Details Sketchy
About Mazey’s Dismissal

by Eric Gilmore

ECU officials suspended Randy Mazey with continued pay from his job as head baseball coach on Monday afternoon effective immediately. Newly hired assistant coach Billy Godwin was formally introduced as acting head baseball coach during a press conference Tuesday.

According a release, Chancellor Steve Ballard made the decision upon Terry Holland’s recommendation. Ballard was unavailable for comments throughout the day Tuesday.

Mazey signed a contract extension on August 9, 2004 with current associate athletic director Nick Floyd. Mazey’s contract had a base salary of $100,000 annually through June 30, 2008. Mazey’s contract called for him to receive a $5,000 bonus if ECU advanced to a NCAA Regional or won the Conference USA’s regular season title or the conference tournament. It also included a company car and allowed for his family to have a membership to Pulse Athletic Club.

According to Mazey’s signed contract, if ECU terminated the contract for cause, Mazey would be given 30 days notice and only be entitled to the amount of his salary upon his effective date of termination.

Mazey’s contract outlines 11 details that would require immediate dismissal. The 12th clause states that “any other cause adequate to sustain termination of ECU employment under the provisions of [UNC system] and university policies...”

ECU officials declined to comment further on the situation due to N.C. statutes. Officials continued to refer to the State Personnel Act, which protects the rights of state employee’s private records.

Kitty Wetherington, the interim university attorney declined to comment, afraid to commit a misdemeanor by violating the State Personnel Act. University spokesman John Durham also declined further comments.

ECU is currently paying seven former coaches no longer affiliated with the Pirates. Former head football coach Steve Logan has been paid $200,000 annually since Dec. 2002. His settlement will have been fulfilled in Dec. 2005. John Thompson will be paid $100,000 through Dec. 2007. Former basketball coach Bill Herrion is due $100,000 through March 2008.

No settlement between Mazey and the athletic program has been made public. Depending on the reason Mazey was suspended, the termination clause may forgo a possible settlement. According to Holland, money to pay former coaches comes out of the athletic budget.

Under Section III of Mazey’s contract, it states that “at any time during the term of [the contract], the university may reassign the coach to a position other then head baseball coach for the balance of the term for any reason deemed satisfactory by the university, but with no diminution in salary or benefits.”

Provided that Holland asked Mazey to take another job within the program (much like Herrion was asked), Mazey would be forced to take that job provided he was compensated the same amount ($100,000). If Mazey didn’t agree, he would void the signed contract.

Another clause states that Mazey must return materials or articles of information, including personnel records, recruiting records, team information, films, statistics or any other material or data to the university within five days of the termination of the contract.

Mazey met with the baseball team on Monday afternoon to let them know he would no longer be their coach.  "Shock is the only word to describe it,” said senior pitcher Carter Harrell. “We’ve got to move on and go forward. That’s what Coach Mazey would want us to do.”

“He was really torn up,” said senior pitcher Brody Taylor about his former coach. “He lost his job, but also he lost being around us every day. He considered us like 31 sons so he was upset more than anything.”

Popular assistants Allen Osborne and Tommy Eason both left the program immediately following the 2005 season. Scott Forbes was hired to replace Osborne, but chose to go to UNC less than a month later.

Ironically, former coach Keith LeClair, who suffers from Lou Gehrig’s disease made a comment in Monday’s release. According to Holland, LeClair is paid by the university to be a consultant.  “My heart and prayers go out to all of last season’s coaches who are no longer with the program,” LeClair said. “They are good friends and I appreciate everything they did to push our program forward.”

Mazey posted a 120-66-1 record in three seasons at ECU, including an 8-12 postseason mark that featured three NCAA Regional at-large berths. He earned the Keith LeClair Coach of the Year Award in 2004 when ECU enjoyed a school record 51 wins. This spring, ECU finished fourth in Conference USA with an 18-12 record before ending the season with a pair of losses in the NCAA Tempe (Ariz.) Regional.

Eric Gilmore