Hall of famer VanSant
East Carolina hall of famer Dr. Henry VanSant
died Thursday at age 70, having represented the Pirates as a player, coach
and administrator over a span of six decades.
|Henry VanSant was an
East Carolina student, football player, coach, teacher
and administrator during a sustained and remarkable
period of growth in the university and in Pirate
2003 edition of Bonesville Magazine featured a special "Pirate
Time Machine" package, authored by Ron Cherubini, about
VanSant's life and his front row seat as a devoted alum
from the 1950's into the 21st century. The publication
of the feature in print was preceded by a series of
related online "teaser" articles by Cherubini, each of
which is linked below:
Pedigreed Pirate betting on ECU's
Old Coach has thing or two to say
LeClair hiring process made impact
The Hampton, VA, native played center and
linebacker in the then-East Carolina College football program from 1957 to
1960 under Coach Jack Boone, winning the E.E. Rawl Memorial Award for
character, scholarship and athletic achievement in 1960.
VanSant received his bachelor's and master's
degrees from East Carolina in 1961 and 1962, respectively.
VanSant became an assistant on the Pirate
football staff under legendary single-wing coach Clarence Stasavich from
1962 to 1970, guiding East Carolina's freshmen team from 1962 to 1966,
including the Pirates' only unbeaten first-year team in 1966.
He assisted on the Pirates' back-to-back
Tangerine Bowl champions in 1964 and 1965.
VanSant received his doctoral degree in
education from Alabama in 1975.
He worked on Pat Dye's coaching staff at ECU
VanSant was a head coach on the high school
level in North Carolina and also served in that capacity on the college
level at Guilford and Lenoir-Rhyne.
Dr. VanSant began his administrative tenure at
ECU in 1985 as an assistant to the athletic director before earning the
title of associate athletic director two years later, a position he held
until he retired in 2001.
He also served as interim athletic director
following Dave Hart's departure in 1994. During that time, VanSant appointed
Joe Dooley as men's basketball coach. Dooley compiled a 57-52 record with
In 1998, in his capacity as senior associate
AD, VanSant oversaw the search process and conducted the interview that
resulted in the hiring of Keith LeClair, who would be enshrined in
ECU's Hall of Fame a year ahead of VanSant for his exploits as East Carolina's baseball
coach. During his tenure, LeClair initiated the Pirates' current string of
seven consecutive NCAA postseason appearances and publicly proclaimed that
the program's objective was to reach the College World Series in Omaha, NE,
a goal the team still embraces.
VanSant was enshrined in ECU's athletic hall
He is survived by sons Chuck and John. His
wife, the former Flora "Ronny" McDonald, preceded VanSant in death.
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This page updated
02/23/07 12:30 AM.
©2006 All rights rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bonesville.net staff member
Danny Whitford and an
ECU Athletics release contributed
to this report.