Bonesville: The Authoritative Independent Voice of East Carolina
Daily News & Features from East Carolina, Conference USA and Beyond

Mobile Alpha Roundup Daily Beat Recruiting The Seasons Multimedia Historical Data Pirate Time Machine SportByte™ Weather



Editor's note: Former East Carolina star Reggie Pinkney was the focus of Ron Cherubini's "Pirate Time Machine" feature in the October 2005 issue of The Pirates' Chest, the regularly-published magazine for Pirate Club members. In the process of interviewing Pinkney for that article, Cherubini compiled additional information and quotes that could not be included in the space allocated in the magazine. This out-take, including a number of compelling audio clips, adds another layer of material to The Pirates' Chest article and provides to non-Pirate Club members a glimpse of the kind of special features the publication provides for the enjoyment of members. For information on joining the Pirate Club, call 252-328-4540.

Pinkney family: Like father, like sons

Former Pirate star's progeny thrive at North Carolina colleges

Cumberland County educator and former East Carolina star Reggie Pinkney (1973-76) has instilled in his sons the drive to succeed and has supported their endeavors at their chosen colleges around North Carolina. He acknowledges a special feeling about the chosen school of his youngest son, Patrick, a redshirt freshman quarterback at ECU. [Photo submitted]

Reggie Pinkney Audio Out-takes's Ron Cherubini captured digital audio of his interview with Pirate great Reggie Pinkney (1973-76), who was the focus of the special Pirate Time Machine feature in the October issue of The Pirates' Chest. Click the 'Play' control ( > ) on the embedded mini-player below to cue up the following play list of 14 clips:

 • On bleeding Purple and Gold
 • On his freshman year and Coach Sonny Randle
 • On becoming a starter as a freshman
 • On Coach Pat Dye
 • On his ECU teammates
 • On defense in his era
 • On ECU's early days as the rising team
 • On the state of the program during his day
 • On his son, ECU player Patrick Pinkney
 • On Patrick Pinkney's recruitment
 • On ECU today
 • On fans being tough on players
 • On league affiliation and recruiting
 • On Terry Holland

INSTRUCTIONS: Click the 'Play' control (>) to cue up the 14-part play list. Click the 'Next' ( >| ) and 'Back' ( |< ) controls to skip from clip to clip.


FAMILY COMPETITION: Two of Reggie Pinkney's sone, East Carolina redshirt freshman QB Patrick Pinkney (left) and Wake Forest redshirt freshman LB Aaron Curry (right), suited up for opposing teams in September when the Pirates and Demon Deacons faced off in Winston-Salem.

[Photos: ECU SID and WFU SID, respectively]

Former North Carolina defensive back Chris Curry (right), Reggie Pinkney's second eldest son, obtained his Bachelor's degree on the fast track and is now working on his Master's degree.

BACK IN THE DAY: From 1973-76, Reggie Pinkney (above) carved out one of the most successful careers at East Carolina of any defensive back ever to wear the Purple & Gold. [Photo: ECU SID]

Explore Ron Cherubini's
Pirate Time Machine Archives

Dave Alexander
Daniel Boone
Reggie Branch
Anthony Brenner
Ken Burnette
Jeff Connors
Marcus Crandell
Ed Emory
Luke Fisher
Terry Gallaher
Greg Gardill

Cary Godette
Leander Green
Chad Grier
Jim Gudger
Clint Harris
Daren Hart
Eddie Hicks
Shane Hubble
Neal Hughes
Danny Kepley
Wayne Lineberry
Sean McConnell
Mike Myrick

Damon Pope
Norman Quick
Jody Schulz
Vinson Smith
Ken Strayhorn
Don Tyson
Zack Valentine
Cedric Van Buren
Tabari Wallace
Pat Watkins
George Wheeler
Kevin Walker
Pete Zophy

By Ron Cherubini

It gets a little complicated sometimes around the Pinkney family breakfast table.

Take last summer, for instance.

Around the Pinkney table, was dad Reggie — former star defensive back for the Pirates in the 1970's — along with mom, Rose, and sons Chris, Aaron, and Patrick.

Summer is the time that the boys are home, and when the boys are at home, football is the just about the only consistent conversation in the Pinkney home. See, all of Reggie Pinkney’s sons play or played college football. His namesake, Reggie, Jr., played for a couple of seasons at North Carolina Central. Chris Curry played defensive back at North Carolina (finishing last season), Aaron Curry is a promising redshirt freshman linebacker at Wake Forest, and his baby, Patrick, is a talented redshirt freshman quarterback at East Carolina.

Talk about some heated discussions.

“These kids are so competitive,” Reggie laughed. “When they played in high school against one another — and they did — and they were very, very competitive. They know that they are very, very talented athletes and they know their bloodline runs deep and they know they have a type of responsibility (to compete with their gifts) and they understand that.

“When those boys sit around and I watch them, I can see the confidence they have in their abilities. They know that when they step on the football field, sooner or later they are going to make a difference and make some things happen.”

Though the arguments can get a little heated and Reggie tries to stay neutral, he does admit that having his youngest son at ECU is a special thrill.

“Now (ECU) is my love, that’s for sure,” he said. “That’s where I laid a lot of blood, sweat and tears on that field where Patrick is playing now. I think I was part of a foundation, because when I was there, I think the biggest crowd we got was 31,000. And now you are talking 40-47,000. I feel real good about Patrick being (at ECU). My blood bleeds purple and gold. All I want him to do is be successful. I have enough confidence in him that he can take care of himself there and what his career (will be).”

Biases aside, the proud father in Pinkney admits that Fall in the family has always had its craziness.

“I have tried my best to get to all of their games,” he laughed. “I sit down with the calendar and I look at what games I can go to, like when one son is out of town, I go to the other one’s games. We try to go to as many as we can. It can be hectic.”

Pride is the demonstrative word. You can hear it in his voice when he talks about his sons.

“Reggie, Jr., played a little bit at North Carolina Central, but he quit football to concentrate on academics,” Pinkney said of his eldest, who pursued the same discipline as his father. “We talk almost every other day. He is teaching at Fayetteville State University.”

His second eldest son, Chris, was a defensive back with the Tar Heels until this past season, when he decided to hang up his cleats, despite having a year of eligibility left. Having already graduated, he is now pursuing a Master’s degree.

“I felt real good for Chris last season,” he said. “(UNC) struggled so much since he has been there and to finally come out and win some games and go to a bowl game… I was really happy for him.”

Then there is Aaron, who is a year older than Patrick, who opted for Wake Forest.

“Aaron has got a bright future ahead of him at Wake,” Pinkney said. “He has a lot of opportunities there.”

Aaron is making an impact this season for Jim Grobe’s Demon Deacons and squared off last month on the sideline opposite Patrick when Wake defeated the Pirates.

And, of course, there is Patrick. Pinkney is quick to point out that Patrick picked ECU all on his own. In fact, he likes to point out that all of his sons are independent thinkers, picking their own destinations for football.

“I never got involved in their decisions,” Pinkney said. “My history (at ECU) was always in their faces when they visited (other) campuses. I told each one of them that their decisions have to be theirs. I told them, ‘I am not going to help make your decision. No matter what school, Carolina, Wake Forest, East Carolina… I am going to support you.’ I was really hands off in terms of the recruiting process. I had the opportunity to make my own decision… my dad and mom let me do that. And I wanted that for my boys.”

Pinkney, whose sons Reggie, Chris and Aaron are from previous relationships, lauded their mothers for the good work they did with his boys.

“They are all great kids and mom did a good job of raising them,” he said. “They have a lot of common sense and they keep things for real in terms of discussions. They work hard in school and they talk about school with me because that is what I love to talk to them about. They do well on the field.”

Patrick, Reggie’s son with his wife Rose, was very public in his decision-making process, pointing out that though it was special that his father was such a star at ECU. He chose the Pirates for what the program meant for his own future, he said, and for the opportunity to make a name for himself.

Pinkney is very candid when it comes to discussing his youngest son. Forgive him, if at times, he sounds more like a father at times than he does a football assessor.

“Patrick is doing fine (recovering from shoulder surgery). I told him not to rush it,” Pinkney said. “I was hoping that Patrick could take another year in my heart and really, really get well, but I have seen other people come back from that surgery and (the doctor) did an excellent job with the surgery. So his rehabilitation is coming along excellently. I did tell him not to be impatient… do not try to come back before you are actually ready. But I really do believe, given the opportunity, he can lead that team. I think Coach (Skip) Holtz will do a good job, he just has to get some players there.”

Though Patrick’s injury was re-aggravated in the Spring, as his father feared could happen if he rushed back, the younger Pinkney is nonetheless fully engaged in his role as a Pirate quarterback. And the respect he has from his teammates could not have been better demonstrated than when Athletics Director Terry Holland and then-incoming coach Holtz wanted to talk to the young, talented QB.

“Mr. Holland had Patrick and James Pinkney and Patrick Dosh sit in during the conversation with Coach Holtz during the interview process,” Pinkney recalled. “(Patrick) felt real good about that. Matter of fact, (Patrick) called me when Coach Holland’s secretary called for him to come over. (Patrick) said, ‘Dad, Coach Holland wants me to come over at 5:30 to his office.’ And I could hear that anxiety in his voice. I didn’t know (how to feel) either, but I said, ‘Just relax. He just wants to meet everybody.’ Turned out that was what it was, he just wanted them to meet Coach Holtz and talk with him. (Patrick) feels much better about (the new coaches).”

Though he was injured during his junior varsity start against Hargrave Military Academy last season, the action was a valuable opportunity.

“When he called us, when (ECU) made the decision (to play Patrick), he said, ‘Dad, mom, they want me to play.’ I think it was Tuesday or Wednesday, and I said, ‘Well, let’s make sure it doesn’t affect your redshirt year.’ And we did and I felt good about (the redshirt situation). But he went on that field thinking and knowing he was going to do well. That was his thinking… that was his attitude. He had that confidence. When I was a freshman at East Carolina, I thought the same way. ‘Give me the opportunity. I’m not going to let you down.’ ”

With the return of James Pinkney and the injury still not completely healed, Patrick will likely watch much of the action from the sidelines this season, but both he and his father are quite confident that he will some day be leading the Pirates to victory from the pivot.

“Let me tell you something. I don’t know who wrote the article, I think Sammy Batten, wrote that it was Patrick’s position to lose,” Pinkney said of the pre-season speculation in the media on possible stand-ins for James Pinkney. “Patrick is dumb enough to think he can go in and play right away. He really believes that. When he played in that game against Hargrave, he had an excellent game. That was his first college game on that field and I thought he handled it very, very well and was very mature. He handled his interview in a mature way. I think he did a good job and (former) Coach (John) Thompson and the offensive coach used to always say that this kid is going to win a lot of ball games here at East Carolina.”

The future is still quite a possibility for his youngest boy, and he knows that the competitive fires that burn in his boys will benefit Patrick through the ups and downs of the collegiate career.

“If Patrick gets a chance (and is healthy), Coach Holtz won’t regret (giving it to him),” Pinkney said. “Patrick loves to compete. Even back when they got the verbal from the talented quarterback down in Florida (Rob Kass), he didn’t talk about it that much. He looks forward to the competition. He looks forward to (ECU) recruiting the best players. Matter of fact, I remember he was talking to the kid from Hargrave who went to Greenville Rose (Andre Brown)… he was telling him, ‘They got a lot of running backs over there at State, you ought to come here… me and you.’ That type of thing. So he was trying to talk to him… saying, ‘Hey Andre, this is your home town here… come on… we can (turn it around) together.’ That type of thing. He is just a competitor.”

Pinkney is clearly a proud dad… and he believes that his boys, both on and off the field will be successful and he credits sports for that. Deeper, perhaps, he credits East Carolina for all that the program meant for him. It made him the man he is today and that, he likes to think, is what he passed to his sons along with the raw athleticism.

Truth be told, it is dad who has it the hardest.

“I remember sitting with James Pinkney’s mom at games last season,” he said. “And you could hear the comments around us if he threw an interception or an incompletion. Man, the fans are tough on our kids. And I always try to remind myself that they are just kids and this is all new to them. But I know that there are going to be successes and failures in the future and we’ll be ready for them both.”

Send an e-mail message to Ron Cherubini.

Page updated: 02/23/07 02:06 PM

©2005 All rights rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


©2001-2002-2003-2004-2005-2006-2007-2008-2009-2010-2011-2012-2013 All rights reserved.
Articles, logos, graphics, photos, audio files, video files and other content originated on this site are the proprietary property of
None of the articles, logos, graphics, photos, audio files, video files or other content originated on this site may be reproduced without written permission.
This site is not affiliated with East Carolina University. View's Privacy Policy. Advertising contact: 252-349-3280; Editorial contact:; 252-444-1905.