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.