Ruffin McNeill-- Postseason Q&A

Our Josh Graham had an opportunity to sit down with ECU head football coach Ruffin McNeill for an exclusive interview about the Big East, last season, and his expectations for 2013

Josh Graham- Of course a lot of talk has been going on with the Big East and the football program's jump in 2014. What does the move do, not only for your program, but for the rest of the sports and the city of Greenville?

-Ruffin McNeill- "It gives Greenville visibility. It's a jewel that is hidden but once anybody comes to Greenville they understand what's missed…Anytime we can bring income into our university, it can go into other avenues. For me, its academic growth and providing resources not for football only, but for all sports. The Big East has its advantages as well and I'm looking forward to finishing off the Conference USA race this year and diving into the Big East immediately."

JG- Do you see of the rest of ECU's sports eventually joining football in the Big East?

RM- "I have no doubt we belong. Anytime I talk about East Carolina being second to none, it's not just football; it's all of it in its entirety. All sports belong in the Big East."

JG- Is all of this movement good for college athletics?

RM- "Personally I do. Then there needs to be a settling down of it. But I think it adds excitement…I think it's good for college athletics and it keeps you on your toes, that's for sure."

JG- Was last season a success in your eyes?

RM- "I have no doubt our season was a success. We were picked to finish in the lower part (of the conference), and some polls didn't have us making a bowl game… I was very proud of our team. I was very proud of that senior group that left a really good blueprint, and I'm very proud of the core we have coming back."

JG- Are you counting down the days till spring practice on March 25?

RM- "Now t's 24/7, 365 (days). It's year round of preparation, especially for our sport in football. Our guys have done a great job in the offseason with (Strength and conditioning Coach Jeff Connors)and his group…We'll come back after spring break and have a week where we get our legs back under us and then we'll go on the field March 25 and with the spring game concluding it on April 20...I'm excited Josh to be around them right now."

JG- Talk about some of those big time non-conference games on your schedule that includes trips to North Carolina and N.C. State and Virginia Tech coming into Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium?

RM-"Again we have one of the toughest schedules in the nation. I pick any school, Boise State or TCU, to match their schedule with ours. We're looking forward to the challenge."

JG- What is the goal in 2013?

RM- "The goal is always to win championships and to make sure we're successful on the field. That's always our vision."

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