Nov 26, 2021; Greenville, North Carolina, USA;  East Carolina Pirates head coach Mike Houston looks on before the game against the Cincinnati Bearcats at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

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East Carolina coach Mike Houston lands extension through 2026

East Carolina coach Mike Houston has agreed to a three-year extension through the 2026 season.

East Carolina said Thursday it couldn’t reveal details until the contract is approved by the school’s Board of Trustees.

ESPN reported that Houston will make $11.5 million over the next five seasons.

The 50-year-old Houston has guided the Pirates to a 7-5 record this season and an upcoming appearance in the Military Bowl on Dec. 27 against an opponent to be determined from the Atlantic Coast Conference.

The bowl appearance will be the school’s first since 2014. The winning season is also East Carolina’s first since going 8-5 in 2014.

Houston is 14-19 with the Pirates.

“We have built a solid foundation due to the discipline, determination and work done by our players, coaches and staff,” Houston said in a news release. “We still have unfinished business, but we are confident we are making strides daily to have a program we can all be proud of.”

Houston’s name has recently surfaced in connection with openings at Virginia Tech (since filled) and Duke.

“This is an exciting day for ECU Athletics and the future of our football program,” East Carolina athletic director Jon Gilbert said. “Coach Houston, his staff and our student-athletes have worked tirelessly over the past three years to change the culture and direction of our program.

“As a leader, Mike has handled the adversity that has come our way and never flinched. He has an unwavering commitment to building a football program that will hold student-athletes accountable on and off the field, recruit at a high level, and expects to have sustained success in the AAC. Most importantly, he wants to be a Pirate. Having him lead the Pirates into the future is a major coup for us.”

Before being hired by East Carolina, Houston went 37-6 at FCS power James Madison (2016-18). The Dukes won the 2016 national championship game and were national runner-ups in 2017.

–Field Level Media

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