DURHAM, N.C. – North Carolina Central University promoted Granville Eastman to serve as interim head football coach for the 2018 season on Friday, as Jerry Mack departs NCCU for another coaching position.
“North Carolina Central University is excited about Coach Jerry Mack’s new appointment and salute his contributions to our student-athletes and athletics program,” said NCCU Chancellor Dr. Johnson Akinleye. “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.
“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.”
With 24 years of collegiate coaching experience to his credit, 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.
“Coach Mack and his staff have achieved significant accomplishments over the past four seasons and have created a championship brand of FCS football at NCCU. I am proud that our student-athletes have developed academically and athletically under the leadership of this group of coaches,” said Dr. Ingrid Wicker McCree, NCCU Director of Athletics. “I am confident in Coach Eastman’s ability to continue leading our program, further our winning culture and ensure the academic and athletic success of our student-athletes at NCCU.”
Since joining NCCU in 2014, Eastman has engineered one of the nation’s top defensive units. Under his tutelage, 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.”
Prior to joining NCCU, Eastman spent nine seasons as the defensive coordinator at Austin Peay State University in Clarkesville, Tennessee. During his 11 total seasons at APSU, he coached defensive backs and linebackers, and also served as special teams coordinator and interim head coach.
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, earning a master’s degree in sociology in 1999.
He has interned with five NFL teams since 2002, lending his services to the Detroit Lions (2002), Arizona Cardinals (2004), Tennessee Titans (2006), Indianapolis Colts (2011) and Minnesota Vikings (2012).
Eastman was a two-time all-city defensive back at Stephen Leacock High School in Toronto before attending Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, where he was a three-year letterman as a defensive back. Twice Saint Mary’s played in national title games while he was there. Eastman earned his bachelor’s degree from Saint Mary’s University in 1992.
Eastman also volunteers as a coach and mentor with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
He is married to the former Lynnette Armstrong. They are the proud parents of two sons – J.R. and Brandon.
Courtesy: NCCU Athletics