ECU swimming and diving coach Rick Kobe to retire at season’s end
East Carolina head swimming and diving coach Rick Kobe has announced that he will retire at the end of the academic year. Kobe will retire as the winningest coach in program history and one of only six coaches in NCAA history with 500 dual meet victories.
Kobe has directed the men’s and women’s program since 1982 and has compiled a record of 530-188-1. He has been named coach of the year a total of 10 times in four leagues (Colonial Athletic Association, Conference USA, East Coast Athletic Conference, American Athletic Conference).
He ranks fourth on the NCAA all-time wins list.
The Pirates have won 10 conference championships under his direction, including each of the last two AAC men’s titles, winning at least two championships in each of the past four decades.
The ECU men’s swimming and diving team has posted a dual meet record of .500 or better for 33 consecutive years, while the women’s team has recorded 24 consecutive winning dual meet campaigns.
Kobe has helped the Pirates set 349 varsity records and capture 164 individual/event conference titles during his 35 years overseeing the program. He has coached four NCAA All-Americans, two ECU Athletics Hall of Fame inductees, one Olympic participant and 227 all-conference performers. More than 100 of his student-athletes have made their NCAA ‘A’ or ‘B’ cut and participated in seven NCAA Division I Championship meets.
Kobe has also tutored some of the top academic performers at ECU. Marc Cook (1991, ’92) and Geoff Handsfield (2007, ’08) were both two-time Academic All-America selections, while Andrew Stoker received the notable distinction after the 2010-11 season.
Kobe came to ECU in summer 1980 as an assistant coach under Ray Scharf and was later named head coach in 1982 after Scharf’s retirement.
Duke: Colonel Tom Rogers, a longtime assistant and confidant to Mike Krzyzewski and the Duke basketball program, died Thursday morning at 94. Rogers came to Duke with Krzyzewski and served as an assistant coach for seven years (1981-87). He was named a special assistant to the athletics director and continued to serve as a dedicated member and trusted friend on Krzyzewski’s support team.
Elon: Five players scored in double figures and the Phoenix held the Knights to 35.5 percent shooting from the floor as the team closed out non-conference action with an 89-60 victory against Central Penn on Wednesday at Alumni Gym. The Phoenix opens its Colonial Athletic Association slate Saturday against College of Charleston at Alumni Gym. The game will tip off at 2 p.m.
Shaw: The team suffered a 60-59 loss on a buzzer beater to Benedict College on Wednesday night on the first day of the 2016 Shaw U Classic at C.C. Spaulding Gymnasium. The loss drops Shaw to 5-6 overall while the Tigers improve to 4-5 on the year. Russell Robinson Jr. led the Bears with 11 points, followed by Khaliq Williams with 10 points.
North Carolina: Winners of six of its last seven games, the team closes out its non-conference schedule with a home game versus South Carolina State on Friday at 2 p.m. from Carmichael Arena. The Tar Heels own a 3-0 edge in the all-time series with South Carolina State. The last matchup came in December with the Heels winning 92-42.
St. Augustine’s: On Saturday, the team will host Barton College in its home opener at Emery Gymnasium at 2 p.m. Admission is free but donations in any amount will be appreciated with proceeds going to the athletic department. The non-conference game will be the home opener for the Falcons.
Shaw: After falling behind in the second quarter, the team couldn’t quite get over the hump, dropping a 79-65 decision to Francis Marion on Thursday afternoon for its non-conference finale. Imani Heggins led the Bears in scoring with a game-high 21 points. The team will return to action Jan. 5 to host Virginia Union University for a Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association matchup. Tipoff is slated for 6 p.m. in C.C. Spaulding Gymnasium.
East Carolina: William and Mary went on a 16-7 run in the final 4:40 to capture an 82-72 non-conference victory over the Pirates on Wednesday night at Kaplan Arena. The team will turn its attention to American Athletic Conference play, which begins Saturday at home.
Elon: The team closed the non-conference slate strong with a 93-47 victory Wednesday over King College at Alumni Gym. The Phoenix will open CAA action on Monday night at Alumni Gym against College of Charleston. Opening tip is set for 7 p.m.
From news releases