ECU baseball receives team excellence award

Published 7:32 pm Wednesday, July 20, 2016

GREENVILLE — The East Carolina baseball team was one of 29 Division I programs to receive the American Baseball Coaches Association Team Academic Excellence Award the association announced Tuesday afternoon.

The Pirates, who sported a collective 3.31 GPA for the 2015-16 academic year, are the lone representative from the American Athletic Conference. It was also the highest team cumulative GPA at East Carolina during that time span, which followed a cumulative 2.97 GPA in 2014-15.

“This is great recognition for our players and our academic support staff,” second-year head coach Cliff Godwin said. “In our program, we believe excellence is a lifestyle. Our entire team proved this by working tirelessly to achieve a 3.31 team GPA over the past year.”

Under Godwin, a two-time Academic All-America selection at East Carolina, the Pirates registered a program-best 3.42 GPA in the fall of 2015 before following with a 3.20 mark this past spring.

Since first tracking team GPA’s in the fall of 2003, the baseball team has reached the 2.90 mark 10 times but never 3.0 until the fall of 2015 — Godwin’s first year at ECU.

In the fall, 28 Pirates were named to the ECU Director of Athletics Honor Roll (Chancellor’s List/4.0 GPA – 2, Dean’s List/3.5 or higher – 14, Honor Roll/3.0 or higher – 12), while in the spring 21 players appeared on the list (Dean’s List – 11, Honor Roll – 10).

Juniors Ryan Littlefield and Travis Watkins both earned Chancellor’s List stats in the fall with a perfect 4.0 GPA, while Littlefield tallied the highest spring semester GPA (3.94) and had the program’s top cumulative GPA (3.95).

In order to qualify for the ABCA Team Academic Excellence Award, programs must meet the following criteria:

  • Must be a high school or college team
  • Team must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 on a 4.0 scale during the 2015-16 academic year
  • Head coach must be a current ABCA member

The American Baseball Coaches Association has a long tradition of recognizing the achievements of baseball coaches and student-athletes. The ABCA/Rawlings All-America Teams are the nation’s oldest, founded in 1949, and the ABCA’s awards program also includes the ABCA/Rawlings All-Region Awards, the ABCA/Diamond Regional & National Coaches of the Year and several other major awards such as the ABCA Hall of Fame and the ABCA/Wilson Lefty Gomez Award.