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ECU's Kobe to retire

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ECU, staff reports

Friday, December 30, 2016

Rick Kobe is nearing the end of his successful reign as East Carolina’s swimming and diving coach.

ECU announced Thursday afternoon that Kobe, who has led the Pirates’ men’s and women’s programs since 1982, plans for the 2016-17 season to be his last. He will retire at the end of the academic year.

Kobe is the winningest coach in program history and one of only six coaches in NCAA history with 500 dual meet victories. He ranks fourth on the NCAA all-time wins list.

“My 37 years at East Carolina were filled with so many great moments,” Kobe said. “I want to thank all our wonderful student-athletes that made my tenure so much fun and extremely successful. I was very fortunate to have had many outstanding assistant coaches over the years. Every student-athlete and coach shares with me all the great accomplishments that were achieved during my 35 years as head coach.”

Kobe has compiled a record of 530-188-1. He has been named coach of the year 10 times in four different leagues — Colonial Athletic Association, Conference USA, East Coast Athletic Conference and American Athletic Conference.

The Pirates have won 10 conference championships under Kobe’s direction, including the last two AAC. East Carolina has captured at least two championships in each of the past four decades.

Kobe came to ECU in the summer of 1980 to serve as an assistant coach under Ray Scharf and was named head coach on March 15, 1982, following Scharf’s retirement.

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