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From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, February 8, 2010

By Brian Bailey

No. 23's Omaha dream lives on in Homan, Pirates

Austin Homan
(ECU SID image)


Replay Monday night's Brian Bailey Show with guest DONNIE KIRKPATRICK discussing ECU's football recruiting class. Eastern North Carolina's longest running sports radio call-in show airs each Monday night at 7 p.m. on Pirate Radio 1250 and 930.
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No. 23's Omaha dream lives on in Homan, Pirates
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By Brian Bailey
All rights reserved.

Austin Homan truly relished wearing the number “23” to honor former East Carolina baseball coach Keith LeClair during the 2010 season. Now, Homan will close out his career with “23” on his jersey.

Homan became the first two-time winner of the award that honors the coach who lost his courageous battle with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. The announcement came at the annual “Meet the Pirates” luncheon over the weekend.

“You know it’s awesome,” said Homan with a big smile on his face [Select Audio Clip...]. “There were definitely a lot of guys that were worthy of this award. I’m certainly humbled and honored to wear it again, it’s amazing.”

“It doesn’t get any easier and that speaks volumes for what this award is about,” said Coach Billy Godwin [Select Audio Clip...]. “For what Keith meant to this community and this program.

"I would think as time passes, and this is my sixth year, it would be easier. It went to an outstanding recipient.”

Homan says he enjoyed everything that came with wearing “23” last season.

“Last year it was new," said Homan. "It was exciting. Obviously it was a goal of mine since I came in as a freshman. This year it’s hard for me not to get emotional. I know what it’s about. I know what to expect now. It’s more about God. It’s more about Coach LeClair then it is the player this year.”

Godwin expanded on his decision.

“That was a tough one for me because we have some other good candidates,” said Godwin. “But when it came down to it he wore the number with such grace last year. He was the best fit for it. I don’t think it could have gone to a better person.”

The announcement of the number “23” was the highlight of the luncheon. Godwin mixed things up a bit by letting each player introduce himself. He then gave each senior a separate assignment.
Each senior had three to five minutes to talk about a different topic, ranging from what it was like to be a Pirate to the Pirate pitching staff.

Each player did a nice job in his own, individual style.

Over 400 Pirate fans poured into the Murphy Center for the announcement on an absolutely miserable day of cold and rain in Greenville. Still, the faithful were there in force.

Godwin was thrilled with the huge turnout.

“This is Pirate baseball,” said Godwin. “They believe. They believe in the same vision that Keith had, it’s the same one that I share that we will get to Omaha.”

Homan says it would be the ultimate dream to wear the number “23” in Omaha for the College World Series.

“Absolutely,” said Homan. “I don’t put any extra pressure on myself, but I think it’s my turn to lead and take charge of this team and get us to Omaha. That would be unbelievable. Obviously that was Coach LeClair’s ultimate dream, so that would really be exciting.”

Omaha is and will always be the goal for the East Carolina baseball program.

Won’t it be something to see that “23” in Omaha someday!


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02/08/2011 01:36 AM


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