East Carolina Baseball: The Legacy of Coach LeClair


As time went on, it became what he understood
and accepted, actually, as a blessing. There’s no words to describe what
it means to you to wear that 23. Coach LeClair’s talent as a
coach was his ability to get the most out of every single guy on the roster,
whether it was your superstar at one or just your scrapper at 35 on the roster. He was able to get the most
out of every single guy. And I think that’s what wearing
number 23 represents is you’re going to get the most out of every bit of your talent. I was the third player to receive
the number 23 jersey, back in 2005. And I was part of Coach LeClair’s
final season as a coach, and I saw him go through
all that he went through. He was going through a lot of
pain, yet he never expressed it. Throughout his whole ordeal,
it was never about him. It was all about us, and he was
just worried about making us better. And to see that, and to see the
effort he put in he didn’t have to come out to practice every day. He didn’t have to come to our games. And he was so selfless and so
determined to make us a good ball club. And that was our first year
going into Conference USA, and we ended up becoming the champions. Each year, we’re going to
have kind of a celebration. People around here get excited about it. We’re going to have a celebration in his
name, and some great teams come in here, and it’s really representative of what he
wanted the program to be when he arrived here. Last year, I think we had Pepperdine, Western
Carolina, NC State, 5, 000 people in this place, three rows deep, out in the jungle. And when he first got here, I think
there was 50 people in the stands, and we had bleachers and
no one out in the outfield. I think that tournament each year is
what he envisioned for this program. I was one of about 50 in the cold bleachers
that were like bad high school bleachers. So, for him to recruit talent here and to do
what he did here, and now to see this place, when the fans come and remember, many
of them will remember the time it opened and him being wheeled out with his family
and his kids throwing out a first pitch. His wife, Lynne, and kids are
committed to keep coming back each year. My friend’s in heaven. He’s in a good place. It’s his kids and wife that I’m sure will
get to come back and see their father’s name, husband’s name, up there, and fans
continue to surround this place.

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