NCAAF East Carolina Pirates

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General Information

American Athletic Conference 

Division 1

Greenville, North Carolina

Bagwell Field


  • National Championships: None
  • Conference Titles: 7
  • Divisional Championships: 3
  • North State Conference (1947–1961).
  • Southern Conference (1965-1976).
  • Conference USA (1997-2013). 

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East Carolina Pirates Football History

Team History

The East Carolina Pirates field their first team in 1932 under head coach Kenneth Beatty. The Pirates spent a great deal of their time as independents. In 1952, they hired coach Jack Boone.


They finished with a 6-2-2 record and clinched their first-ever bowl game appearance. In the coach’s second season, the team finished with an 8-1 record and won their first conference championship. 


Clarence Stasavich was hired in 1962 and had a very successful eight-year tenure. The Pirates were 50-27-1 in his tenure and 3-0 in bowl games. They joined the Southern Conference in 1965 and finished first in 1966. 


Coaches After Stasavich

Pat Dye coached the Pirates from ‘74-‘79. He led the Pirates to a winning season in each of his six seasons, including winning the Southern Conference in 1976. Dye finished with a 48–18–1 career record. 


Ed Emory and Art Baker coached for most of the 80s. Emory had success in 1983, finishing with an 8-3 record and ranking 20th. He was fired at the end of the 1984 season. 


Steve Logan was named head coach in 1992. The Pirates finished with a losing record in each of his first two seasons. However, his hard work paid off in 1994, since the team finished with a 7-4 record and a trip to the Liberty Bowl.


The year 1995 was even better, with the Pirates finishing 9-3. They earned another invite to the Liberty Bowl where they beat Stanford 19-13.


The Pirates moved to Conference USA in 1997. Quarterback David Garrard started each game from 1999-2001. Garrard had plenty of success with the Pirates.


The Pirates appeared in three straight bowl games with Garrard at the helm. Garrard went on to have a solid NFL career after attending East Carolina. Logan’s last season with the Pirates was in 2002. He finished with a 69-58 overall record and a 2-3 bowl record. 


Skip Holtz became coach in 2005. His first year was very underwhelming but the Pirates finished with winning records and appeared in bowl games in each of his remaining four seasons.


They also won the East division twice under Holtz. In both the 2008 and 2009 seasons, the Pirates finished with 9 wins and a trip to the Liberty Bowl. Holtz finished with a 38-27 overall record. 


East Carolina alumnus Ruffin McNeill was named head coach in 2010. The period comprised between 2012-2014 proved to be his most successful time.


The Pirates went 26-13 in those three seasons. They also appeared in three bowls, including a win in the 2013 Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl. In 2014, the Pirates moved to the American Athletic Conference; in 2014 they went 8-5, and they went 5-7 in 2015. 


Mike Houston has been head coach since 2019 and has had some recent success. After starting with a combined 7-14 record in his first two seasons, the Pirates had a winning season in 2021. 

What is the highest win total in program history?

The 1991 Pirates finished with an 11-1 record. It was their first time winning double-digit games. Quarterback Jeff Blake put up over 3,000 yards and 28 touchdown passes. 

What was the worst season in school history?

In 2003, the Pirates finished with a 1-11 record. The team had just ten takeaways while surrendering 18 interceptions. 

How many bowl games have the Pirates made?

The Pirates have made 20 total bowl games. They currently have a 9-11 bowl record. Their last bowl win came in 2013 against Ohio University in the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl. 

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