The Pirates got a much needed transfer addition at punter for the future when Wisconsin LaCrosse’s Zach Kirby made the decision to chart the course to East Carolina.
ECU special teams coach Shannon Moore is handling Kirby’s recruitment for the Pirates and we caught up with Kirby in Buffalo, New York for the very latest.
“I think following this season I was just looking to play and compete at a higher level. I think LaCrosse probably wasn’t the best fit for me up front,” Kirby told PirateIllustrated.com.
Kirby reports that he came to Greenville on June 11 to kick for Coach Moore just two days after kicking at N.C. State.
“They’re in an evaluation period up there in Raleigh and fortunately I was able to take advantage of the opportunity afforded at ECU, so I think I’m no longer looking into that,” said Kirby who outlined the process of his introduction to ECU.
“Following my time at LaCrosse I moved up to Buffalo, New York and started training with the Hammer Kicking Academy and my coach up here (former University of Buffalo kicker) Adam Tanalski coordinated the two of us, me and Coach Moore. We picked out a date and I came and kicked for Coach Moore and I guess that’s kind of how our relationship started.”
Kirby talked about how his freshman season went this past year at Wisconsin-LaCrosse.
“I think it went well. At LaCrosse we did a variation of rugby and regular style kicks. On my regular style kicks I averaged 41.7 yards per kick and my rugby kicks were more towards the low thirty end,” said Kirby.
He outlined some of the main things he liked about the situation at East Carolina as a place to continue his collegiate career.
“You know right away it had like a homey atmosphere. Coach Moore, I couldn’t be more pleased with him just by the way he presented himself and the university in general to me and my Mom. He was just real professional and it looked like he cared a lot about his guys and that’s something that kind of caught my attention right away.”
Kirby is originally from Stoughton, Wisconsin which is about twenty minutes south of Madison.
“I’m real excited. Coming from a D-3 school and having the opportunity to come and from what I know are some of the best college football fans in America. I’m excited to get in front of them and we’ll get to hopefully feed off of that obviously coming from a D-3 school to a D-1 school. It’s a big step, but I’m really looking forward to it,” Kirby told PirateIllustrated.com.
“My excitement level is off the charts right now. I’m anxious to get there and get working right away.”
After leaving LaCrosse, Kirby has been working toward his associates degree for eligibility purposes to transfer to East Carolina. For the first year he will be a preferred walk-on when he arrives in January with three years of eligibility remaining and then the following January of 2019 he hopes to earn a scholarship.
“I would imagine I will be coming down for a game day this season. Otherwise I’ll be there for good in January. I still have to finish up another semester at Erie Community College in Buffalo. I used my first year at LaCross and I’ll be taking my redshirt year this season and I will be eligible in 2018.”
The 5-10, 170 pounder has had his head in the books over the last academic year and he talked about that academic process toward earning an associate degree.
“I’ve been grinding pretty hard taking 19 credits my first semester, 12 this summer and then 19 next semester.”