Al Johnson steps down from ECU positions

ECU Athletics

ADA – East Central University Head Football Coach and Interim Athletic Director Al Johnson announced today that he will be leaving ECU to take a once in lifetime opportunity.

“This decision is very bittersweet for my family and I. We cannot say thank you enough to ECU, the alumni and the Ada community,” Johnson said. “Over the last four years, East Central University has become our home.

“The hardest part of this decision is leaving the players,” he continued. “I truly love this team and I will miss this team. I am honored that I was able their head coach for the last four years. East Central University and the Ada community will forever have a place in my heart. I want to thank President Gibson for his support and leadership during this difficult decision. One thing that makes this decision easier is that I know I am leaving our athletic department and football team in very good hands.”

Today, Interim ECU President Dr. Jeffrey Gibson has appointed women’s basketball head coach Matt Cole as interim athletic director and Kris McCullough as the interim head football coach.

“We are very fortunate to have two very capable people to step into these roles,” Gibson said. “I have every confidence Coach Cole and Coach McCollough will continue to lead ECU Athletics to success. We will miss Coach Johnson and wish him well in this new endeavor.”

Cole has served as the ECU head women’s basketball coach for eight years, leading the Tigers to post-season play seven times.

“I’m honored to be asked to serve as ECU interim athletic director and I look forward to supporting our student athletes in their academic and athletic ventures,” Cole said.

McCollough has served as assistant head coach and offensive coordinator under Johnson for the last four years. He assisted Johnson as they led the Tigers to a winning season (7-4) in 2021, the first since 2015.

“I am so proud and excited to have the opportunity to lead the ECU Football FAMILY moving forward,” McCollough said. “I love these players, this staff, this University, and the Ada community.
ECU expects to begin the search for an athletic director and a head football coach in the near future.

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