East Carolina signs football coach Mike Houston to extension through 2026 season, sources say

East Carolina, which has secured a winning season for the first time in seven years, has locked up head coach Mike Houston with an extension through 2026 that averages $2.3 million annually, sources told ESPN on Thursday.

The value of his new five-year deal is worth $11.5 million, sources told ESPN.

Houston's name had been connected to several head-coaching openings, including at Duke and Virginia Tech.

The Pirates (7-5 overall, 5-3 AAC) are headed to the Military Bowl on Dec. 27 to face an ACC opponent.

Houston, who earned $1.5 million this year, has steadily turned around an East Carolina program that had not won more than four games in a season since 2015. The Pirates have a chance to win eight games for the first time since the 2014 season, when they lost to Florida in the Birmingham Bowl.

Three of ECU's five losses this season were by four or fewer points or in overtime, and the Pirates closed the regular season by winning four of their last five games.

Prior to coming to ECU, Houston was at James Madison for three seasons, winning the FCS national championship in 2016 and national runner-up in 2017.