ECU to Enshrine Vonta Leach and Three Others into Hall of Fame


East Carolina University is inducting four more athletes into its East Carolina Hall of Fame. The four individuals are baseballer Billy Best, linebacker Mitchell Cannon, running back Eddie Hicks, and fullback Vonta Leach. ECU will officially do the inducting during halftime of their football game against local rival North Carolina. That series does return to Greenville this year.

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  • Billy Best

    Billy Best set a number of individual records for East Carolina baseball in the late seventies. Best set records for triples, stolen bases, and also collected hits while in college. Best spent five years in the Royals farm system before returning to ECU as an assistant coach.

    Mitchell Cannon

    Mitchell Cannon was the anchor of the Pirates defenses of the 1960’s. In the days of many fewer bowl games, Cannon led ECU to three bowl bids and three bowl wins in the Eastern and Tangerine Bowls. The Cannon-era defenses still hold the team records for fewest yards surrendered per game.

    Eddie Hicks

    Running back Eddie Hicks was part of the Pirate teams of the late seventies. These teams were coached by Pat Dye. In that period, Hicks rushed for 2,100 yards and was involved in the 1975 first time defeat of North Carolina. Hicks helped ECU to win the the 1978 Independence Bowl.

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  • Vonta Leach

    Perhaps the most understated, but most decorated, of the four is former NFL fullback Vonta Leach. Leach came to ECU as a linebacker and was honored as a freshman at that position. However, Leach moved to fullback as a junior and the rest, they say, is history. Leach became a 3 time All-Pro in the NFL ranks, but a better testament might be the careers of the players he aided.

    Leach was first given All-Pro status in 2010 while a member of the Houston Texans. This is because he cleared the way for an overlooked runner named Arrian Foster that year. Foster became a star and Leach became well paid by the Baltimore Ravens. There. Leach opened holes for mighty mite tailback Ray Rice and collected two more All-Pro recognitions. The capstone has to be the Ravens victory over San Francisco in Super Bowl XLVII. Leach has to be a favorite of guys who get their hands dirty.