HAMPTON, Va. — Robert Prunty was introduced as the 21st head coach of the Hampton Pirates at a news conference Dec. 8 at Hampton University’s Student Center Theater.
“I am up for the challenge,” Prunty said.
Eugene Marshall Jr., Director of Athletics at Hampton University, welcomed Prunty, a Hamptonian with more than 30 years of football experience as a player and coach and a four-time conference recruiter-of-the-year honoree with two different Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) programs.
“Coach Prunty’s record speaks for itself,” Marshall said. “He’s from Virginia. He played for Hampton. It was very refreshing to hear him say ‘I want to come back to Hampton.’”
Prunty served last season as East Carolina University’s associate head coach, defensive coordinator and defensive line coach. Prior to that, he served four years as the University of Cincinnati’s associate head coach and defensive ends coach and three years as co-defensive coordinator. Before impacting the Bearcat program, Prunty spent three seasons under Tommy Tuberville at Texas Tech, 2010-2012, directing the Red Raiders’ defensive ends.
“You have no idea how great it is to be back at Hampton,” Prunty said. “This is not my team. It belongs to the university, the alumni, the fans and I want to make that clear.”
Prunty is up to the challenge of taking a winning Pirate team into the bigger spotlight of the Big South Conference, which Hampton University joins next July.
“We will be fundamental and disciplined,” he said. “I didn’t come to Hampton to lose!”
Prunty has been part of five bowl appearances, a conference co-championship and has been recognized by Scout.com as the Big 12 Conference Recruiter-of-the-Year in 2010-11 and 2011-12 before earning similar honors as the American Athletic Conference’s (AAC) top recruiter in 2012-13 and 2013-14.
His player evaluation and relationship cultivation skills produced Texas Tech’s second-highest rated class in school history in 2012 and his efforts were saluted by both Scout.com and Fox Sports. Prunty plans on putting that skill to work on tapping the Hampton Roads rich high school talent pool for the Pirates.
“The 757 area: it will be our bloodline,” Prunty said. “Every coach on my team will be looking for 757 talent.”
Prunty is a Chatham, Va., native and a 1983 Hargrave Military Academy graduate. Prunty split his collegiate career between Hampton University and Alabama A&M, where he graduated in 1988.
For more information on Hampton University football, contact the Office of Sports Information at (757) 727-5757, or visit the official Pirates website at www.hamptonpirates.com.