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ECU

Four selected to ECU Athletics Hall of Fame

Posted July 18

Vonta Leach

— East Carolina University will induct four new members into its Athletics Hall of Fame on Sept. 19 at the Pete and Lynn Murphy Center. 

The Class of 2014 includes baseball record-setter Billy Best, outstanding linebacker Mitchell Cannon, All-Southern Conference running back Eddie Hicks and three-time Pro Bowl selection Vonta Leach.

The four members being inducted will be honored during special ceremonies surrounding the Pirates' football game with North Carolina on Sept. 20 at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. Since it was established in 1974, 148 former student-athletes, coaches and administrators have been elected to the ECU Athletics Hall of Fame.

Best began his association with the university as a freshman in 1977 under coach Monte Little, and helped the Pirates capture the Southern Conference regular season title and earn a trip to the NCAA regional championships. Best set the ECU single-season record for stolen bases with 16 in 1977 and is the only player in ECU history to lead in this category four consecutive years.

A year later, he became just the second player in school history to collect 50 hits in a season. He earned All-South Independent Team honors in 1980, helping ECU to another regional appearance and finished his ECU playing days setting the record for most career triples. Best spent five years (1985-89) as an assistant coach at ECU after spending five seasons in the Kansas City Royals minor league system.

During his three years as member of the Pirates’ football team under coach Clarence Statsavich, Cannon helped his team to three consecutive bowl victories beginning in 1963 with a win over Northeastern in the Eastern Bowl. He then led them to back-to-back Tangerine Bowl titles in 1964 and ’65, culminating in a 27-3 career record. In three bowl games, Cannon and his teammates surrendered a total of 19 points.

The 1965, ‘64 and ‘63 ECU defenses rank one, two and four respectively for fewest yards allowed per game in ECU football history. Cannon served as team captain in 1965 and received the team’s Most Outstanding Senior Award. The Raleigh News & Observer named him one of the five best linebackers in school history in 2011.

Hicks rushed for more than 2,100 yards during his four-year career playing for coach Pat Dye and completed his eligibility with the fifth-most rushing yards in school history. As a freshman in 1975, he scored three touchdowns to lead ECU to its first-ever win over North Carolina. A year later he was named all-conference after he rushed for 897 yards to steer ECU to the 1976 Southern Conference championship.

Hicks holds the school record for the longest rushing play (95 yards) in ECU history. As a senior and team captain in 1978, he helped the Pirates win the Independence Bowl and was named to the All-South Independent second-team as well as the Pirates’ Most Outstanding Offensive Player. The New York Giants selected him in the sixth round of the 1979 NFL Draft.

Leach began his collegiate career as a linebacker playing for coach Steve Logan, where he earned All-Conference USA Freshman Team honors in 2000, before switching to fullback midway through his junior campaign. As a fullback he paved the way for a pair of 1,000-yard rushers in 2002 and ’03, while rushing for 310 yards and five touchdowns himself. He served as team captain as a senior.

Leach was voted Offensive MVP of the 2004 Blue-Gray All-Star Game before signing as a free agent with the Green Bay Packers. He was named All-Pro in three consecutive seasons (2010, ’11, ’12) and was part of the Raven’s Super Bowl XLVII championship team. Leach was honored with the first Lifetime Achievement Award during the inaugural Goldspys Awards, created by the ECU Student Athletic Advisory Committee.

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CAR 17
CLE 13
1st Intermission
NYR 1
CAR 0
 
Final
TOR 118
NYK 108
Final
CLE 105
MEM 91
3rd
MIA 70
BOS 61
 
3rd
BRK 82
DET 78
 
3rd
SAC 66
LAL 79
 
3rd
ORL 60
PHI 57
 
3rd
WAS 64
PHO 77
 
2nd
MIN 26
IND 36
 
2nd
OKC 35
NOP 39
 
Final
UVA 76
HARV 27
Final
BGU 68
FERST 82
 
Final
ARMY 72
MAINE 69
 
Final
QUIN 60
ORST 52
Final
CLST 69
USF 65
 
Final
CARK 55
CCAR 72
 
Final
UWGB 66
ARKLR 46
 
Final
RAD 74
CORN 61
 
Final
UNT 62
CREI 58
Final
CAN 67
HC 48
 
Final
USB 67
GHND 52
 
Final
OKST 64
MD 73
Final
WINT 100
REIN 72
 
Final
UGST 68
SMISS 55
Final
NEOM 77
TXPA 72
 
Final
STLU 58
VERM 55
 
Final
UNCA 62
WCU 66
 
Final
EVAN 81
ALAST 63
 
Final
HART 82
FIU 69
 
Final
VALPO 82
GOSHEN 55
 
Final
LIP 69
PEAY 63
 
Final
DEN 46
BRY 48
 
Final
MONT 62
SD 67
 
Final
MTST 65
TENST 47
Final
SAMF 64
LAMON 50
 
Final
SCAR 78
COKR 52
 
Final
HAMP 75
NARZ 66
 
Final
SDU 71
SDCHR 61
 
Final
BC 71
USC 75
 
Final
NICST 64
TROY 65
 
Final
BRAD 47
UCI 55
 
2nd
UGA 59
SHU 35
 
2nd
ALA 35
APP 39
 
Half
KSU 23
NDST 21
 
1st
WASU 31
SJST 23
 
9:00pm Tonight
UTEP
ALCOR
 
10:00pm Tonight
SEAT
SACST
 
2nd Intermission
DET 0
COL 0
 
2nd Intermission
EDM 5
DAL 3
 
1st
BOS 1
BUF 0
 
1st Intermission
NYR 1
CAR 0
 
1st
CHI 1
TOR 0
 
9:00pm Tonight
WIN
PHI
Final
NOS 14
ATL 30
Final
HOU 25
BAL 13
Final
CAR 17
CLE 13
Final
CHI 14
DET 20
Final
TAM 3
GBP 20
Final
PIT 20
KAN 12
Final
MIA 37
MIN 35
Final
NYJ 16
NEP 17
Final
STL 27
NYG 37
 
Final
OAK 26
BUF 24
 
Final
DAL 42
IND 7
 
8:30pm Tonight
ARI
SEA