Robert Prunty named Hampton's new head football coach

HAMPTON, Va. - Former Alabama A&M football standout Robert Prunty, who has spent more than three decades as a player and coach on various levels, was chosen Thursday as the new head football coach at Hampton University.

Prunty, 53, served this season as East Carolina’s associate head coach, defensive coordinator and defensive line coach. Before that, he spent four years as Cincinnati’s associate head coach and defensive ends coach and three as co-defensive coordinator. He earlier spent three seasons under Tommy Tuberville at Texas Tech, from 2010-12, directing the Red Raiders’ defensive ends.

He inherits a Pirate team that went 6-5 this season, including 5-3 (tied for fourth) in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. Connell Maynor stepped down as head coach after four seasons.

“I am honored to be named the head football coach of Hampton University,” said Prunty, who will lead Hampton into its first season in the Big South Conference. “I would like to thank President Dr. William R. Harvey and Athletic Director Eugene Marshall Jr. for this opportunity.

“I will give all that I have to make this program successful ... There is plenty of work to be done until we reach our goal, but we will all work tirelessly to get us there.”

In seven seasons at the FBS level, Prunty has been part of five bowls, a conference co-championship and has been recognized by as the Recruiter of the Year twice in the Big 12 and two more times in the American Athletic Conference.

Prunty, a Chatham native, played at Hampton, but then moved on to Alabama A&M, where he graduated in 1988. He coached at Gretna High, taking a program that had lost 44 straight between 1991 and 1995 and leading it to an 11-1 mark in his final season in 2001. He also coached at his prep school alma mater, Hargrave Military Academy, sending 27 players on to the NFL, including two as first-round draft picks.

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