A single tweet Wednesday afternoon from a college football reporter ignited a frenzy across the FCS and FBS world and it could not have come at a worse time.
Before the start to the 2018 college football season, James Madison University’s head football coach Mike Houston, who led the Dukes to two CAA titles, two National Championship Game appearances and one national title, signed a 10-year extension contract with the school.
But on Wednesday, just three days before the Dukes’ second-round playoff game against Colgate University, Houston was entertaining an offer from FBS program Charlotte, according to reports.
Just two days later, Charlotte was no longer interested. Why? Because East Carolina had just fired their coach and Houston was reportedly exploring other head coaching options.
Sources indicating that East Carolina is targeting JMU's Mike Houston for its head coaching job. He has told media in Virginia he's been offered Charlotte. A fascinating stare down is happening.— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) November 29, 2018
Friday, Charlotte withdrew their offer to Houston.
“Normally, I would not comment on an ongoing search,” Charlotte 49ers Director of Athletics, Mike Hill, said in a statement. “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. 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.”
In a statement to local Harrisonburg, Va. media Wednesday when asked about the job in Charlotte, Houston emphasized his commitment to family, who currently reside in North Carolina.
“It is two and a half hours from my parents, my family, and there’s personal reasons why that’s important to me. But at the same time, this group is very important to me also.”
Houston has yet to formally comment Friday about Charlotte rescinding their offer.
The Dukes are 9-3 on the season coming off a big win against in-conference foe Delaware as they head into playoff round two, hoping to make a run for the third year in a row for the National title.