N.C. Central elevated Granville Eastman to interim head coach with the departure of Jerry Mack, who left NCCU to become the offensive coordinator at Rice on Friday. NCCU Athletics
N.C. Central elevated Granville Eastman to interim head coach with the departure of Jerry Mack, who left NCCU to become the offensive coordinator at Rice on Friday. NCCU Athletics

Durham County

NCCU promotes Eastman to interim head football coach

By Joe Johnson And Jonas Pope

jjohnson@heraldsun.com

jpope@heraldsun.com

December 08, 2017 06:31 PM

DURHAM

N.C. Central promoted Granville Eastman to serve as the interim head football coach for the 2018 season on Friday. He replaces Jerry Mack, who left NCCU for another coaching opportunity.

Mack has been hired to be the offensive coordinator at Rice.

NCCU announced the staffing changes Friday night.

Eastman has been an integral part of the Eagles’ success during the past four years as the assistant head coach, defensive coordinator and safeties coach.

Help us deliver journalism that makes a difference in our community.

Our journalism takes a lot of time, effort, and hard work to produce. If you read and enjoy our journalism, please consider subscribing today.

Since joining NCCU in 2014, Eastman has engineered one of the nation’s top defensive units. The Eagles have ranked among the NCAA Division I-FCS top-10 statistical leaders in tackles-for-loss, fumbles recovered, red zone defense, turnovers gained, and third-down and fourth-down conversion percentage defense.

“I am so proud and happy for my friend Jerry Mack. I wish him and his family all the best in this next chapter of their journey,” said Eastman. “I am most proud of what we have established here at North Carolina Central University. Coach Mack was the architect for designing a football program for success both on and off the field. I consider it an honor and a privilege to carry on the tradition of excellence in his footsteps.”

Eastman coached four seasons (1999-2002) at Tiffin University in Ohio, including the last three seasons as defensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator, while working with defensive backs and defensive line during his tenure.

A native of Toronto, Canada, Eastman secured his first coaching position at York University in his hometown, where he spent two seasons (1994-95) working with defensive backs.

He then served as a defensive graduate assistant for three seasons (1996-98) at Arkansas State University.

NCCU chancellor Johnson Akinkeye wished Mack success in his new position at Rice.

“North Carolina Central University is excited about Coach Jerry Mack’s new appointment and salute his contributions to our student-athletes and athletics program,” Johnson said. “Over the past four years, our football program has experienced tremendous success, including capturing three championships under the leadership of Coach Mack. He and his staff’s dedication to our student-athletes and this university has built a nationally-ranked program that has garnered increased exposure for NCCU throughout North Carolina and around the country.

Johnson said elevating Eastman to interim head coach was the right move.

“Granville Eastman is an accomplished coach who has been part of our championship-winning coaching staff,” Johnson added. “We are thrilled he accepted our offer to serve in this new role and look forward to the continuity his leadership will bring.”