Earnest  Wilson
Earnest Wilson
Head Coach

Alma Mater:
Texas Tech, 1989

Earnest J. Wilson, III begins his second season overseeing the ECSU football program. He was named Elizabeth City State head football coach on February 19, 2016.

Over the course of his first season at ECSU, Wilson led the Vikings to a 5-5 overall record and a 4-3 Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association record. He was also named the 2016 CIAA Football Coach of the Year.

After starting the season 0-2, Wilson was able to get the Vikings on track finishing the season winning five of his final eight contests. Among those wins was Wilson's first victory as head coach over conference foes Chowan University (40-21) and Virginia Union (24-21). He also coached and helped develop senior All-American and All-CIAA tight-end Victor Tabbs.

Wilson joins ECSU after a three year stint at Division I-AA Savannah State University of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC). Prior to his tenure at SSU he was at Hampton University, where he has served as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach since 2012.

Before joining Hampton, Wilson worked at Jackson State University (JSU) as offensive coordinator, quarterback coach and wide receiver coach for two years (2010-12). While at JSU, Wilson's offense led the South Western Athletic Conference (SWAC) in scoring offense, total offense, pass offense, pass efficiency, first downs and fourth down conversions. Under his tutelage, JSU led the nation in total offense averaging almost 500 yards a game. JSU also had the 9th highest scoring offense in the nation and averaged 35 points per game.

Prior to JSU, Wilson served as the running backs coach and recruiting coordinator at New Mexico State (2005-09). Wilson coached the number two passer in the nation while at New Mexico State and a team that lead the nation in total offense and was 3rd in the nation in passing (2010 and 2011) for NCAA Division I. He successfully recruited two players that continued on to play in the NFL.

Before Mexico State, Wilson was the offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach at Benedict College (2003-04) for two seasons. He led the team to its first winning season with a first team All-Academic quarterback.

Wilson's coaching background includes a stint as the head coach and director of football operations for the Carolina Rhinos (2001-02) and Jacksonville Tomcats (1999-2001) of Arena League Football 2 (AFL2). In his first season as head coach in 2000, the Rhinos posted a 10-8 record. The next year, Wilson led the Rhinos to a 13-5 record and advanced to the semifinals of the playoffs. Wilson took over at Jacksonville in 2002, leading the Tomcats to an 8-8 record (second place).

Wilson also served as the head coach of the Dayton Skyhawks of the Indoor Football League (1999). He led the team to the semifinals of the playoffs.

From 1998-1999 he served as the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at Oberlin College. He coached numerous All-League and All-American performers. While at Oberlin he also served as an assistant men's and women's track and field coach. Prior to Oberlin, Wilson was the offensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator, quarterbacks coach for ECSU. He also served as a lecturer for the Department of Health and Physical Education.

From 1994-1996 he was the special teams coordinator, receivers and tight ends coach at Alabama A&M. Under his tutelage the special teams was ranked first in the nation in KOR and second in punt return. Wilson coached a first team All-Conference (SWAC) wide receiver. Wilson worked as an offensive graduate assistant under legendary football coach Joe Paterno at Penn State in the 1993-1994 season. That season, the Nittany Lions finished 10-2 and won the 1993 Citrus Bowl.

Prior to his graduate work, Wilson was the receivers and tight ends coach at The University of Maine. Wilson helped the team set passing and special teams records and compile the best team record in four years, while at Maine.

Wilson also worked as receivers and tight ends coach at Allegheny College (1990-92). While at Allegheny, he was part of the coaching staff that won the 1990 NCAA Division III National Championship.

Wilson played football while receiving both his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Texas Tech University. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Recreation in 1989 and a Master of Education in Sports Administration in 1990.

Wilson is married to Maria, and the couple has three children, Earnest, IV, Jonathan, and Mya.