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Coach Mike Houston Makes Sizable Donation to ECU


ECU HC Mike Houston
© Reggie Hildred-USA TODAY Sports

The Pirate Club at East Carolina University is abuzz with excitement following a significant contribution to the Pirates Unite Campaign from ECU Football Head Coach Mike Houston and his wife, Amanda.



Their generous investment of $100,000 is set to play a pivotal role in the realization of the Isley Indoor Performance Center, a transformative addition to the university's athletic facilities.



Isley Indoor Performance Center

The Isley Indoor Performance Center, a proposed 101,000-square-foot facility, promises to be a game-changer for ECU's sports programs. It will boast a synthetic turf football practice field, along with state-of-the-art amenities such as LED lighting, scoreboard, sound system, and graphics. The facility's construction, situated atop the current multipurpose turf field adjacent to the existing football turf practice facility, will provide accessible training grounds for all sports programs.


Coach Houston expressed his excitement about the gift, emphasizing the warm welcome his family received from Pirate Nation and their deep-rooted connection to the community. "It is incredible when you take a step back and see the number of individuals and businesses that have stepped up to make the indoor facility a reality," Houston said. "This facility will make an enormous difference for not only our football program but all Pirate student-athletes."



Mike Houston’s Success

Houston, who took the reins as the Pirates' 22nd head coach in December 2018, has led the program through a successful rebuild, resulting in consecutive bowl eligibility seasons. A proud graduate of Mars Hill University, he was honored with induction into the MHU Athletic Hall of Fame in 2020, following a similar accolade at his alma mater, Franklin High School, in 2014.



Amanda, with a bachelor’s degree from East Tennessee State and an MBA from Western Carolina, stands alongside her husband in their commitment to ECU Athletics and the Pirate Club. The Houston family, including sons Owen Michael and Reid Wilson, has become an integral part of the community over the past five years, actively participating in various organizations and initiatives.



Director of Athletics Jon Gilbert commended the Houston family for their generosity and dedication to Pirate athletics. "By making the commitment to the ongoing Pirates Unite Campaign, they are not only benefiting the football program but also building the foundation for Pirate student-athletes now and into the future," Gilbert said.


Pirate Club Executive Director Ryan Robinson echoed Gilbert's sentiments, expressing gratitude for the Houston family's steadfast support. "The investment from the Houston family reflects the collective effort needed to complete the Isley Indoor Performance Center and demonstrates their unwavering support for the Pirates," Robinson said.



With the Houston family's generous contribution, coupled with the support of Pirate Nation and the broader community, the Isley Indoor Performance Center moves closer to becoming a reality, promising to elevate the training and athletic capabilities of East Carolina University's student-athletes for generations to come.




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