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East Carolina demotes defensive coordinator Kenwick Thompson

East Carolina announced Sunday that defensive coordinator Kenwick Thompson has been “reassigned” to a new position within that program. The Pirates did not reveal what exactly that new position will be, but did specify it will not be on the full-time coaching staff.

In the meantime, associate head coach/defensive line coach Robert Prunty will take over defensive play-calling duties.

“While these decisions are difficult to make, both from a timing and personal standpoint, my responsibility is to sustain the best interest for our program,” head coach Scottie Montgomery said in a statement. " We appreciate Coach Thompson’s efforts, but I feel a change in direction is needed at this time.”

Thompson had been on Montgomery’s staff since Montgomery was hired away from Duke in December of 2015. Prunty is in his first season on staff after serving as co-defensive coordinator at Cincinnati for the past three seasons.

East Carolina is off to an 0-2 start to the season, falling 34-14 to defending FCS champion James Madison in the opener and 56-20 to West Virginia on Saturday. The Pirates rank 129th nationally in total defense (616.5 yards per game) and yards per play (8.39) and 126th in scoring (45 points per game).

ECU hosts No. 16 Virginia Tech this week.