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'Painting 'em Purple'

From the Booth
Monday, October 21, 2002
By Jeff Charles
Voice of the Pirates

Hall's newest inductees span the decades


Listen to FROM THE BOOTH with Jeff Charles live on Thursday nights at 7 p.m. on WCZI 98.3 FM, or play the audio archive the next day on Bonesville Internet Radio.





Friday night, the East Carolina University Hall of Fame inducted six new members, bringing the total number of enshrinees to ninety-nine.

As a group, the new inductees laid granite in the foundation of Pirate athletics over a period ranging from the 1950's to the 21st century.

Theodore “Blue” Edwards became the first ECU basketball player to garner the CAA Player of the Year award during the 1988-89 season. Edwards averaged 26.7 points per game that year and had eleven games with 30 or more points in his two-season career. Blue was a first round draft pick (21st overall) for the Utah Jazz in 1989 and spent ten years in the NBA.

George Koonce, Jr., also donned the purple and gold for two seasons. In 1990 the New Bern native led the Pirate football team in tackles for loss (16) and sacks (7) in 11 starts. Koonce spent nine seasons in the NFL, eight years with Green Bay, and has been a strong supporter of the Pirate Club.

Keith LeClair spent five seasons as the ECU baseball coach and compiled a 212-96-1 record. He was twice named CAA Coach of the Year and he led the team to four NCAA Regional appearances. Just last week, he was inducted into the Western Carolina University Hall of Fame. LeClair both played and coached at WCU. This past June LeClair relinquished his coaching duties due to health concerns and continues to wage a courageous battle against ALS.

Jim Meads was a swimmer at ECU from 1956-1960. He led ECU to NAIA National Swimming Championships in 1957 and 1959. He was named an All-American in 1957 for the 400-yard relay and the 50-yard freestyle.

Another man with a swimming background is legendary coach Ray Scharf. He was ECU’s head coach from 1967-1982 and won eleven consecutive Southern Conference titles from 1967-1977. Scharf coached 127 individual conference champions and 24 women’s All-Americans. In 1977, he was named Coach of the Year at the Eastern Intercollegiate meet and received the NCAA’s 15 year Service Award.

Milt Sherman was a wrestler from 1972-1974. He compiled a record of 101-13-1. In 1975, he made All-American by placing fifth in the USWF Open Nationals in Iowa City. Sherman served as an assistant coach for the Pirates and has gone on to a successful teaching and coaching career at D.H. Conley High School in Greenville.

Three hundred friends, family and Pirate supporters attended Friday night’s Hall of Fame Banquet in the beautiful new Murphy Center. I had the privilege of serving as Master of Ceremony for the event. Congratulations to all the deserving new members of the Hall of Fame.

News ‘n Notes from Pirate Land…

  • Saturday’s game at Louisville will be aired on WITN Channel Seven at 2:00 p.m. The next three games will all be televised on WITN. Houston on November 9th and UAB on November 16th will also be televised on the Pirate Sports Television Network. Cliff Stoudt will not be back as my partner in the booth this year. Stoudt now lives in Columbus, Ohio, and is extremely busy with work obligations and raising three children who are athletes. He regretfully doesn’t have the time to devote to the telecasts this year. WITN Sports Director Billy Weaver will move from the sideline into the broadcast booth with me.

  • This is the year of the strange schedule. It doesn’t seem possible that the Pirates will not have another home game until November 23rd. That’s five weeks between home games. Pretty amazing.

  • My guests Thursday night on “From the Booth” on WCZI 98.3 FM included all-time Pirate receiving leader Jason Nichols, who now coaches wide receivers at Appalachian State, and Doug Graber, the former head coach at Rutgers, and now the head coach of the NFL Europe’s Frankfort Galaxy. Jason, believe it or not, had the Chicken Pox and missed ASU’s dramatic comeback victory over Furman last week. Doug coached both Norris McCleary and Andrew Bayes in Europe and feels they should be playing in the NFL. It’s all about timing and an opportunity.

Till next time, “Keep painting’em purple.”

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02/23/2007 10:24:09 AM

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