Cliff Godwin, who has been a part of nine NCAA Regional and two College World Series appearances coaching at the Division I level, enters his third year as head baseball coach at East Carolina University.
A four-year letterman for the Pirates, Godwin was appointed as ECU’s 16th skipper in the school’s history on June 25, 2014 after completing a three-year stay at the University of Mississippi.
During his two years at the helm of the program, Godwin has guided ECU to a pair of NCAA Regional berths, a Super Regional appearance, an American Athletic Conference Tournament title and a 78-44-1 (.638) overall record. Three players have earned All-America honors, six were named to all-regional teams (five in Charlottesville), six took home all-conference honors (five first-teamers), seven were selected as AAC Player-of-the-Week, while three were drafted by Major League Baseball teams.
Off the field, his teams have excelled in the classroom by registering a 3.05 or higher in four of five semesters, including a program-best 3.42 in the fall of 2015. Forty-nine (49) student-athletes have been named to the ECU Director of Athletics Honor Roll, while 30 Pirates earned inclusion on The American All-Academic Team maintaining a minimum 3.00 GPA. In the 2016, his club received the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) and The American Team Academic Excellence Awards after registering a collective 3.31 GPA for the 2015-16 academic year.
In the community, the Pirates have volunteered nearly 2,000 hours working with programs in the Pitt County area 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 and the James, ACES for Autism, Make-A-Wish Foundation and the James and Connie Maynard Children’s Hospital.
On July 29, 2016 Godwin signed a three-year contract extension securing his position through the 2022 season.
Godwin made an immediate impact in 2015 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, who 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 (9-1), No. 10 Virginia (8-6) and William & Mary (8-4) en route to claiming the Charlottesville crown – its fourth regional title. The Pirates continued their magical run, defeating No. 5 national seed Texas Tech, 8-6, in the opener of the Super Regional and came 90 feet away from making their first appearance in the Men’s College World Series.
In all, Godwin has worked with 57 players who have gone on to the professional ranks during his time as a coach at the Division I level.
Godwin is the son of Kathy Dail and Lewis Godwin of Snow Hill.