In Memoriam – Jimmy Grimsley

Grimsley

Grimsley

Dr. Jimmy Grimsley, ECU alumnus and faculty emeritus, passed away Jan. 28. He was 70.

Grimsley joined the ECU faculty in 1967 to teach and serve as head coach of both tennis and soccer for men. Following a brief leave of absence to earn his doctoral degree from the University of Georgia in 1972, he returned to ECU, where he continually taught for more than 40 years in the Department of Kinesiology.

He was known for his outstanding memory, student advising and mentoring of former students. He was a mentor and friend to his colleagues. His sincerity and practical advice were valued by many.

As an associate professor, he served as director of graduate studies, director of clinical experiences, and coordinator of physical education programs. He contributed significantly to the University through his service on search, accreditation and other committees, including the President’s Advisory Committee, Faculty Senate, and the Graduate School.

He was a strong supporter of ECU and Pitt County Schools athletics. He served as the scoreboard operator at ECU football and basketball games for several decades.

Above all else, he cared about students and was a strong and effective student advocate. He leaves a legacy as a caring, knowledgeable, well-loved professor, who understood the field of physical education. He will be missed in the hallways of Minges Coliseum.

Gifts may be made payable to the ECU Foundation, Inc. for The Jimmie Grimsley Scholarship and mailed to:

Tammy C. Garris

Greenville Centre, Room 2211

East Carolina University

2200 South Charles Blvd.

Greenville, NC 27858

Mail Stop 301

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Named to high school hall of fame

Tynita Butts (Photo courtesy of Alexandria News)

Tynita Butts (Photo courtesy of Alexandria News)

Tynita Butts, the record-setting high jumper on ECU’s track and field team who won the Penn Relays twice and was named an NCAA All-American six times, was inducted into her high school’s sports hall of fame. The ceremony was held Dec. 8 at T.C. Williams High School in her hometown of Alexandria, Virginia.

Butts graduated last May with a degree in sociology and a concentration in marriage and family relations. She is working at an athletic clothing retailer in Washington, D.C., while pursuing professional sports.

She tied for second in the high jump at the NCAA track and field championships in Eugene, Ore., last June. That’s the highest-ever finish by an ECU athlete at the NCAA nationals. She finished her ECU career as the school record holder in both the high jump (1.91-meters) and long jump (6.22-meters). She qualified for the NCAA Championships every year in which she competed at the collegiate level.

During her high school career she was a two-time Virginia state champion and two-time Penn Relays champion in the jumping events. She was honored as The Washington Post’s Track and Field Athlete of the Year as well as Gatorade Athlete of the Year.

Ranked first in the nation in the high jump and second in the long jump her last season as a Pirate, Butts recorded four first-place finishes in the high jump and won the event at the 2014 Conference USA Outdoor Championships.

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National champion swimmers return to campus

Left to right Jeff Faucette, Jack McCann and Jake Smith as they appeared in a Sept. 2014 visit to campus, above, and on the ECU swim team in the late 1950s.

Left to right Jeff Faucette, Jack McCann and Jake Smith as they appeared in a Sept. 2014 visit to campus, upper image, and on the ECU swim team in the late 1950s, below.

Three members of East Carolina’s 1959 NAIA national championship swim team returned to campus the weekend of Sept. 20 to attend a reunion of the Sigma Nu fraternity.

Jeff Faucette, Jack McCann and Jake Smith were among 10 swimmers on the 1957 and 1959 teams selected as All-Americans. McCann and Smith each won six events at national competitions. McCann swam the breaststroke and is credited with inventing what’s called the whip kick that now is widely used in competitive swimming.

East Carolina’s swim team also won the 1957 NAIA national championships.

Several members of both national championship swim teams were Sigma Nu brothers. Sigma Nu was among the first social fraternities on campus. The fraternity closed several years ago but is slated to officially return to campus in 2016.

Faucette now lives in Fort Mill, South Carolina. Smith lives in Hickory and McCann lives in Morehead City.

– Steve Tuttle

The national champion East Carolina swim team.

The national champion East Carolina swim team.

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ECU player selected ninth in draft by Toronto Blue Jays

East Carolina junior Jeff Hoffman was selected by the Toronto Blue Jays with the ninth

Hoffman

Hoffman

overall pick in the 2014 Major League Baseball First Year Amateur Draft Thursday night, which was televised live on the MLB Network.

With his first round selection, Hoffman becomes the highest draft pick in school history besting ECU Hall-of-Famer Theodore “Blue” Edwards, who was the 21st-overall selection by the Utah Jazz in the 1989 National Basketball Association Draft.

Read more at ECUPirates.com.

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ECU student wins title as best amateur golfer in the Carolinas

Katie Kirk (Photo courtesy Carolinas Golf Association)

Katie Kirk (Photo courtesy Carolinas Golf Association)

By Steve Tuttle

Rising East Carolina University senior golfer Katie Kirk won the 88th annual Carolinas Women’s Amateur Championship on May 22 in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina[t1] . The victory in the prestigious event pegs Kirk as the best women’s amateur golfer in the two Carolinas.

Kirk finished with a total of 220 in the three-day event at the Wachesaw Plantation Club sponsored by the Carolinas Golf Association (CGA). Lane Gakeler, also a member of the ECU women’s golf team, tied for 10th place with a score of 229.

Kirk, who is from Davidson, near Charlotte, birdied the final hole to win the tournament by one shot over two competitors.  “When I was standing on the 18th tee I knew I had to make a birdie to win,” Kirk said. “I just told myself to play the hole as I’ve done all week.”

Her third shot from the fairway with a wedge came to rest within inches of the hole for a tap-in birdie. “It was awesome! I’ve always wanted to win a CGA championship. I’ve had a great week. I can’t wait to come back next year.”

Kirk is a two-time National Golf Coaches Association Division I Scholar All-American, a two-time Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Medal recipient. She has been named to the ECU Director of Athletics Honor Roll four times. She is majoring in economics.

The Carolinas Women’s Amateur is widely considered the premier stroke play event for women from North and South Carolina. Past winners include many of the best women golfers in the region. Among them are N.C. State University golf coach Page Marsh Lea, Wake Forest assistant golf coach Stephanie Neill Harner, UNC Chapel Hill golf coach Amber Marsh, Carolinas Golf Hall of Fame member Patty Moore and Brenda Corrie-Keuhn, a member of the National Golf Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

 

 

 

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ECU joins in Give Kids a Smile event

ECU dental student Amanda Stroud smiles while getting a hug from five year old Jaden Wilson after she worked on his smile. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

ECU dental student Amanda Stroud smiles while getting a hug from five year old Jaden Wilson after she worked on his smile. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

ECU dental students and student-athletes were among the volunteers at the Give Kids a Smile event Feb. 7 at Eastern Pediatrics and Orthodontics in Greenville.

Volunteers from ECU, along with 20 local dentists, collaborated to treat approximately 140 patients with free dental care, ranging from simple cleanings to more advanced procedures.

Visitors to the event included North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory, Speaker of the House Thom Tillis and Sen. Louis Pate. ECU coaches Ruffin McNeil and Jeff Lebo were on hand as well.

Patient Breana Williams talks to Stefanie Fresenius from the ECU Women's Track & Field and Cross Country. 

Patient Breana Williams talks to Stefanie Fresenius from the ECU Women’s Track & Field and Cross Country.

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ECU alumnus scores Super Bowl Championship ring

Michael Brooks

Michael Brooks

East Carolina University alumnus Michael Brooks will join the ranks of former ECU Pirate football players who wear a Super Bowl championship ring.

Brooks was on the winning Seattle Seahawks team for the Feb. 2 contest as a rookie defensive lineman.

Originally assigned to the practice squad, 22-year-old Brooks was recently promoted for game play after two players were  injured.

A native of Roxboro, Brooks majored in criminal justice with a concentration in homeland security. ECU Pirates now have five Pirates with a Super Bowl championship ring within the last four years.

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Coach Rock Golf Classic set for May 13

The third annual Coach Rock Cancer Research Golf Classic will be held May 13 at Ironwood Country Club in Greenville. The tournament will benefit ongoing research in the Department of Oncology at the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University and the Leo Jenkins Cancer Center.

The registration deadline is May 9.

Coach Thomas "Rock" Roggeman addresses players during a 2008 ECU football game. (Photo courtesy ECU Sports Information)

Coach Thomas “Rock” Roggeman addresses players during a 2008 ECU football game. (Photo courtesy ECU Sports Information)

Funds raised at the tournament will directly benefit cancer patients in eastern North Carolina through the Coach Rock Roggeman Cancer Research Fund. Thomas “Rock” Roggeman, who died of lymphoma in 2010, served as a defensive coordinator for ECU’s football team.

“This has always been such a fun day,” said Dr. Paul Walker, who established the cancer research fund with his wife, Kathy. “People have recognized that we’re all out there for something that’s very, very important.”

The tournament features a four-person superball format with a $500-per-team entry fee. Sponsorships range from $100 to $5,000. Tournament prizes will be awarded.

Tickets also will be available at the event for a $10,000 putting contest that will benefit the Spencer Hampton Scholarship at D. H. Conley High School.

Breakfast, registration and practice begin at 7:30 a.m., with the morning flight teeing off at 8:15 a.m. The afternoon flight tees off at 1:30 p.m., after a 12:30 p.m. lunch and registration and a 1 p.m. tribute to Roggeman.

Walker, an associate professor at the Brody School of Medicine and director of the thoracic oncology clinic, said the tournament celebrates the vigor with which Roggeman coached football and fought cancer.

“We wanted to honor the legacy of a man who has been highly respected as a man and as a coach,” he said.

It also serves as an opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of funding cancer research. The Coach Rock Roggeman Cancer Research Fund supports the development of innovative cancer research treatment clinical trials at ECU that are key to improving cancer care for patients throughout the region.

“Every advancement in cancer treatment comes from cancer research,” Walker said.

Current research seeks to double the cure in inoperable lung cancer and acute leukemia. Other studies are exploring how to eliminate lung cancer in lymph nodes in nine out of 10 patients and completely clear the disease in patients with specific types of breast cancer.

Other sponsors of this year’s tournament include Steele Insurance Company, Brenda Till (in memory of Bruce Till), ECU Physicians, Greenville Nissan, Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches, Impressions magazine and BB&T.

To register or make a donation, please contact Susan Eubanks at 252-744-1015 or eubankss@ecu.edu.

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