Ed Emory in 2003
Emory as ECU coach
(Photo: ECU Media
East Carolina icon
"Big Ed" Emory passes
From staff reports
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Player, coach and educator Ed
Emory, a member of the East Carolina Athletics Hall of Fame,
died Friday in Wadesboro after a lengthy illness. A native of
Lancaster, SC, Emory was 74.
An all-star lineman tagged with
the nickname "Big Ed," Emory lettered for the Pirates from
1957-59, developing a fierce, lifelong loyalty to the school.
Emory used his academic and
football experiences at East Carolina as a foundation for
building an impactful career in both the high school and college
ranks. In 1980, he leapt at the opportunity to return to his
alma mater as head coach, succeeding Pat Dye.
His five-year tenure at the helm
of the program produced one of the most remarkable seasons in
school history. In 1983, the Pirates finished the season ranked
20th in the Associated Press poll after compiling an 8-3 record
against one of the nation's toughest schedules.
The losses during that milestone
campaign were by narrow margins in down-to-the-wire road
thrillers to eventual national champion Miami, sixth-ranked
Florida and their fellow Sunshine State powerhouse, Florida
State. Among the victories were a 22-16 win at N.C. State and a
13-6 upset at Holiday Bowl-bound Missouri.
A succession of future NFL players
came out of Emory's ECU program, including Earnest Byner, Tootie
Robbins, Jody Schultz and Reggie Branch.
Playing as an Independent, with
most games on the road against a steady lineup of powerful
opponents, the Pirates recorded a 26-29 record under Emory
before he was dismissed after going 2-9 in 1984.
Sorely disappointed over his
firing, Emory never lost his loyalty to the Pirates. He
redirected his energies to the high school ranks, where he
achieved considerable success as a principal and a coach.
From 2001 to 2006, Emory's
Richmond County High Raiders were one of the state's most
successful programs, producing a 77-7 mark and losing only one
regular season game during the span.
It was during that prodigious term
at Richmond High that Emory received word that he would receive
an honor he had long coveted but thought might never come.
Spurred by an upwelling of pressure from alumni and fans and
lobbying by former players, Emory was selected in 2003 for
induction into the ECU Athletics Hall of Fame.
In the years before and after
Emory's enshrinement, Bonesville's Ron Cherubini authored a
number of articles for this site and for Bonesville The
Magazine based on extensive interviews with Emory.
Cherubini's "Pirate Time Machine" package on Emory in the 2002
Bonesville The Magazine, which chronicled
Emory's career and his affinity for his alma mater, may have
helped prompt the surge of support for Emory that culminated
in his Hall of Fame enshrinement the following year.
Among the online stories on Emory penned
by Cherubini are these selections from Bonesville's archives:
A limited number of
original copies of the 2002 Bonesville The Magazine
that featured Cherubini's "Pirate Time Machine" package on
Emory are available by contacting
this site's editor.
01/18/13 04:09 AM.
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