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'Painting 'em Purple'

From the Booth
Monday, September 9, 2002
By Jeff Charles
Voice of the Pirates


Coach's radio program has history of its own


It’s 7:00 p.m. Sunday night and you’ve heard this before: “Okay Pirate fans, it’s time to talk ECU football with Pirate Head Coach Steve Logan.”

Fans across the state sit patiently, and then with much anticipation, as the coach gets ready to field questions for the next sixty minutes on the “Steve Logan Radio Call-In Show” with yours truly as your gracious host.

Steve is the third football coach I’ve worked with at ECU. My first year, in 1988, Art Baker was here and we did the show from the Old Pirate Club Building which now serves as the ticket office.

They tell me in the “old days” the show had a live “studio audience.” I think that may have been during the Ed Emory era.

Coach Baker was one of the all-time class gentleman coaches. He enjoyed doing the show and talking with Pirate fans. I think he really looked forward to it. We never lacked for calls either. All in-coming lines were lit the entire hour. WDLX at 93.3 FM carried the show and with that 100,000-watt signal they blanketed eastern North Carolina.

After Art’s departure Bill Lewis came on board and we actually did the show one year on Friday nights. We were struggling for exposure in those days and WPTF in Raleigh agreed to air the show on Friday night. That required a real commitment on Bill’s part because it was obviously the night before the game.

During home Saturdays it wasn’t a real big deal but on road games we would bring Bill to the stadium and sit in the visitors radio network booth, using our equipment that we would use the next day to broadcast the game. We had some interesting experiences in vacant dark press boxes with locked doors and gates with no one around at 8:00 p.m. on Friday nights.

But again we were so starved for the exposure, and getting WPTF to carry the show was a big deal, so we made all the necessary sacrifices.

Bill, of course, left after the Peach Bowl victory and went to Georgia Tech and Coach Logan came on board.

It doesn’t seem possible that we’ve been doing this show now for eleven years. What has been consistent is the great response by Pirate fans each week and the incredibly supportive calls we receive. In my humble opinion, I don’t know where in America you could have a more receptive cordial audience. I appreciate that every day.

These days we do the show from Cable Seven’s studio and it’s televised to cable homes in Pitt County and locally on WCZI 98.3 FM and WGPM 94.3 FM. We have another dozen or so stations around the state that carry it, too, and it’s also available on the Internet.

Coach Logan usually comes straight from his office to the studio after a day of work on Sunday and I too head to the office Sunday afternoons to scan the Internet and prepare for the show before going over to the studio.

When we arrive, usually just fifteen minutes or so before air time, the technical staff has been in place for about an hour and hopefully everything will be running smoothly.

Last year we started broadcasting some shows at Logan’s Roadhouse Restaurant on Greenville Boulevard. It’s a great location to broadcast the show and we thank Logan’s for stepping up again this year as the network sponsor.

Over the years some interesting calls have come in. Like the guy years ago who called himself “Abdul from Durham” and asked coach Lewis, “Why this win at all costs attitude at East Carolina?” We’ve never heard from the guy since.

Of course, there was the guy last year who told Coach Logan he thought the offensive line “was a bunch of fat guys that were out of shape.” The television audience saw the veins in the coach’s neck, the radio audience could visualize it.

Ninety-nine percent of the calls are positive and I know Steve appreciates it. You have to remember no one feels worse after a loss than the head coach. After all, it’s only his livelihood. So thanks for the calls, we look forward to hearing from you.

News ‘n notes from Pirate Land

  • I bet you didn’t know that Pirate defensive tackle Ja’Waren Blair and Pirate Hall of Famer Carlester Crumpler are related through marriage. Crump’s new bride Danita is a cousin to Ja’Waren. They tell me the Blair’s and the Roseboro’s (Danita’s maiden name) go way back in Winston-Salem.

  • Speaking of Pirate Hall of Famers, Cary Godette is coaching the defensive line this year at Western Carolina. Cary parted company with Chuck Amato at North Carolina State last year.

  • It was great having Earnest Byner on my radio show Thursday night. He’s a class guy who now works for the Baltimore Ravens. Earnest has two daughters now at East Carolina. [Editor's note: Click here to listen to Jeff Charles' 'From the Booth' radio program of 09/05/02, which included his interview with Earnest Byner.]

  • What goes around comes around. The Wake Forest Sports Information staff used to be at ECU. Dean Buchan and Joanna Sparkman now handle Media Relations for Wake Forest. Dean used to work with former Pirate SID Charles Bloom who’s now in the SEC office, and Joanna with another ex-ECU SID, Norm Reilly, who’s now at UAB.

 Till next time, keep painting ‘em purple.

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02/23/2007 10:24:18 AM

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