East Carolina Pirates men's basketball

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East Carolina Pirates
2017–18 East Carolina Pirates men's basketball team
East Carolina Pirates wordmark.svg
University East Carolina University
First season 1931–32
Head coach Jeff Lebo (8th season)
Conference The American
Location Greenville, North Carolina
Arena Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum
(Capacity: 8,000)
Nickname Pirates
Student section Minges Maniacs
Colors Purple and Gold[1]
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Home jersey
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Team colours
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Away jersey
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Team colours
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Alternate jersey
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Team colours
NCAA Tournament appearances
1972, 1993
Conference tournament champions
1972, 1993

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 former University of North Carolina player and Auburn coach Jeff Lebo, and play their home games in Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum.


Basketball became the first intercollegiate sport at East Carolina, beginning with the 1931-1932 season. The Pirates appeared in the NAIA National Tournament two years (1953 and 1954), each year losing in the first round. The Pirates combined record in the NAIA was 2–2. The Pirates have also made two appearances in the NCAA Tournament, with the latest appearance occurring in 1993 where they played the North Carolina Tar Heels. East Carolina has had four players to reach the NBA level, Theodore "Blue" Edwards, who was selected by the Utah Jazz with the 21st overall pick of the 1989 NBA Draft, 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 tenth round of the 1968 NBA Draft. The Pirates opened a new 49,000 square foot, two-story practice facility in 2014 called the Smith-Williams Center, which will be attached to Minges Coliseum, where the Pirates hold home court.[2]

Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum[edit]

One of the most intimate, beautiful and fan friendly arenas in all of NCAA Division I is Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum, home of East Carolina men's and women's basketball and volleyball. The cozy 8,000-seat arena gives the Pirates a distinct home court advantage. Now in its 45th 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 2010–11 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. The renovations, totaling almost $12 million, have made the arena one of the finest on-campus basketball facilities on the East Coast.

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 Center[edit]

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 features mirror-image practice courts, locker rooms, coaches' offices, meeting rooms, and training rooms for each program, and will also house the Athletics Hall of Fame, which will feature a 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 results[edit]

NCAA Tournament[edit]

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 CollegeInsider.com 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 record[edit]

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
Total: 1062–1089

      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 Number[edit]

  • 14 – Sonny Russell 1949–1953

Pirates Drafted by NBA[edit]

  • 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 NBA[edit]

  • Oliver Mack – 1979–1982
  • Theodore "Blues" Edwards – 1989–1999
  • Jonathan Kerner – 1998–2001


  1. ^ Official Colors (PDF). ECU Athletics Style Guidelines. July 14, 2017. Retrieved August 2, 2017. 
  2. ^ ECU Athletics Media Relations Office (2015-11-05). "EAST CAROLINA UNIVERSITY 2015-16 Men's Basketball Fact Book" (PDF). The East Carolina University Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. Retrieved 2017-07-29. 

External links[edit]