Report: Louisville To Hire ECU's De'Rail Sims as Next RB Coach

He will replace Norval McKenzie, who left for Vanderbilt earlier this month.
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(Photo of De'Rail Sims: Twitter)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - One of the two coaching staff vacancies for the Louisville football program is reportedly about to be filled.

The Cardinals are "expected to hire" East Carolina running backs coach De'Rail Sims to the same position at Louisville, according to Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports and Bruce Feldman of The Athletic.

He is replacing Norval McKenzie, who left earlier this month to join his alma mater of Vanderbilt at the same position. Louisville still looking for their next quarterbacks coach, as Frank Ponce left to accept the offensive coordinator job at Appalachian State.

In his two years at ECU, the Pirates have rushed for a total of 3,260 yards and 33 touchdowns. During his first year in 2019, the program has their highest single-season rushing yardage total since 2014, rushing for 1,696 yards. Sims recruited and developed Rahjai Davis to play for the Pirates, who then rushed for 647 yards this past season- a program single-season record for a true freshman, surpassing Chris Johnson's 561 in 2004.

Before his stint in Greenville, N.C., the Union, S.C. native was the running backs coach at James Madison from 2016 to 2018. During that span, the Dukes were 4th nationally in rushing touchdowns with 108, 6th in rushing yards with 9,422, and 13th in rushing yards per game with 219.1.

The Cardinals might be losing star running Javian Hawkins to the NFL, but the position will be relatively deep in 2021. Louisville returns Hassan Hall, Jalen Mitchell and Maurice Burkley while signing Trevion Cooley.

Louisville ended the 2020 season at 4-7 overall and 3-7 in the ACC.

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