Pirate Student-Athletes
by Coach Gary Overton

The educational objectives and focus of athletics over the course of history has been to develop the total person and such development has been directed at the physical, social, and intellectual growth of the student-athlete. Since the mind and body go hand in hand with each holding inseparable qualities, the student-athlete at ECU possesses and utilizes character, intellect and athletic ability to form a strong base on which to anchor his or her personal development.

At ECU, academic and athletic excellence is the goal for student-athletes and the university is committed to both, education and athletics, for the student who participates within the sports programs. Much time and effort goes into the daily routine of a student-athlete which requires discipline to meet the rigors and demands of a normal daily schedule. An arduous and lengthy day seems to be the norm rather than the exception for Pirate players as the daily routine of class, practice and study is unlike that of the typical student.

Recently the ECU athletic department acknowledged its finest on the fields and in the classrooms with accolades for which all Pirate fans and alumni can be proud.  Here are some of the Pirate Scholar Athletes for 2004-05:

Outstanding Female Scholar Athlete – Kate Manuse (Softball) On the field Kate has been named to the C-USA-All Freshman Team, All South Region and All C-USA second team. In her senior season Kate holds C-USA’s career record for doubles and ranks third all time in RBI’s while leading the softball Pirates to a 54-15 record at this time. As a biology major Kate has received the C-USA Commissioner’s Academic Medal and maintains Deans List status. She plans to pursue a Ph.D. in physical therapy at Duke University upon graduation.

Outstanding Male Scholar Athlete – Casey Cronin (Swimming) Serving as team captain for two consecutive years Casey holds eight swim records at ECU. He also has collected four titles in C-USA championships while being ranked nationally in three events for which he is an NCAA Division I qualifier. Casey’s academic record is just as impressive where he maintains Dean’s List recognition as a business administration major with a concentration in finance. He has been a guiding force on the Student Athlete Advisory Council in addition to coordinating swim team’s volunteer efforts with Special Olympics and Senior Games.

Pirate Service and Leadership Postgraduate Scholarship Award – Tara Debrielle (Track and Field) Awarded to a player who shows excellent leadership skills and outstanding service to the community. Tara has demonstrated a strong commitment to both team and community as the Department of Athletics promotes volunteerism, while strongly believing in giving back to the local community which has been so supportive of the university.

“Spirit of the East” Award – Brandon Howard (Football) Recipient of this award exemplifies the qualities of dedication, loyalty, persistence, and the spirit of competition on and off the field. Brandon was a four year letter winner who participated in the Pirates last bowl game and he maintains Honor Roll status. This award is given to a player who demonstrates outstanding commitment to the spirit of East Carolina University, similar in manner to alumni and ardent supporters Walter and Marie Williams.

Pat Draughon Postgraduate Scholarship – Brian Cavanaugh (Baseball) Serving as a Deans List student Brian carries the highest grade point average in the Dept. of Physical Education. He also leads the baseball team among active starters in hitting with a .389 batting average while helping the team to a 26-17 record at present time. This award is presented to a member of the football, men’s basketball, or baseball program who reflects character and dedication. Brian’s strong work ethic caused for him to be awarded jersey number 23, given annually to a deserving player who best displays hustle, desire and determination, characteristic of former Coach Keith LeClair.

Kristi Overton Female Scholar Athlete Award – Paige Baggett (Softball) An Honor Roll student, Paige has been very instrumental in the success of this year's magnificent Softball run. The award is given to an outstanding female freshman from the state of North Carolina who has excelled in her first year. Paige is currently hitting .339 as a starter and every day player for the Lady Pirates.

These are just a few honors bestowed upon ECU athletes most recently for academic as well as athletic achievement. Because of these deeds we see the commitment which is dedicated to providing student-athletes with the best possible athletic experience while at ECU. And accomplishments for which all Pirate fans and alumni can be proud.

Coach Gary Overton