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East Carolina Pirates men's basketball

The East Carolina Pirates men's basketball team represents East Carolina University in NCAA Division I college basketball and competes in the American Athletic Conference. The Pirates are coached by Joe Dooley.

East Carolina Pirates
2018–19 East Carolina Pirates men's basketball team
East Carolina Pirates wordmark.svg
UniversityEast Carolina University
First season1931–32
Head coachJoe Dooley (5th season)
ConferenceThe American
LocationGreenville, North Carolina
ArenaWilliams Arena at Minges Coliseum
(Capacity: 8,000)
Student sectionMinges Maniacs
ColorsPurple and Gold[1]
NCAA Tournament Appearances
1972, 1993
Conference Tournament Champions
1972, 1993


Basketball became the first intercollegiate sport at East Carolina, beginning with the 1931-1932 season. The Pirates joined the NAIA North State Conference in 1947, winning the conference title in 1953-54 and appeared in the NAIA National Tournament two years in 1953 and '54, winning two district titles before losing in the first round of the national finals. Ten years later, ECU made the jump to Division I as a member of the Southern Conference and became a full-fledged member during the 1965-66 season. ECU captured the SoCon tournament title in 1972 and reached the NCAA Tournament for the first time. Three years later, ECU returned to the postseason when it received an invitation to inaugural Collegiate Commissioners Tournament, losing to Arizona in the first round. ECU withdrew from the Southern Conference two years later, opting to remain a Division I-A football institution and an independent in all other sports.

ECU joined the East Coast Athletic Conference and competed in the South Division in 1981-82. The seven members of the division formed the Colonial Athletic Association in 1985. Theodore "Blue" Edwards was named the conference's Player-of-the-Year for 1988-89 and as selected by the Utah Jazz with the 21st overall pick of the 1989 NBA Draft. Two years later, ECU hired Eddie Payne as its head coach and in his second year he led the Pirates to a memorable three-day run through the 1993 CAA Championship tournament and the program's first NCAA appearance in 21 years. ECU lost to eventual national champion North Carolina in the first round. Payne coached the Pirates for four seasons before giving way to his top assistant Joe Dooley, who also led the program for four seasons (1995-99) and compiled the highest winning percentage in the school's Division I history.

After 15 years as a member of the CAA, ECU joined Conference USA in 2001-02 and its first season earned its first-ever victory over an AP Top-10 team, defeating No. 9 Marquette. The Pirates spent 13 seasons in C-USA before becoming a member of the newly formed American Athletic Conference in 2014-15. As a member of Conference USA, ECU made three consecutive appearances in the CIT postseason tournament, claiming the tournament championship in 2013 as Akeem Richmond's buzzer-beater gave the Pirates a championship game win over Weber State.

East Carolina has had four players to reach the NBA level. In addition to Edwards, Oliver Mack who was selected by the Los Angeles Lakers as the third pick in the second round of the 1979 NBA Draft, George Maynor, who was selected by the Chicago Bulls as the sixth pick in the fourth round of the 1979 NBA Draft, and Charles Alford, who was selected by the Los Angeles Lakers as the ninth pick in the 10th round of the 1968 NBA Draft.

Williams Arena at Minges ColiseumEdit

One of the most intimate and fan friendly arenas in all of NCAA Division I is Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum, home of the ECU men's and women's basketball and volleyball programs. The cozy 7,100-seat arena gives the Pirates a distinct home court advantage. Now in its 52nd season of hosting Pirate basketball, the coliseum is connected to the second level of the Murphy Center, the Pirates' state-of-the-art athletic training facility, by an indoor walkway. The floor inside Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum recently received a fresh look prior to the 2014-15 season with new designs and logos.

Constructed at a cost of $2 million, Minges Coliseum was dedicated on Jan. 27, 1968, in the name of the Minges family of Greenville, N.C. As owners of Pepsi-Cola bottling operations in Greenville, Kinston and New Bern, the Minges family has provided leadership and support of East Carolina University Athletics over the years, going back to the days when the late Dr. Ray Minges served as President of the Century Club (forerunner of the Pirate Club), from 1965–68. After 27 years of basketball, Minges Coliseum underwent a facelift prior to the 1994–95 season.

Williams Arena is named in honor and recognition of Walter and Marie Williams for their support of East Carolina Athletics over the years. As alumni of East Carolina College, Walter and Marie have endowed two Men's Basketball Position scholarships, the Spirit of the East Post-Eligibility Scholarship, and an unrestricted student-athlete scholarship on behalf of the University's athletics program. Further, through Trade Oil Company, the Williams family gave the first $1 million gift ever given to the Educational Foundation in support of ECU Athletics, through the Shared Visions Campaign. In addition to his financial support, Walter Williams has given his time unselfishly in support of the Pirate Club. During 1997–98, Walter served as Executive President of the Educational Foundation.

Smith-Williams CenterEdit

The Smith-Williams Center, which is structurally connected to Minges Coliseum, is the headquarters for and is devoted exclusively to the men's and women's basketball programs, providing them with a state-of-the-art venue in which to practice, train and condition. The 49,000-square-foot (4,600 m2), multi-level facility, which opened in 2013, features mirror-image practice courts, locker rooms, coaches' offices, meeting rooms, and training rooms for each program, and houses the Athletics Hall of Fame, which features an interactive display of the history of intercollegiate athletics at ECU. Named in honor of principal donors Harry and Tammy Smith and Walter and Marie Williams, the center has a total project cost of $17 million that was funded entirely through private gifts. The Smith's commitment of $1 million toward the Step Up To The Highest Level Campaign in December 2011, coupled with leadership gifts from the Williams family and contributions of numerous other donors enabled the construction of the facility. Each court is named for donors who contributed significantly to the Step Up To The Highest Level campaign. The floor inside the women's practice gym is called Barnhill Court, in recognition of the financial support of Bob Barnhill of Tarboro. The men's gym floor is named Rogers-Whitaker court, in appreciation of the monetary gifts of Mike and Janet Rogers of Cary, N.C., and Don and Donna Whitaker of Virginia Beach, Va. Whitaker was a two-year ECU basketball letterman for coaches Dave Patton and Larry Gillman.

Division I post season resultsEdit

NCAA TournamentEdit

The Pirates have appeared in two NCAA Tournaments. Their combined record is 0–2.

Year Round Opponent Result
1972 First Round Villanova L 70–85
1993 First Round North Carolina L 65–85


The Pirates have appeared in three Postseason Tournaments (CIT). Their combined record is 5–2 and they were CIT champions in 2013.

Year Round Opponent Result
2011 First Round Jacksonville L 66–71 OT
2013 First Round
Second Round
Savannah State
Loyola (MD)
Weber State
W 66–65
W 75–54
W 70–58
W 81–58
W 77–74
2014 First Round Wright State L 59–73


The Pirates appeared in one of the only two ever Collegiate Commissioners Association Tournaments. Their record is 0–1.

Year Round Opponent Result
1975 Quarterfinals Arizona L 78–94

Team recordEdit

Season Coach Overall Conference Standing Postseason
East Carolina (Southern Conference) (1965–1977)
1965–1966 Wendell Carr 11–15 5–7 5th
1966–1967 Tom Quinn 7–17 4–8 8th
1967–1968 Tom Quinn 9–16 6–7 7th
1968–1969 Tom Quinn 17–11 9–2 2nd
1969–1970 Tom Quinn 16–10 9–2 2nd
1970–1971 Tom Quinn 13–12 7–4 4th
1971–1972 Tom Quinn 14–15 7–5 3rd NCAA 1st Round
1972–1973 Tom Quinn 13–13 7–7 4th
1973–1974 Tom Quinn 13–12 8–6 4th
1974–1975 Dave Patton 19–9 11–3 2nd NCIT quarterfinals
1975–1976 Dave Patton 11–15 7–7 T-3rd
1976–1977 Dave Patton 10–18 3–9 5th
East Carolina (Independent) (1977–1981)
1977–1978 Larry Gillman 9–17
1978–1979 Larry Gillman 12–15
1979–1980 Dave Odom 16–11
1980–1981 Dave Odom 12–14
East Carolina (Colonial Athletic Association) (1981–2001)
1981–1982 Dave Odom 10–17 2–8 7th
1982–1983 Charlie Harrison 16–13 3–7 5th
1983–1984 Charlie Harrison 4–24 1–9 6th
1984–1985 Charlie Harrison 7–21 1–13 8th
1985–1986 Charlie Harrison 12–16 6–8 T-4th
1986–1987 Charlie Harrison 12–16 4–11 7th
1987–1988 Mike Steele 8–20 3–12 8th
1988–1989 Mike Steele 15–14 6–8 T-5th
1989–1990 Mike Steele 13–18 6–8 5th
1990–1991 Mike Steele 12–16 4–10 7th
1991–1992 Eddie Payne 10–18 4–10 6th
1992–1993 Eddie Payne 14–16 4–10 7th NCAA 1st Round
1993–1994 Eddie Payne 15–12 7–8 5th
1994–1995 Eddie Payne 18–11 7–8 4th
1995–1996 Joe Dooley 17–11 9–9 T-4th
1996–1997 Joe Dooley 17–10 9–7 T-3rd
1997–1998 Joe Dooley 10–17 5–11 T-7th
1998–1999 Joe Dooley 13–14 7–9 7th
1999–2000 Bill Herrion 10–18 5–11 T-8th
2000–2001 Bill Herrion 14–14 6–10 T-7th
East Carolina (Conference USA) (2001–2014)
2001–2002 Bill Herrion 12–18 5–11 T-11th
2002–2003 Bill Herrion 12–15 3–13 T-13th
2003–2004 Bill Herrion 13–14 5–11 11th
2004–2005 Bill Herrion 9–19 4–12 T-12th
2005–2006 Ricky Stokes 8–20 2–12 12th
2006–2007 Ricky Stokes 6–24 1–15 12th
2007–2008 Mack McCarthy 11–19 5–11 10th
2008–2009 Mack McCarthy 13–17 5–11 9th
2009–2010 Mack McCarthy 10–21 4–12 10th
2010–2011 Jeff Lebo 18–16 8–8 T-7th 2011 CIT 1st Round
2011–2012 Jeff Lebo 15–16 5–11 10th
2012–2013 Jeff Lebo 23–12 9–7 T-4th 2013 CIT Champions
2013–2014 Jeff Lebo 17–17 5–11 12th 2014 CIT 1st Round
East Carolina (American Athletic Conference) (2014–present)
2014–2015 Jeff Lebo 14–19 6–12 T-7th
2015–2016 Jeff Lebo 12–20 4–14 T-9th
2016–2017 Jeff Lebo 15–17 6–12 9th
2017–2018 Jeff Lebo
Michael Perry
10–20 4–14 11th
2018–2019 Joe Dooley
Total: 1072–1109

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion

Retired NumberEdit

  • 14 – Sonny Russell 1949–1953

Pirates Drafted by NBAEdit

  • Theodore "Blue" Edwards – Utah Jazz (21st overall) 1989
  • Oliver Mack – Los Angeles Lakers (third pick in the second round) 1979
  • George Maynor – Chicago Bulls (sixth pick in the fourth round) 1979
  • Charles Alford – Los Angeles Lakers (ninth pick in the tenth round) 1968

Players in the NBAEdit


  1. ^ ECU Athletics Style Guidelines (PDF). July 14, 2017. Retrieved August 2, 2017.

External linksEdit