East Carolina University has officially announced a one-year extension of head baseball coach Cliff Godwin’s contract that will now secure his position through the 2023 season. The new agreement, approved by the University Board of Trustees and announced by athletic officials Thursday, extends Godwin’s existing contract to June 30, 2023.
“I’m extremely grateful to Chancellor Staton, Dave Hart and the East Carolina University Board of Trustees for allowing me and our staff to continue leading this program,” Godwin said. “It’s an honor and a privilege to be the head baseball coach at ECU. There are very few people who have the opportunity to lead their alma mater and I hold that responsibility in the highest regard.
“I am extremely proud of what our players, staff and fans have accomplished over the last four years and they deserve all the credit. That said, we are striving every day to be better as a team on the field, better leaders, better students and continue to be great ambassadors for ECU. GO PIRATES!”
During his four years at the helm of the program, Godwin has guided ECU to three NCAA Regional berths (2018 Greenville Regional host), a Super Regional appearance, two American Athletic Conference Tournament titles and a 154-91-1 (.628) overall record. Eight players have earned All-America status, seven were NCAA All-Regional selections, 12 were named all-conference (11 first-teamers), while six were drafted by Major League Baseball teams.
Off the field, his teams have excelled in the class room by registering a 3.05 or higher grade point average in seven of eight semesters, including a team-best 3.52 in the Fall of 2017 which bested the previous mark of 3.42 (Fall 2015). Under Godwin, a two-time Academic All-America selection, 125 student-athletes have been named to the ECU Director of Athletics Honor Roll, while over 50 Pirates have earned inclusion on The American All-Academic Team maintaining a minimum 3.00 GPA.
Following the 2018 season, the Pirates earned their third-straight American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) and AAC Team Academic Excellence Awards. In 2017, two of Godwin’s players (Travis Watkins/first-team and Charlie Yorgen/third-team) earned CoSIDA Academic All-America accolades, while last year Jake Agnos was a Google Cloud CoSIDA Academic All-District 3 First-Team selection.
In the community, the Pirates have donated over 4,000 hours working with programs in the Pitt County area such as the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina, Team IMPACT, Riley’s Army, Cypress Glenn Retirement Community Flood Relief, Red Cross, First Born Community Development Center, ACES for Autism, Make-A-Wish Foundation and the James and Connie Maynard Children’s Hospital.
Godwin made an immediate impact in 2015 by leading the Pirates to a 40-22 record, which included a second-place regular season finish (15-9) in The American. The 2015 American Coach-of-the-Year became the first skipper in program history to win 40 games in his initial season, guided ECU to a conference tournament title in its first year in the league and directed a return to NCAA post-season play – its first since 2012 – as the No. 2 seed in the Coral Gables Regional.
The Snow Hill, N.C. native followed with another NCAA Regional berth (No. 3 seed in Charlottesville) and a Super Regional appearance (Lubbock, Texas) in 2016. ECU, which posted a 38-23-1 record and finished second in The American (15-8-1), rolled through regional play picking up wins against No. 20 Bryant, No. 10 Virginia and William & Mary en route to claiming the Charlottesville crown – its fourth regional title. The Pirates continued their magical run, defeating No. 5 national seed Texas Tech in the opener of the Super Regional and came 90 feet away from making their first appearance in the College World Series.
Last season, Godwin guided his club to a 44-18 overall record which included a second AAC Tournament Championship, a No. 12 national and top seed at the Greenville Regional. It marked the sixth time in school history the Pirates garnered the top seed in a regional and just the second time ECU has hosted postseason play at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium.