GREENVILLE, N.C. — East Carolina is bringing back John Gutekunst to help improve one of the nation’s worst defenses.

Coach Scottie Montgomery on Tuesday said Gutekunst is joining his staff as a defensive analyst.

Gutekunst has been coaching for nearly 50 years, including a six-year stint as Minnesota’s head coach in the 1980s and early 1990s. He was a special teams assistant for the Pirates under Skip Holtz in 2009, and has been a defensive coordinator at three major programs, including North Carolina and Rutgers.

East Carolina has the worst total defense in the FBS, allowing nearly 600 total yards per game, and ranks 127th or worse in all four major stat categories. The Pirates already made one midseason personnel move, reassigning defensive coordinator Kenwick Thompson after Week 2.


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