withdrawn a contract offer to James Madison coach Mike Houston. Hill pulled the offer after Houston told him Thursday night he wanted to look at other job possibilities while remaining a candidate for the Charlotte position

Hill’s statement:

“Normally, I would not comment on an ongoing search. However, in light of recent public comments, I feel it’s important to update our supporters on the status of our interest in Mike Houston.

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“This morning we withdrew a contract offer that had been negotiated in good faith with Coach Houston and his representatives. This was based on the fact that last evening, Coach Houston informed us that he had interest in exploring other head coaching opportunities, while remaining under consideration here.

“We feel great about our candidate pool and believe this institution, our students, fans and team deserve a head coach that is 100% committed to the Charlotte 49ers.”

Houston said earlier this week he had been offered the 49ers job by Hill and that he had interest in the position. Houston was responding to a report by a national college football reporter that he was expected to be Charlotte’s next coach. The 49ers job is open after Brad Lambert was fired earlier this month.

Houston’s James Madison’s team is still playing this season and has a Football Championship Subdivision playoff game scheduled Saturday at Colgate.

“I always preach controlling what you can control,” Houston told the Harrisonburg (Va.) Daily News-Record on Friday. “I can’t control other people, but I can control myself, our preparation and we’re all focused on our preparations for Colgate for kickoff at one o’clock on Saturday afternoon. We had a great week of practice, the kids are locked in and we can’t wait to get on the field.”

On Thursday, the East Carolina coaching job opened up when the Pirates fired Scottie Montgomery. There are reports that ECU has interest in Houston, a native of Franklin, N.C., who took JMU to to the 2016 FCS championship and to the 2017 title game. Houston has a 80-24 career record at Lenoir-Rhyne, The Citadel and JMU.

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