Greenville, NC (WNCT) – When asked how former East Carolina University swim coach Rick Kobe felt about the swim and dive program being cut from ECU athletics he said “I went from being shocked to angry.”
Those were the emotions that former East Carolina swim coach Rick Kobe felt after hearing the news that East Carolina swimming and diving had to be cut from ECU athletics and now him and alumni are fighting to keep the program, raising over $500,000 dollars in pledges.
“We just want a seat at the table, I know we can make it work, I know we can raise money, it’s unfortunate, that we have to but I know we can.”
The 66 year old program wasn’t cut without reason.
ECU athletics were trying to save money and a team’s facility was a deciding factor to choose which program was cut.
“The current state of the facility and the money that would be needed to invest in the facility in the future played a large factor.”
However coach Kobe couldn’t disagree more, claiming that Minges Natatorium is one of the best in the country.
“Minges Pool is like the Cameron Indoor Stadium, it’s a gem. It’s one of the most historic facilities in the country. We’ve gotten so many calls from coaches from around the country that have swum here or have heard about it and then can’t believe that number one, the program was dropped and number two, that there is an issue with the facility and like I said, it was just renovated a few years ago, it’s beautiful.” Coach Kobe said.
Kate Moore is also a former ECU swim coach, and says they’re not giving up.
“Right now we’re just trying to get out there as much as possible and see what can be done,” said Moore.
49 athletes were affected by the decision to cut the program, many of which were paying there own way to swim for the Pirates.
“Kids that weren’t on scholarship paid close to $800,000 dollars last year that’s almost a million dollars, and if you add kids to the program that’s just going to bring more money to the university. My legacy and the coaches before me, we aren’t going anywhere but we want the legacy to continue.”
Coach Kobe says that if you want to help their cause you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.