Mike Houston

JMU head coach Mike Houston adjusts his headset during the second half of the game on Saturday evening.

News broke Friday morning that the Charlotte 49ers have withdrawn their contract offer to current JMU head coach Mike Houston, after he reportedly told the university he was interested in exploring other options while remaining a candidate for the vacant position. 49ers' Director of Athletics Mike Hill released the following statement via email Friday afternoon:

“Normally, I would not comment on an ongoing search. However, in light of recent public comments, I feel it’s important to update our supporters on the status of our interest in Mike Houston.”

“This morning we withdrew a contract offer that had been negotiated in good faith with Coach Houston and his representatives. This was based on the fact that last evening, Coach Houston informed us that he had interest in exploring other head coaching opportunities, while remaining under consideration here.”

“We feel great about our candidate pool and believe this institution, our students, fans and team deserve a head coach that is 100% committed to the Charlotte 49ers.”

2019 FCS Playoffs - JMU

This comes just one day after East Carolina fired its former head coach, Scottie Montgomery, before the conclusion of its season. Reports then came out that the Pirates were going after Houston to become their next head coach, despite the fact that Houston had spoken with Charlotte twice already. During Houston’s second, in-person meeting Tuesday, he told 49ers Athletic Director Mike Hill he was “interested” in the position.

Houston, still the head coach of James Madison, is currently traveling to upstate New York as the Dukes prepare to take on the Colgate Raiders in the second round of the FCS playoffs. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. Saturday.

Contact Blake Pace at breezesports@gmail.com. For more football coverage, follow the sports desk on Twitter @TheBreezeSports.