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East Caroline University is home to the Pirates, or East Carolina Pirates. The football program is over seventy years old and was established in 1932. It would be thirty-one years before they got their current field, the Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium, in 1963. The stadium can hold a flat fifty thousand spectators and is adorned with purple and gold, the school colors. The Pirates are a member of the handful of schools to have long periods of being independent between conference changes starting with their first conference inauguration in the North State Conference in 1947. Following the NSC, they returned to independent for a short two years as they swapped up to the Southern Conference, and then disassociated back to independent until 1996 when they joined Conference USA for now. The school has almost eight hundred games with three hundred and ninety wins, three hundred and fifty-seven losses, and eleven ties for a .522 win ratio so far. Ruffin McNeil is the newest coach for the team, just starting for the 2010 season. His predecessor, Skip Holtz, will be hard to match with Holtz pushing the team to two Conference USA Championships during his tenure as well as being known for his turnaround of the then lackluster team.


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