Cliff Godwin, who has been a part of 10 NCAA Regional and two College World Series appearances coaching at the Division I level, enters his fifth 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 four years at the helm of the program, Godwin has guided ECU to three 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, seven were NCAA All-Regional selections, 12 were named all-conference (11 first-teamers), while six 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 seven of eight 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, 125 student-athletes have been named to the ECU Director of Athletics Honor Roll, while over 50 Pirates have earned inclusion on The American All-Academic Team maintaining a minimum 3.00 GPA.
In the community, the Pirates have donated over 4,000 hours working with programs in the Pitt County area such 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, ACES for Autism, Make-A-Wish Foundation and the James and Connie Maynard Children's Hospital.
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.
Last season, 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 fourth Pirate under Godwin to claim Freshman All-America honors. Seven Pirates earned all-conference honors (four first-team) and four were named to the AAC All-Tournament Team with Brickhouse taking home Most Outstanding Player honors.
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 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.