YEAR-IN-REVIEW: East Carolina Athletics

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – 2015 for East Carolina marked a year of transition.

It started back in January. After the Pirates fell in the Birmingham Bowl, their 8th bowl appearance in the last nine years, ECU said goodbye to two Pirate greats.

Shane Carden, the school’s all-time leading passer, and his favorite target, Justin Hardy each tried their hand at the professional level.

Hardy, the all-time receptions leader in NCAA history, was drafted in the fourth round by the Atlanta Falcons.

Offensive Coordinator Lincoln Riley also packed his bags and took his talents to Oklahoma, where, by the year’s end, he’d win the Broyles Award, given to the nation’s top assistant football coach.

The year also brought championships to Greenville. The Men’s Swimming & Diving program captured the first American Athletic Conference Championship in school history.

A few months later, the ECU Baseball team were crowned AAC Tournament Champions. Head Coach Cliff Godwin was also named Conference Coach of the Year.

The ECU Women’s basketball program also made history. For the first time in school history, ECU hosted a WNIT game.

Pirate basketball also saw a couple shooters eclipse one-thousand career points, Jada Payne for the ladies, and Caleb White for the men.

Transition continued in 2015 when East Carolina hired a new softball coach. Courtney Oliver took over the program in June.

However, the personnel wasn’t the only change in 2015. East Carolina inked a 10-year partnership with Adidas, leaving their deal with Nike in the dust.

But our story of the year, is one that is still developing. Six-year football coach Ruffin McNeill was fired in early December.

McNeill was hired as the Assistant Head Coach at the University of Virginia.

On December 14, the Pirates announced the hiring of Scottie Montgomery as the next football coach at East Carolina.

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