ECU News, Notes and Commentary
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
By Bethany Bradsher
Shakeup thrusts willing new
leader out front
AD Holland has no
shortage of confidence in Billy Godwin
Taylor wasn’t sure what he and his teammates had done wrong, but he figured
it must have been something pretty bad.
day before, the East Carolina baseball squad had played a 100-inning charity
baseball game for Hurricane Katrina victims. But Monday, with practice
cancelled and an emergency team meeting called, had a completely different
“It was a
shock to us all,” Taylor said. “We thought we might have gotten in trouble
or something. But it was hard on a lot of us.“
being reprimanded, Taylor and the other Diamond Bucs were among the first to
know what the rest of the Pirate Nation learned that evening — that Randy
Mazey’s tenure as the ECU head baseball coach ended with that charity event.
director Terry Holland completed his version of fruit-basket turnover with
an announcement that surprised observers with its timing but not with its
result. When Billy Godwin was introduced as the acting head coach on Tuesday
morning, baseball became the last of the ECU’s principal revenue sports to
get a new leader in just 10 months.
by Brian Bailey
who took no questions during Tuesday’s press conference but fielded some
media questions afterwards, was tight-lipped about the reasons for the move,
departure of popular assistant coaches Allen Osborne
and Tommy Eason last spring and reported frustration from Pirates
players have created a volatile environment around the baseball offices
going to continue to go down that road where you’re going to ask me things
that I’m forced to say ‘no comment’ on,” Holland said in response to media
questions. “I’m trying to do the best I can to let you do your jobs, but I
don’t want to say ‘no comment’ over and over when you know the answer.”
Holland did elaborate on was his confidence in Godwin, the 41-year-old
former Louisburg College head coach who came to ECU in June to replace
Osborne as the Pirates’ hitting coach. When Eason and Osborne both left
shortly after the Pirates’ trip to the NCAA Regionals, Holland and associate
athletic director Nick Floyd took a heightened interest in the search for
the final assistant’s spot.
no question in our minds at that time that this was someone who could really
help us and help our program,” Holland said. “I don’t think any of us could
have anticipated how important that hire was going to end up being. I can’t
tell you how comfortable I am at this time of turning the reins over to this
gentleman. He will absolutely build a program that is built on trust and
mutual respect that all of us can be proud of.”
spent six years at the helm at Louisburg, compiling a 262-85 record. He
earned the 2005 Region X Coach of the Year honor and in 2002 was named North
Carolina College Coach of the Year after leading the Hurricanes to the JUCO
Mount native who played baseball for Atlantic Christian (now Barton) College
in Wilson, Godwin has also served as an assistant at N.C. Wesleyan College
and as head coach at two private high schools, Enfield Academy in Rocky
Mount and Cary Academy in Cary.
press conference, Godwin described the whirlwind he has experienced since
accepting the interim coach’s position on Monday. His first priority was to
meet with the players, he said, and despite their surprise at the dramatic
turn of events, he was reassured by the support they showed their new
ultimate concern is with the 31 young men we have in our program,” he said.
“The first goal, and I think we’ve accomplished that, is to get these guys
to believe in me. I think a lot of coaches demand respect because of their
title. Since I’ve been here, I’ve worked hard to earn their trust and to
earn their respect. I think it’s a day-to-day process.”
next crucial task is to contact each of the 10 recruits who have made
pledges to ECU, he said. The baseball signing period ends on Nov. 1.
10 commitments, which we think is an outstanding recruiting class for us,
and our goal is to maintain that entire class,” he said.
who pitched for Godwin’s team at Louisburg before signing with ECU, will try
to be a team leader during his senior season and help Godwin as he tries to
push this Pirates team toward its ultimate goal.
that he wants our help to keep this thing going where we’re supposed to be
headed, and that’s Omaha,” Taylor said.
Dustin Sasser, who missed the 2005 season due to injury, said the consensus
on the team is that the changes at the top shouldn’t be a distraction for
was yesterday, and it’s now best for the program and everybody else that we
move on and do what we know we can do,” Sasser said.
who noted he has talked to Mazey a few times since the decision was made,
wanted to dwell on solutions rather than problems, he said, with the
knowledge that he has at least one season to build on the accomplishments
that have come to define Pirate baseball.
great pride in following the outstanding men who have served here before me,
and the players who have served in this program also,” he said. “The
tradition they worked so hard to build is what I will work tirelessly to
to an ECU news release, the search for a permanent head coach will begin at
the end of the 2006 season. Godwin said that he would do everything he could
to keep the job he inherited so suddenly.
that I’ve taken, my goal was not to see where I was going but to work as
hard as I could and let the chips fall where they may,” he said. “I’m the
acting head coach, and I think if I do a good job I’ll get an opportunity. I
think Coach Holland will take my resume.”
departure brings the number of former coaches on the East Carolina athletic
department payroll to four, since the university is still paying out the
contracts of former football coaches Steve Logan and John Thompson and
former basketball coach Bill Herrion. Mazey signed a five-year contract,
when he came to ECU in 2002.
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