This is a list of seasons completed by the East Carolina Pirates football team since the team's creation in 1932 under Coach Kenneth Beatty. Since that first season, the Pirates have played over 700 regular-season games and 15 bowl games.
Historically, East Carolina has seen moderate success. While East Carolina's first ten years of football included only three winning seasons, the team has recorded one undefeated season and several one-loss seasons since their early struggles. Football was called off for the 1942, 1943, and 1944 seasons due to World War II. After the three-season hiatus, the Pirates joined the North State Conference. East Carolina won its first championship—the North State Conference championship—in 1953. In its 15 years as a member of the North State Conference, the Pirates won two championships and went to two bowl games. In 1962, the team left the conference and returned to its previous status as a football independent. During two of those years, the Pirates went 9–1.
In 1965, the Pirates accepted membership in the Southern Conference. The team won the Southern Conference championship under coach Clarence Stasavich in the following year, but did not win another conference championship until 1972. The 1972 team was coached by Sonny Randle, who won the Southern Conference championship in his second year as head coach. In 1973, he again coached a conference-championship team—the only time in school history the team won two conference championships in a row. Randle left to take a position as head football coach of Virginia in 1974 and was replaced by Pat Dye. Dye, in his third year, won the Pirates' fourth Southern Conference championship. In 1977, ECU left the Southern Conference and had three more winning seasons as a football independent. In 1980, under new head coach Ed Emory, the Pirates had their first losing season since 1971. The team struggled over the next two years. In 1983, Emory's Pirates ended the season ranked as one of the top 25 teams in the country by the Associated Press.
The next seven seasons included just one winning season—1989. The Pirates gradually rebuilt the program, and the 1991 team, coached by Bill Lewis, went 11–1, losing only to Illinois in the season opener. The team capped off the season with an in-state win over North Carolina State in the Peach Bowl. Following the win, the Pirates entered the offseason ranked ninth in both the AP and Coaches Poll. Thanks to his performance during the year, Lewis was awarded the American Football Coaches Association Coach of the Year award. The season marked the only time the Pirates finished the season ranked in the top 10. In 1995, ECU won the Liberty Bowl over Stanford and finished 23rd in the Coaches' Poll. The Pirates joined Conference USA (C-USA) in 1997, ending their status as football independents for the first time since 1976. Since joining the C-USA, the Pirates have had nine winning seasons, seven losing seasons, and one 6–6 year. In 2014, the Pirates joined the American Athletic Conference as full members.
|Conference Champions||Bowl game berth|
|Season||Conference||Season results||Bowl result||Final ranking|
|Conference finish||Wins||Losses||Ties||AP Poll||Coaches Poll|
|East Carolina Pirates football seasons|
|1942||East Carolina did not play football during the 1942–1945 seasons because of World War II|
|1947||North State Conference||—||3||6||0||—||—||N/A|
|1948||North State Conference||—||0||9||0||—||—||N/A|
|1949||North State Conference||—||4||5||1||—||—||N/A|
|1950||North State Conference||—||7||3||0||—||—||—|
|1951||North State Conference||—||4||6||0||—||—||—|
|1952||North State Conference||—||6||3||2||Lost Lions Bowl vs. Clarion 13–6||—||—|
|1953||North State Conference||—||8||2||0||—||—||—|
|1954||North State Conference||—||5||4||1||Lost Elks Bowl vs. Charleston 12–0||—||—|
|1955||North State Conference||—||4||5||0||—||—||—|
|1956||North State Conference||—||2||6||1||—||—||—|
|1957||North State Conference||—||1||8||0||—||—||—|
|1958||North State Conference||—||6||4||0||—||—||—|
|1959||North State Conference||—||5||6||0||—||—||—|
|1960||North State Conference||—||7||3||0||—||—||—|
|1963||Independent||—||9||1||0||Won Eastern Bowl vs. Northeastern 27–6||—||—|
|1964||Independent||—||9||1||0||Won Tangerine Bowl vs. Massachusetts 14–13||—||—|
|1965||Southern Conference||3||9||1||0||Won Tangerine Bowl vs. Maine 31–0||—||—|
|1978||Independent||—||9||3||0||Won Independence Bowl vs. Louisiana Tech 35–13||—||—|
|1991||Independent||—||11||1||0||Won Peach Bowl vs. NC State 37–34||9||9|
|1994||Independent||—||7||5||0||Lost Liberty Bowl vs. Illinois 30–0||—||—|
|1995||Independent||—||9||3||0||Won Liberty Bowl vs. Stanford 19–13||—||23|
|1999||Conference USA||2||9||3||Lost Mobile Alabama Bowl vs. Texas Christian 28–14||—||—|
|2000||Conference USA||3||8||4||Won Galleryfurniture.com Bowl vs. Texas Tech 40–27||—||—|
|2001||Conference USA||3||6||6||Lost GMAC Bowl vs. Marshall 64–61||—||—|
|2005||Conference USA East||4||5||6||—||—||—|
|2006||Conference USA East||2||7||6||Lost Papajohns.com Bowl vs. South Florida 24–7||—||—|
|2007||Conference USA East||2||8||5||Won Hawai'i Bowl vs. Boise State 41–38||—||—|
|2008||Conference USA East||1||9||5||Won C-USA Championship vs. Tulsa 27–24|
Lost Liberty Bowl vs Kentucky 19-25
|2009||Conference USA East||1||9||5||Won C-USA Championship vs. Houston 38-32|
Lost Liberty Bowl vs Arkansas 17-20
|2010||Conference USA East||2||6||7||Lost Military Bowl vs Maryland 20-51||—||—|
|2011||Conference USA East||3||5||7||—||—||—|
|2012||Conference USA East||2||8||5||Lost New Orleans Bowl vs Louisiana–Lafayette 49-34||—||—|
|2013||Conference USA East||2||10||3||Won Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl vs Ohio 37-20||—||—|
|Totals||410||369||11||(regular season games only)|
|9||10||0||(bowl games only)|
- "East Carolina Pirates". College Football Data Warehouse. 2008. http://cfbdatawarehouse.com/data/div_ia/conferenceusa/east_carolina/index.php. Retrieved 2008-02-06.
- "Year by Year Standings". 2005 Southern Conference Football. Southern Conference. 2005. http://www.soconsports.com/pdf6/20783.pdf?SPSID=37278&SPID=1781&ATCLID=201460&DB_OEM_ID=4000. Retrieved 2008-02-06.
- "Standings". History/Records. Conference USA. http://conferenceusa.cstv.com/auto_pdf/p_hotos/s_chools/c-usa/sports/m-footbl/auto_pdf/history-records. Retrieved 2008-02-06.
- ↑ "East Carolina Coaching Records". College Football Data Warehouse. 2008. http://cfbdatawarehouse.com/data/div_ia/conferenceusa/east_carolina/coaching_records.php. Retrieved 2008-02-23.
- ↑ "1932 - 1934". East Carolina Yearly Results. College Football Data Warehouse. 2008. http://cfbdatawarehouse.com/data/div_ia/conferenceusa/east_carolina/yearly_results.php?year=1932. Retrieved 2008-02-23.
- ↑ "1935 - 1939". East Carolina Yearly Results. College Football Data Warehouse. 2008. http://cfbdatawarehouse.com/data/div_ia/conferenceusa/east_carolina/yearly_results.php?year=1935. Retrieved 2008-02-23.
- ↑ "1940 - 1945". East Carolina Yearly Results. College Football Data Warehouse. 2008. http://cfbdatawarehouse.com/data/div_ia/conferenceusa/east_carolina/yearly_results.php?year=1940. Retrieved 2008-02-23.
- ↑ Staino, Patricia (November 2003). "The East Carolina story". Metro Magazine. http://www.metronc.com/article/?id=286. Retrieved 2008-02-23.
- ↑ "Olympic Sports". Pirate Pulse (East Carolina Alumni Association). July 2007. http://www.piratealumni.com/s/722/images/editor_documents/pdf/070701eNews.pdf. Retrieved 2008-02-23.
- ↑ "Conference Affiliations". East Carolina Pirates. College Football Data Warehouse. 2008. http://cfbdatawarehouse.com/data/div_ia/conferenceusa/east_carolina/index.php. Retrieved 2008-02-23.
- ↑ Peele, Woody (2005-02-25). "Nothing new under the sun at ECU". Woody's Ramblings (Bonesville.net). http://www.bonesville.net/articles/WoodyPeele/2005/02/022505_Peele.htm. Retrieved 2008-02-26.
- ↑ "Clarence Stasavich Records by Year". All-Time Coaching Records. College Football Data Warehouse. 2008. http://cfbdatawarehouse.com/data/coaching/alltime_coach_year_by_year.php?coachid=2218. Retrieved 2008-02-24.
- ↑ "East Carolina Composite Championship Listing". College Football Data Warehouse. 2008. http://cfbdatawarehouse.com/data/div_ia/conferenceusa/east_carolina/championships.php. Retrieved 2008-02-26.
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 11.2 "East Carolina In the Polls". Major College Football Polls. College Football Data Warehouse. 2008. http://cfbdatawarehouse.com/data/div_ia/conferenceusa/east_carolina/in_the_polls.php. Retrieved 2008-02-24.
- ↑ "AFCA Coach of the Year Award - Past Winners". AFCA. 2008-01-15. http://www.afca.com/SportSelect.dbml?SPSID=69275&SPID=7857&DB_OEM_ID=9300&ATCLID=639381. Retrieved 2008-02-24.
- ↑ "Standings". History/Records. Conference USA. http://conferenceusa.cstv.com/auto_pdf/p_hotos/s_chools/c-usa/sports/m-footbl/auto_pdf/history-records. Retrieved 2008-02-06.
- ↑ The blue color is used only when East Carolina reaches a bowl but does not hold a share in the conference title. In any case that East Carolina has a share of the conference championship, the red color is used.
- ↑ Overtime rules in college football were introduced in 1996, making ties impossible.
- ↑ The AP Poll was introduced in 1934. Thus, there are no polls for previous seasons.
- ↑ The Coaches Poll was introduced in 1950. Therefore, polls for prior seasons do not exist.
- ↑ North State Conference became the Carolinas Conference in 1961.
- ECUPirates.com - Official East Carolina Pirates football website