Aug. 28, 2013
By Jamitress Bowden and Doug Boyd
ECU News Services
Conceived by former Chancellor Leo Jenkins, named for faithful Pirate philanthropists and stamped with the legends of Stasavich, Dye, Blake, Johnson and others, Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium marks its golden anniversary this fall.
During its history, the stadium has seen 37 winning seasons at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium and an all-time home record of 167-85-1 heading into the 2013 campaign.
James Skinner Ficklen Memorial Stadium, as it was originally known, was dedicated Sept. 21, 1963. ECU defeated Wake Forest that day 20-10 with 17,000 people in attendance to open the season and the venue. Ficklen, who died in 1955, was one of Greenville’s leading business leaders and the head of E.B. Ficklen Tobacco Co. Among other acts, he established a trust to fund ECU scholarships.
Later that season, with the Pirates off to a strong start, Odell Welborn stepped in as interim coach after head coach Clarence Stasavich suffered a heart attack after the fourth game.
“A lot of things happened that year,” said Welborn. Among them was a stout defense that gave up only 54 points all season and the school’s first bowl victory at the Eastern Bowl against Northeastern University.
|Former ECU Pirates coach Odell Welborn is shown at the 50-year-old Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)
Aug. 31 vs. ODU - 1960s
Sept. 5 vs. Florida Atlantic - 1970s
Sept. 14 vs. Virginia Tech - 1980s
Oct. 19 vs. Southern Miss - 1990s
Nov. 9 vs. Tulsa - 2000s
Nov. 16 vs. UAB - 2010-Current
"I go to every game...once a Pirate, always a Pirate."
Tony Collins '11
Former running back