GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – After spending the last 37 years on the ECU swimming and diving coaching staff, Rick Kobe coached his final meet on ECU’s campus. Both the men and the women’s team swept UMBC on Saturday afternoon. The men defeated the Retrievers 178-117 while the women won by a score of 166.5-131.5.
Kobe announced his retirement earlier this year and the team honored their long time coach before Saturday’s meet. Current swimmers and alumni helped celebrate the success of their coach.
“When you think of ECU swimming and diving, you’re going to think of Rick Kobe, because he is an icon, he’s a legend, he’s got the 500+ wins,” said senior swimmer Will Hicks. “ECU swimming wouldn’t be where it is today without coach Kobe.”
Kobe holds ECU’s all-time wins record and ranks fourth all-time nationally. He is one of just six NCAA coaches to record at least 500 dual meet victories.
“It was pretty emotional, but I knew it was coming, so I was ready for it,” said Kobe. “It was a great moment to see a full house, a lot of alumni that I coached back in the early 80s. So we had a lot of people here from back in the day so that’s probably more of the emotion part of seeing some of the old swimmers and divers come back.”
Kobe will continue to lead the Pirates until his contract ends at the end of the academic year.