Staff
Head Coach
Cliff Godwin

@cgodwin23

Cliff Godwin, who has been a part of 11 NCAA Regional and 2 College World Series appearances coaching at the Division I level, enters his 5th year as head baseball coach at East Carolina University.

A 4 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 3 year stay at the University of Mississippi.

During his 5 years at the helm of the program, Godwin has guided ECU to 3 NCAA Regional berths (2018 Greenville Regional host), a Super Regional appearance, two American Athletic Conference Tournament titles and a 154-91-1 (.628) overall record. Eight players have earned All-America status, 7 were NCAA All-Regional selections, 12 were named all-conference (11 first-teamers), while 6 were drafted by Major League Baseball teams.

Off the field, his teams have excelled in the class room by registering a 3.05 or higher grade point average in nine of 10 semesters, including a team-best 3.52 in the Fall of 2017, which bested the previous mark of 3.42 (Fall 2015). Under Godwin, a two-time Academic All-America selection, his teams have combined to have 240 members on the ECU Director of Athletics Honor Roll (3.0 or higher), while 66 Pirates have earned inclusion on The American All-Aca­demic Team maintaining a minimum 3.00 GPA.

On July 12, 2018 Godwin signed a one-year contract extension securing his position through the 2023 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, which 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, No.10 Virginia and William & Mary en route to claiming the Charlottesville crown – its 4th regional title. The Pirates continued their magical run, defeating No.5 national seed Texas Tech in the opener of the Super Regional and came 90 feet away from making their first appearance in the College World Series.

In year 3, Godwin led the Pirates to their second American Baseball Championship game after winning three-straight in Clearwater, Fla. be­fore falling to No.17 Houston, which ended ECU’s season with a 32-28 over­all record. The senior battery of Evan Kruczynski(Senior CLASS/1st-team) and Watkins (NCBWA/3rd-team) both earned All-America honors in 2017 while Watkins, Eric Tyler and Yorgen all earned 1st-team all-conference honors. Spencer Brickhouse was named to three Freshman All-America squads, while off the field Watkins (1st-team) and Yorgen (3rd-team) both took home CoSIDA Academic All-America accolades for their work in the classroom.

In 2018, Godwin guided his club to a 44-18 overall record which included a second AAC Tournament Championship, a No.12 national and top seed at the Greenville Regional. It marked the sixth time in school history the Pirates garnered the top seed in a regional and just the second time ECU has hosted postseason play at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium. Bryant Packard racked up a slue of honors being named to a program-best seven All-America teams, earning AAC Player-of-the-Year accolades and NCAA All-Greenville Regional honors. Chris Holba was a third-team (NCBWA) All-America selection, while Alec Burleson became the 4th Pirate under Godwin to claim Freshman All-America honors. Seven Pirates earned all-conference honors (four 1st-team) and four were named to the AAC All-Tournament Team with Brickhouse taking home Most Outstanding Player honors.

The 2019 season will go down as one of the most successful in program history after ECU posted a 47-18 record, hosted its second-straight Greenville Regional (No. 10 national seed) and advanced to the Louisville Super Regional. Godwin, the 2019 AAC Coach-of-the-Year, guided ECU to its first AAC regular season title sporting a 20-4 record and an 11-1 weekend series record (nation’s second-best win percentage).
In all, Godwin has worked with 60 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.

Associate Head Coach/Recruiting Coordinator
Jeff Palumbo

@coachpalumbo22

Jeff Palumbo, a 14-year coaching veteran at the Division I level, will open his 6th year as an assis­tant coach and recruiting coordinator at East Caro­lina University – a position he began on July 1, 2014.

Following coaching stints at George Mason, UCF and Virginia Com­monwealth, Palumbo oversees all aspects of the Pirates’ recruiting ef­forts, serves as the base running and infield coach, while assisting God­win with the hitters.

Palumbo has directed ECU’s recruiting efforts that garnered a pair of Top-25 national rankings (D1Baseball/18 and Baseball America/23) for its 2015-16 class, while also being tabbed as one of the nation’s top 30 re­cruiters by his peers.

During the 2016 season, Palumbo helped the Pirates lead The American in five offensive categories (average/.289, hits/603, hit by pitch/79, on-base percentage/.375 and sac bunts/47) while standing in the top-3 in 10 others. Infielders Charlie Yorgen (14/second) and Turner Brown (10/fourth) stood among the league leaders in sac bunts, while Eric Tyler capped off his junior season batting .306 – good enough for ninth in the league.

Tyler and Yorgen were two of five Pirates named to the 2016 All-Char­lottesville Regional Team after batting .545 and .600 respectively.

In his first year with the Pirates, Palumbo guided the squad to a No. 14 national ranking in double plays turned (59) marking the most by an ECU team since posting 62 twin-killings in 2007. He was also instrumen­tal in helping the club rank second nationally in bunt singles (36), first in the American Athletic Conference in fielding percentage (.971) and sec­ond in the league in sac bunts (51).

Hunter Allen stood third in the league with a .349 average and was the toughest hitter to strikeout fanning once for every 13.9 plate appear­ances. Yorgen ranked 11th in the country (first in AAC) with 16 sac bunts, while the infield combination of Allen to Yorgen to Bryce Harman turned a combined 37 of 59 double plays. Harman set the single-season school record with 570 putouts and Yorgen registered 178 assists to stand ninth on the single-season charts.

In all, the 2015 AAC Tournament champions ranked among the top-3 in the league in seven offensive categories including sac bunts, batting average (.280/third) and hits (574/third).

Prior to coming to ECU, Palumbo had mentored three ABCA/Rawlings All-East Region and six all-conference selections with the Rams, while helping the program rank among the NCAA leaders in seven key statis­tical categories.

George Mason As A Player (2001-04)
A two-time CAA Defensive Player and Scholar Athlete-of-the-Year se­lection, Palumbo finished his career as the Patriots all-time leader in hits (283), at-bats (865), games played (218) and games started (217), while ranking among the top-10 in runs, stolen bases, total bases, RBI and walks. During his senior campaign, he led the nation in runs scored per game (1.4), hit a career-best .402 and led the Patriots to an at-large berth in the NCAA Tournament - the program’s first appearance since 1993. Palumbo was selected in the 15th-round round by the San Fran­cisco Giants in the 2004 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft and was later named a Northwest League All-Star with the Salem-Keiz­er Volcanoes.

In 2010 he was selected as a member of the CAA’s Silver Anniversary team.

Palumbo, a 2004 graduate of George Mason, and his wife Sarah have two sons (Grayson and Parker) and a daughter (Ella). Palumbo graduated cum laude receiving his degree in administration of justice.

Pitching Coach
Jason Dietrich

Jason Dietrich, a nine-year coaching veteran at the Division I level and Collegiate Baseball’s 2016 Pitching Coach-of-the-Year, is in his first year as East Carolina's pitching coach a position he accepted on Aug. 1, 2019.

Following stints at UC Irvine (2008-12), Cal State Fullerton (2013-16) and Oregon (2017-19) that resulted in eight NCAA Regionals and one College World Series appearance, Dietrich will work directly with the Pirate pitching staff and help associate head coach Jeff Palumbo with recruiting efforts. During his 13 full seasons at the Division I level, which includes two as director of operations, Dietrich has worked under ABCA Hall of Fame Coach Mike Gillespie(1,156 wins) as well as George Horton(1,089 wins) and Rick Vanderhook(298 wins).

During three seasons with the Ducks, Dietrich mentored a pair of All-Americans, three First-Team All-Pac-12 members and six Major League Baseball draft selections, while leading a pitching staff that ranked among the national leaders in strikeout-to-walk ratio, strikeouts per nine innings, walks allowed per nine innings and WHIP from 2017-19.

In 2019, junior Ryne Nelson led the club and Pac-12 with 104 strikeouts(fourth nationally) in 65 innings. The second round selection by the Arizona Diamondbacks appeared in 23 games(four starts), posting a 3-4 record with four saves while walking just 41.

Two years ago, Kenyon Yovan claimed his second consecutive First-Team All-Pac-12 accolade after posting a 6-4 record with five saves and a 2.98 ERA. The right-hander, who started the season as the closer, struck out a team-best 98 batters in 84.2 innings.

In Dietrich’s first season with the Ducks, two of Oregon’s pitchers received All-America honors. David Peterson became the first player in the modern era of Ducks’ baseball to be a consensus All-American. The eventual first-round draft pick of the New York Mets(20th overall) lowered his ERA from 3.63 to 2.51 and was named a semifinalist for the Dick Howser and Golden Spikes Award. Under the tutelage of Dietrich, he also improved his strikeout-to-walk ratio from 2.03 as a sophomore to 9.33 as a junior. Yovan claimed a pair of All-America honors, while also being named a Freshman-of-the-Year by Collegiate Baseball and a freshman All-American by five different organizations.

The Oregon pitching staff, as a whole, ranked in the top 12 in the country in three different categories in 2017. The Ducks stood second in the nation in strikeout-to-walk ratio(3.25), while ranking 10th in walks allowed per nine innings and 12th in shutouts(7).

Dietrich joined the Ducks after spending four seasons(2013-16) at Cal State Fullerton where he led one of the premier pitching staffs in the country. He was a part of a group that won 160 games during a four-year span that included three Big West Championships, four NCAA Regionals, two Super Regionals and a College World Series appearance in 2015. The pitching staff ranked among the nation’s best each of Dietrich’s four seasons with the Titans.

Cal State Fullerton led college baseball in one of four major pitching categories nine times in Dietrich’s four seasons. The Titans had the country’s best ERA(2.22) in 2016, while leading the nation in strikeout-to-walk ratio three times(2013, 2014 and 2015), WHIP twice(2013 and 2016) and fewest walks per nine innings three times(2013, 2014 and 2015).

In his four seasons at CSF, Dietrich’s pitching staff never finished with a team ERA higher than 2.89 or ranked lower than 11th in the country. In addition to the Titans’ Division I leading 2.22 ERA in 2016, Dietrich’s teams posted ERAs that ranked fourth in the country in 2013(2.47), third in 2014(2.24) and 11th in 2015(2.89).

Dietrich’s pitching staffs at Cal State Fullerton also ranked no lower than third in strikeouts-to-walk ratio during his four seasons, while also ranking no worse than sixth in WHIP and seventh in base on balls per nine innings.

Before coaching at Fullerton, Dietrich spent five seasons(2008-12) at UC Irvine where he was the pitching coach during the final two. During his five-year tenure, the Anteaters posted 202 wins and made four NCAA Regionals including a Super Regional appearance in 2008. His club was 17th nationally in both ERA and walks per nine innings in 2011, and were 36th in ERA and 11th in WHIP in 2012.

Prior to coaching, he played one year with the New Jersey Jackals of the Northeast Baseball League (1998) and four in the Colorado Rockies organization (1994-98) after being selected in the 19th round of the 1994 MLB Draft out of Pepperdine earning West Coast Conference Honorable Mention accolades. During his professional career, Dietrich posted a 7-2 record with a 2.84 ERA with seven saves in 44 appearances.

Dietrich, a 1999 graduate of Cal State Fullerton, and his wife Bibi have a son (Dean)and a daughter (Leila).

Volunteer Assistant Coach/ Camp Coordinator
Austin Knight
Director of Baseball Operations
Blake Hardegree

@BHardegree15

Blake Hardegree enters his first year as the Director of Baseball Operations at East Carolina University, a position he began on July 8, 2019.

In his currently role, Hardegree will handle a variety of administrative duties, including team travel, game-day organization, special events coordination and community outreach efforts with the Pirate program.

Prior to his appointment at ECU, Hardegree spent 18 months at Samford University where he served as the volunteer director of player development and operations. During his tenure, he was responsible operating the Sydex Bats system working with video, data and analytics, while also assisting in the day-to-day operations, field maintenance and facility usage with regards to summer camps. He was a member of a Bulldogs staff that captured the 2018 Southern Conference Tournament title, appeared in the 2018 Tallahassee Regional and the 2019 SoCon regular season crown on their way to a program-best 41 wins.

From August 2016 to January 2018, Hardegree worked as an infield, catchers and hitting coach at Iowa Lakes Community College. He had with recruiting, video analytics and operational duties that helped improve the offensive and defensive numbers across the board.

Before to his time at Iowa Lakes, Hardegree helped lead the St. Joseph Mustangs in the M.I.N.K Collegiate summer league to a championship title in 2015 and the playoffs in 2016. He assisted Head Coach Matt Johnson as the pitching, catching, infield and bench coach, while also coordinating camps and scout days for the Mustangs. Hardegree proved to be a two-year M.I.N.K League All-Star game assistant coach and coached a number of future professional players.

A native of Amarillo, Texas, Hardegree completed four years at the Division II level and finished his collegiate career at Northwest Missouri State University. He was a catcher and served as Team Captain in his last two years of action. Hardegree also earned all-conference honors both on the field and academically, while earning his degree in corporate recreation and wellness, and is pursuing his master's degree in athletic administration.

Athletic Trainer
Zac Womack

@ZacWomack

Zac Womack joined the East Carolina Athletic Training staff in January of 2008 dealing primarily with the nationally ranked baseball team and in the Fall of 2012 was promoted to ECU's Head Athletic Trainer, where he oversees the daily operation of the athletic training facility and its staff members.

A native of Jamestown, N.C., Womack returned to ECU after spending seven years in the New York Yankees minorleague organization. While in the Yankees organization, he spent time with the Gulf Coast Yankees (2001), Greensboro Bats (2002), Battle Creek Yankees (2003-04) and the Trenton Thunder (2005-07). Womack has worked alongside some of the farm systems top prospects (Robinson Cano, Joba Chamberlain, Brett Gardner, Philip Hughes and Chein-Ming Wang) as well as working Major League rehabilitation assignments in Trenton with Roger Clemens, Octavio Dotel, Hideki Matsui and Gary Sheffield.

His main area of concentration is the thrower's arm care/ maintenance program, which focuses on keeping the Pirates arms healthy and strong. He is a certified by the National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA) and is licensed as an athletic trainer by the state of North Carolina.

With his primary focus at ECU is as an athletic trainer, Womack also works alongside the Strength and Conditioning staff to design baseball specific workout programs for the Pirate pitching staff. Womack earned his bachelor's degree in athletic training from ECU in 2000 where he worked with the football and baseball programs. He is married to the former Kimberly Mills of Greenville, N.C. and currently resides in Greenville, N.C.

Assistant Director of Baseball Operations
Hailey Harris

Hailey Harris joined the ECU athletics staff on Aug. 6, 2018 and currently serves as the Assistant Director of Baseball Operations.

Harris will help with a variety of administrative duties while assisting the director of operations with the day-to-day aspects of the program.

Prior to her appointment at ECU, Harris spent the last six months as an executive assistant/director of operations at Bryan Cain’s Peak Perfor­mance after interning for four years. During her tenure, she was responsi­ble for budget oversight, coordination of travel, organizing/assisting with team consulting, website maintenance, publication edits, customer ser­vice and a host of other ancillary responsibilities.

While at Texas A&M, Harris served as a student manager for the Ag­gies softball team assisting with day-to-day operations. She oversaw all equipment needs for the squad, while also helping with practices, bull­pens, travel operations, clothing/gear orders and filming for scouting.

For four years, Harris was and assistant coach and clinic coordinator for the Aces Express, a softball travel organization, where she was in charge of hitting, infield, mental conditioning and pitch calling.

An Alvin, Texas native, Harris received her undergraduate degree (leadership/2016) and masters (sport management/2018) from Texas A&M University.

Before enrolling at A&M, Harris attended Houston Baptist Universi­ty where she played softball for the Huskies during the 2013 season. The freshman appeared in seven games (three starts) batting .364 with four RBI and three runs scored.