ECU Baseball: The Legacy of Coach LeClair

When Keith LeClair became the eighth head baseball coach of the East Carolina Pirates in 1998, he brought with him passion, determination, and the ultimate goal—to make it to Omaha, site of the NCAA College World Series, and win a national championship.

In only five seasons as head coach, LeClair compiled a 212-96-1 (.688) record and became the second-winningest coach in ECU’s history. He also led the Pirates to four straight NCAA Regional appearances, three Colonial Athletic Association championships, and one Conference USA title.

LeClair suffered from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a debilitating disease that would eventually claim his life. Commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, ALS forced LeClair to relinquish his coaching duties on June 19, 2002, two weeks after leading the Pirates to a berth in the NCAA Super Regional. Save for the NAIA National Championship won by ECU in 1961, the baseball program had never achieved greater success than it had under LeClair.

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