UNC Greensboro announced in August of 2019 that Billy Godwin has been hired as baseball head coach. Godwin had spent the previous five years with the New York Yankees, overseeing all amateur scouting in North Carolina and South Carolina.
Prior to his time with the Yankees, Godwin was the head baseball coach at East Carolina from 2005-14.
“Billy Godwin cares about student-athletes as people and as baseball players. His North Carolina ties, NCAA success and MLB experience provides our team with the tools to build on an already strong baseball foundation," said Director of Athletics Kim Record. “Beyond the diamond, he seeks excellence in academic success and service. We are confident that our baseball team will consistently compete for championships under Billy's leadership."
“I am honored to be the head baseball coach at UNCG,” Godwin said. “I look forward to building on the success that Coach Jarrett and the program has established. We plan on competing for championships in the classroom, community and on the field. This is an exciting time for Spartan baseball.”
Success At ECU
Billy Godwin just completed his ninth season as the head baseball coach at East Carolina University, where he ranks second all-time in wins (334).
After officially taking over the reins on Oct. 28, 2005, Godwin guided the Pirates to a 334-214-1 (.608) nine-year record, which included wins over nationally-ranked Cal State Fullerton, Houston, Louisville, Michigan, North Carolina, NC State, Oklahoma State, Pepperdine, Rice, South Carolina, Southern Miss, Tulane, Virginia, UCF and UNC Wilmington. His 334 wins while in Greenville rank second in program history, while his nine seasons make him the fourth-longest tenured skipper in school history.
Godwin guided the Pirates to five NCAA Regional appearances overall, and in 2009 advanced to the team’s first Super Regional since 2004, when ECU claimed the Greenville Regional title by defeating South Carolina at Clark-LeClair Stadium. He became just the second ECU coach to record three straight 40-plus win seasons after posting a league-best 46-20 mark that led to the 2009 Conference USA regular season crown.
The 2009 Conference USA Coach-of-the-Year recipient, Godwin guided ECU to four 40-win seasons, tying former skipper Keith LeClair for the most in program history. His squads averaged 37 wins a season on the field during his nine full years as head coach.
For his career, Godwin boasts an overall head-coaching record of 596-299-1 (.665) over 15 years, making head-coaching stops at Louisburg College (262-85) and ECU. Godwin originally arrived at ECU in June of 2005 as the Pirates’ pitching coach and was named interim head coach on Oct. 10, before becoming the permanent skipper on Oct. 28. In April of 2012 he earned his 500th career win as a head coach when his squad posted a 10-3 victory over Houston.
Many of Godwin’s players have had tremendous success during his tenure as the head coach. 41 different Pirates earned all-conference honors on 55 different occasions, including 21 first-team selections. Fourteen claimed all-freshman honors, while six have earned player-of-the-year specialty awards in Justin Bristow (Newcomer-2008), Chris Heston (Newcomer-2009), Corey Kemp (Player-2008), Seth Maness (Freshman-2008; Pitcher-2010) and Zach Woods (Newcomer-2010).
Nationally, eight of Godwin’s former players received All-American recognition, including a pair off his 2009 squad. A total of six players under Godwin have been selected to 17 All-America teams, while four have been named Freshman All-American. Additionally, Jake Smith claimed the 2006 Johnny Bench Award for the nation’s top collegiate catcher while playing for Godwin.
Professionally, Major League Baseball teams have spent 35 draft picks on athletes to play under Godwin, including six top eight round selections. Three of Godwin’s former players at ECU saw regular time in the majors this 2019 season, while a total of 13 of his former Pirates are still playing pro ball, nine of which are playing AAA or higher.
Off the field, Godwin’s teams have spent countless hours giving back through visits to local hospitals, elementary schools and community service work through fundraisers.
Players under Godwin have produced unprecedented success in the classroom, as 72 of his previous players combined to earn 180 C-USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll recognitions (20 Academic Medal Winners), seven of which have earned C-USA All-Academic status.
2014 East Carolina (33-25, 16-14 C-USA/T-5th Place)
Finished tied for fifth in the C-USA standings earning the sixth seed in the C-USA Championships … Became first team in school history to post a series win over nationally ranked Rice taking a three-game set from the Owls in Houston … Followed that with a home-and-home series sweep over in-state rival North Carolina – its first since 1994 … Five players garnered All-Conference USA honors, while two more were named to all-freshman squad … Highlighted by an upperclassmen heavy pitching staff, ECU could be seen all over the leagues individual standings with Williams ranking in the top-10 in 10 different categories … Senior Brett Mabry stood fifth in opposing batting average (.216) and ninth in ERA (2.02), while junior Jeff Hoffman was sixth in strikeouts (72) before suffering a season-ending injury … The Latham, N.Y. native earned three National Pitcher-of-the-Week honors in 2014, and a pair of C-USA weekly honors … As a team, the Pirates ranked 26th nationally in ERA (2.86), 40th in double plays (50), 49th in strikeout to walk ratio (2.29), and 52nd in shutouts (five) … Two-time all-conference performer Zach Houchins ranked 21st nationally in hits (81), leading the league with 84 hits and standing 20th in the NCAA in base knocks.
2013 East Carolina (31-26, 14-10 C-USA/3rd Place)
Ranked 15th nationally in double plays (57), 45th in fielding percentage (.974) and 54th in home runs (33) … Individually, Drew Reynolds, a 2014 Louisville Slugger All-American, ranked 14th in the country in saves (14), while Chase McDonald was 44th in home runs (11) – both leading Conference USA … Mentored six All-Conference USA performers including a pair of first-team selections … Two Pirates were named second-team honorees, while another two were named to the all-freshman squad … David Lucroy earned Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American honors, closed out his freshman campaign ranked 22nd nationally in fewest hits allowed and strikeouts per nine innings.
2012 East Carolina (36-24-1, 13-10-1 C-USA/6th Place)
Looking to fill the void after losing five hurlers from the 2011 squad, which included two-third’s of its weekend rotation, Godwin guided the Pirates to its 12th NCAA postseason appearance in the last 14 years garnering a No. 2 seed at the 2012 Chapel Hill Regional … The Pirates put together another solid club highlighted by seven All-Conference USA performers, five of which were selected in the 2012 Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft and spent 12 weeks in the national polls … ECU ranked among the NCAA leaders in hits (29th/626), batting average (42nd/.295), ERA (43rd/3.35) and strikeout-to-walk ratio (43rd/2.41)
2011 East Carolina (41-21, 14-10 C-USA/3rd Place)
After a year hiatus from postseason play, Godwin guided the Pirates to their third NCAA Regional final in six seasons against overall No. 1 seed Virginia in the 2011 Charlottesville Regional … His club spent seven weeks in the national polls which culminated in a pair of top-30 final rankings (No. 25/ Baseball America and No. 29/ National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association) … Sported the seventh-lowest ERA (2.67) in the nation behind a trio of all-conference hurlers including four-time first-team selection Seth Maness, who became the school's all-time wins (38) and strikeout (334) leader … Rounding out his stellar rotation was two-time All C-USA selections Kevin Brandt (second-team) and Brad Mincey (second-team), as well as third-round draft pick Mike Wright.
2010 East Carolina (32-27, 11-13 C-USA/6th Place)
The Pirates spent 10 weeks in the national polls - extending their school-record to 29 consecutive weeks dating back to the beginning of 2009 - climbing as high as No. 10 by Rivals.com … He tutored a quintet of all-conference performers, which included C-USA Pitcher-of-the-Year in Seth Maness, who along with Kyle Roller were named first-team all-conference … Zach Woods became the third-straight Pirate to earn Newcomer-of-the-Year honors.
2009 East Carolina (46-20, 17-7 C-USA/1st Place)
ECU spent 19 consecutive weeks in the national polls … Hosted its first-ever on-campus regional at Clark-LeClair Stadium where they defeated South Carolina in extra innings on a walk-off … The win advanced the Pirates to their third Super Regional appearance in school history (Chapel Hill Super Regional) … ECU had one of the most prolific offenses in the nation, finishing with a NCAA-best 814 hits and ranking among the national leaders in runs (4th/565), doubles (6th/154), home runs (7th/108), slugging percentage (12th/.546) and batting average (15th/.339), while also leading C-USA (all games) with a .415 on-base percentage, 523 RBI and 1,310 total bases and a .971 fielding percentage … The Pirates picked up regular season wins over No. 1 Rice and No. 1 North Carolina on the year, the latter coming in a 4-0 shutout in Greenville … Seven players earned all-conference honors (five on first-team) with a pair earning All-America accolades and a single Pirate receiving Freshman All-America honors … Five players taken in MLB First-Year Player Draft... Chris Heston was named C-USA Newcomer-of-the-Year
2008 East Carolina (42-21, 13-11 C-USA/5th Place)
The Pirates garnered a No. 2 seed at the 2008 Conway Regional …Ranked as high as No. 21 in the national polls and produced one of the most productive offensive seasons in C-USA history (all games) leading the league in nine categories including average (.317), hits (702), RBI (464), runs (498), slugging percentage (.499) and on-base percentage (.408) … For the second consecutive season the Pirates ranked first in home runs belting 89 to follow-up on its 2007 league leading 68 … Five players earned all-conference honors highlighted by Player-of-the-Year Corey Kemp, Freshman-of-the-Year Seth Maness and Newcomer-of-the-Year Justin Bristow … Bristow anchored four Pirates who were taken in the MLB First-Year Player Draft with his fifth round selection to the Chicago Cubs.
2007 East Carolina (40-23, 14-9 C-USA/2nd Place)
Godwin was named N.C. Baseball Coaches Association Coach-of-the-Year …Guided the Pirates to a return trip to NCAA Regional play (No. 2 seed Chapel Hill), as well as a second place finish in both the Conference USA regular season and Tournament Championship … ECU also made a return appearance in the national polls where they spent nine weeks ranked in the top 30 with its highest rank at No. 19 by Baseball America on March 26 … Two Pirates earned first-team all-conference honors, while a trio of players were named to the second-team.
2006 East Carolina (33-26, 10-14 C-USA/6th Place)
Catcher Jake Smith walked away with the Coleman Company-Johnny Bench Award, which is given annually to the nation's top collegiate catcher … A second-team All-America selection by Collegiate Baseball and NCBWA, Smith led the squad in seven offensive categories including average, hits, doubles, RBI, total bases and slugging percentage, while ranking second in home runs with 13 … Smith (first-team) and Ryan Wood (all-freshman) were the lone Pirates to take home C-USA postseason honors.
2005 East Carolina
Godwin arrived at ECU as an assistant coach June 9, 2005 after six seasons as head coach of Louisburg (N.C.) College … Named interim head coach on Oct. 10 and became ECU’s 10th skipper on Oct. 28.
LOUISBURG COLLEGE 1999-05
Posted an impressive 262-85 (.755) overall record. During the 2005 season, Godwin guided the Hurricanes to Region X regular season and tournament titles on his way to earning Region X Coach-of-the-Year honors. The 2005 Hurricanes finished the regular season with a 49-13 record and stood sixth nationally in the NJCAA Division I final regular season poll. In 2004, the Hurricanes went 40-18 and claimed the top seed at the Region X Tournament before finishing the campaign as a regional finalist.
After taking the helm at Louisburg College in the fall of 1999, Godwin kept the Hurricanes in the national spotlight by averaging 43 wins per season. The Hurricanes finished with a school-record 51-11 mark in 2002 and made their 10th trip to the College World Series in Grand Junction, Colorado. During his tenure at Louisburg, Godwin earned Region X and Eastern District Coach-of-the-Year honors, received the North Carolina College Coach-of-the-Year award in 2002, and saw 10 players sign professional contracts, including former Major Leaguer Josh Rupe (Baltimore Orioles).
PRIOR TO LOUISBURG COLLEGE
Godwin served as athletic director and head baseball coach at Cary (N.C.) Academy.
In 1991, Godwin was named athletic director and head baseball coach at Enfield (N.C.) Academy where he guided the Patriots to a 131-57 overall record, with five consecutive conference championships, four straight Final Four appearances and a state title in 1994.
Godwin spent two seasons as an assistant coach at North Carolina Wesleyan College in 1989 and 1990, working under the direction of current UNC-Chapel Hill Head Coach Mike Fox. His efforts helped guide the Bishops to the 1989 Division III National Championship and a third place finish a year later.
After starring in baseball at Northern Nash High School in Rocky Mount, N.C., Godwin signed an athletic scholarship to pitch at Atlantic Christian College in 1982. He captured 19 wins during his career with the Bulldogs, helping to lead them to two District 26 regular season crowns. He was named team captain in his senior year and won the Kiwanis Award for the Most Outstanding Male Student-Athlete in 1986. While at Atlantic Christian, he played for Dave Jauss, who has served as a coach at the Major League level and is currently with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Godwin earned his bachelor's degree in business administration from Atlantic Christian in 1986 before following with a master's degree in education from East Carolina University in 1995.