Eddie Hicks headed to East Carolina Hall of Fame

Jul. 22, 2014 @ 05:34 PM

Henderson’s Eddie Hicks will be one of four inducted into the East Carolina University Athletics Hall of Fame in September.

Hicks, a 1975 Vance High graduate, rushed for more than 2,100 yards during his four-year career under head coach Pat Dye in Greenville.

The Class of 2014, announced last week, also includes Pirate football greats Vonta Leach and Mitchell Cannon as well as baseball’s Billy Best.

The four new members will be enshrined Sept. 19 before being honored Sept. 20 as the Pirates host North Carolina.

It was against the Tar Heels in 1975 Hicks burst onto the scene as a freshman, taking his first handoff of the game for a 68-yard touchdown in Kenan Stadium. He added two more scores on the day as East Carolina claimed its first win over UNC in convincing fashion.

A season later, Hicks was named all-conference, helping the Pirates to a Southern Conference title.

Hicks still holds the school record for the longest rushing play (95 yards) and as a senior and team captain in 1978, helped East Carolina to an Independence Bowl win before he was named the team’s Most Outstanding Offensive Player.

Hicks was selected by the New York Giants in the sixth round of the 1979 NFL Draft.

Cannon was a standout linebacker in the 1960s, finishing with a 27-3 career record while Leach made his name as a fullback under head coach Steve Logan.

Leach earned NFL All-Pro honors in three consecutive seasons and won a Super Bowl with the Ravens in 2012.

Best set the Pirates’ single-season record for stolen bases with 16 in 1977 and is the only East Carolina player to lead in steals four consecutive seasons.

Best also became the second player in school history to collect 50 hits in a season and finished his career as the school leader in triples.