In 1991: East Carolina joins Conference USA as a charter member for football only. The football team plays in its fourth Division I bowl game, the Peach Bowl again, losing to North Carolina State. Bill Lewis becomes the head coach of the football team.
After an average junior season, Johnson entered his senior season as a preseason All-Conference USA first-team as a return specialist. However, he finished the season as a first-team selection as a returner and second-team selection as a running back. Johnson began the season with a rushing score in the 17–7 loss to Virginia Tech. He followed that performance up with ...
In 2008: The football team wins its first Conference USA title and plays in its eighth Division I bowl game, the Hawaii Bowl again, losing to Hawaii. Chris Johnson becomes the most decorated running back in school history.
In 2009: The football team wins its second consecutive Conference USA title and plays in its ninth Division I bowl game, the Liberty Bowl again, losing to Arkansas. Skip Holtz leaves as head coach to take over at South Florida. Ruffin McNeill becomes the head coach of the football team.
In 2010: The baseball team reaches the Super Regionals of the NCAA tournament for the second time, losing to Virginia. Billy Godwin becomes the head coach of the baseball team.
History of the Pirates
The East Carolina Pirates have been a powerhouse in NCAA sports for many years. From football to basketball, the Pirates have consistently proven themselves as one of the best teams in college athletics. With a rich history and passionate fan base, it's no wonder why so many people are drawn to this team!
The Pirates first made their mark on college athletics in football when they joined Conference USA in 1996. Since then, they've won several conference championships and earned multiple bowl game appearances over two decades later. In 2019 alone, The East Carolina Pirates finished with an impressive 11-2 record – their best since 2014 – while claiming victories against top-tier opponents like Navy and Virginia Tech.
In basketball, too, The East Carolina Pirates have had much success throughout its program’s history, most notably making numerous trips to both NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteens (2006 & 2009) and NIT Final Fours (2003 & 2005). Additionally, during that period from 2003–2009 under head coach Mack McCarthy’s tenure at ECU, the Pirate men's hoops squad posted five consecutive 20+ win seasons - something only accomplished by six other schools during that same span nationwide.
Overall, there are plenty of reasons for Sports Fans everywhere to be proud supporters of The Mighty East Carolina University Pirate Athletics Program! With such outstanding accomplishments already achieved across all sports programs and promising prospects ahead, things will continue looking up for ECU fans far into the next decade!
College Sports Established
Greenville, North Carolina
East Carolina University
1973 - Present / NCAA Division 1
1932 - 1973 / University Division of the NCAA
2014 - Present / American Athletic Conference
1997 - 2014 / Conference USA
1932 - 1997 - Independent
Pirates - The East Carolina Pirates are one of the most recognizable college teams in the country. With their iconic pirate logo and nickname, they have become a staple in NCAA athletics. But where did this unique name come from? It turns out that there is an interesting story behind it!
In 1934, football coach Clarence Stasavich was hired to lead East Carolina University's team. He wanted to create a unique identity for his players. He chose the name “Pirates” to honor local folklore about pirates who had operated along North Carolina’s coast centuries ago. The school adopted its now-famous logo featuring an eye patch-wearing pirate with crossed swords shortly after Stasavich arrived at ECU, further solidifying its new identity as “the Pirates."
Since then, East Carolina has embraced its nickname wholeheartedly—from using it on merchandise and apparel to having fans dress up like pirates during games or other events held by the university. The Pirate mascot also regularly appears at sporting events around campus each year! This shows just how much pride students take in their school's history and heritage regarding sports teams - something that will continue for many years!
Men's Basketball 0
Women's Basketball 0
To qualify as the greatest player for this team, the player must have played one season for this team. If not, we will remove the player.
* verifies that player has played for this team as an added player by a fan.