Pirate Nation is like no other. As soon as you enter the town of Greenville you can feel it. The atmosphere of the Pirate Nation is powerful here. The love for being a Pirate is strong. “ A lot of people love this city and love this team.” WR Isaiah Jones stated.
Coach Ruffin describes Greenville as his “home” and it has been since he was 17 years old and came to school at ECU. ECU basically raised him from a “lamb to a ram, a colt to a horse and a calf to a bull.”
If you talk to just about anyone here and ask what they like about this place, more often than not you are going to get the same answer; The love of being a Pirate and the strength of the Pirate Nation. I caught up with a few of ECU Pirate Football players and they shared with me some of what they enjoy most about being a Pirate.
Jimmy Williams said his favorite thing about being a Pirate was how everyone is so cool, from his teammates to the students; everyone is like one big happy family. QB Blake Kemp also mentioned the atmosphere and the culture here in the Pirate Nation.
Family is something even Coach Ruffin preaches regularly about what he tries to build in his program. A lot of the guys look up to him as a father figure in their lives. “As soon as I met him he brought me in and treated me right.” Johnson said.
For DB Josh Hawkins, “It’s the Atmosphere and everyone being so enjoyable and caring, especially the fans. Getting to be around other students and meeting new people/fans in class.”
For players such as Zeek Bigger and Quay Johnson some of the game day chants such as “Purple, Gold” and getting to put on those colors are what brings them joy about being a Pirate.
“Work ethic and mindset” is the first thing TE Bryce Williams said when asked what made him most proud to be a Pirate. In a sense of, he knows they are not going to quit and they are not going to give up on either side of the deal with both players and coaches.
Values on and off the field is something Coach Ruffin strives to instill in the program.
ECU is facing some adversity this season being 4-6, but the pride of being a Pirate will not and cannot be broken.