Why Won’t ETSU Tell Us What’s Going on?

Marky Billson
3 min readApr 8, 2022

They are only releasing half the story.

East Tennessee State would like us to think their football and basketball programs are winners.

The Buccaneers’ men’s basketball team has struggled the past two seasons, but the memories of ETSU winning the Southern Conference in 2020 are still fresh. Even after last season’s 15–17 campaign the Bucs have posted winning records in 19 of the last 22 seasons.

In 2021, the football team won a school-record 11 games en route to their second conference championship in four years.

So what’s with ETSU trying to keep their fans in the dark as to what’s going on?

Case in point, the changes new head football coach George Quarles made on his assistant coaching staff.

When a new head coach is hired it isn’t uncommon for there to be some turnover among assistant coaches. So the departure of offensive coordinator Mike Rader shouldn’t be that much of a surprise considering he wanted the head coaching position.

Under the circumstances being a loyal lieutenant to the eventual hire would be difficult.

But for ETSU to not announce his departure is the height of disingenuousness.

The goings on of the football team were kept so secret it was never formally announced Adam Neugebauer had come from Slippery Rock to be the new offensive coordinator, let alone Rader’s departure.

Rader is a Johnson City native who was once a teammate of current athletic director Scott Carter on the football team. Not that if he was from out of town and went to a different school would the act of sweeping his departure under the rug be any less professional, but his departure is clearly news.

Sadly, Rader isn’t alone. Steve Brown, last season’s defensive backs coach, departed without an announcement.

When men’s basketball coach Desmond Oliver hired Vince Martin as an assistant coach, there was no mention of the departure of Manoris Robinson from the staff; not even a standard “Martin replaces Robinson on Oliver’s staff” line announcing the hire.

It was as if Martin never existed.

We hardly knew ye