ECU Pirates :: Athletics News
Potash Corp Celebrates 25th Year With Breakfast Of Champions

Matt Milner and Kimmy Cummings were named Scholar-Athletes in 2012.
Matt Milner and Kimmy Cummings were named Scholar-Athletes in 2012.

April 30, 2014

GREENVILLE, N.C.--- The Potash Corporation-Aurora is celebrating its 25th anniversary as title sponsor of the East Carolina University Athletic Department's annual Breakfast of Champions. Potash Corp, formerly Texasgulf, has been the event's sponsor since it's beginning in 1990.

Potash Corp also sponsors the Outstanding Scholar-Athlete Award, which is presented annually to a male and female student-athlete recognizing academic achievement, leadership qualities and service to the university and community.

"The Breakfast of Champions is a wonderful opportunity to honor our best and brightest student-athletes," ECU Assistant Director of Athletics Nita Boyce said. "It's a wonderful event that allows our alumni and supporters to see the great leaders ECU is developing. We are so appreciative of the Potash Corporation for their long-standing support of this event."

The first awards were given to Walter Wilson and Tracey Kee more than two decades ago. Wilson was the first of eight Pirate football players to be honored, the most of any program, while Kee was the first of six softball players to be recognized, the most of any women's program along with cross country/track and field.

This year's breakfast will be held Saturday, May 3 inside Harvey Hall at the Murphy Center.

"We consider it an honor to partner with East Carolina University in celebration of student-athletes who are committed to excellence on the field, in the classroom, and in the community," Potash Corp Public and Government Affairs Manager Ray McKeithan said. "The Breakfast of Champions is a reflection of achievement - not just at ECU - but, throughout the region. Potash Corp considers this an opportunity to celebrate academic success, perseverance and strong character. We are privileged to be in this partnership."

Located in Aurora, N.C., Potash Corp-Aurora mines phosphate ore and is the world's largest vertically integrated fertilizer enterprise and a leading supplier to the agriculture, animal nutrition and industrial chemical markets. Phosphate is used in a variety of everyday products including cheese, soft drinks, bread, toothpaste, vegetable oil, jams and jellies. Commercial usage includes fire retardants, fertilizer, animal feed, wood and metal finishing, renewable energy products and cleaning compounds.

One of the area's largest private employers with an annual payroll of more $76 million, Potash Corp has over 800 permanent employees and hundreds of contract workers. The original plant opened in Beaufort County at a cost of $45 million in 1964.


ECU Outstanding Scholar-Athlete Winners

1990 Walter Wilson (football) Tracey Kee (softball)
1991 Robert Beeman (football) Ann Marie Welch (cross country/track and field)
1992 Marc Cook (swimming and diving)) Tonia Cooley (basketball)
1993 Craig Turnbull (soccer) Georgeann Wilkie (softball)
1994 Eric Adamski (cross country) Catherine Norstrand (cross country/track and field)
1995 Junior Smith (football) Stacy Green (cross country/track and field)
1996 Lance Tigyer (baseball) Cindy Szymanski (cross country/track and field)
1997 Kevin Miller (golf) Michelle Clayton (track and field)
1998 Dan Gonzalez (football) Christi Valevich (softball)
1999 Justin England (cross country) Isonette Polonius (softball)
2000 Carlos Ochoa (football) Cecilia Shinn (basketball)
2001 Chris Nelson (football) Whitney Brawner (volleyball)
2002 Sam Narron (baseball) Courtney Foster (swimming and diving)
2003 Devon Carter (track and field) Katherine Livick (cross country/track and field)
2004 Kyle MacKenzie (cross country/track and field) Margaret Mitchell (golf)
2005 Casey Cronin (swimming and diving) Kate Manuse (softball)
2006 Philip Reale (golf) Sarah Hunt (swimming and diving)
2007 Geoff Handsfield (swimming and diving) Heidi Krug (volleyball)
2008 Henrique Viana (tennis) Nicole Moore (soccer)
2009 Hunter Mehaffey (swimming and diving) Jessica Johnson (softball)
2010 Jarrett Newby (cross country/track and field) Abby Bools (golf)
2011 Andrew Stoker (swimming and diving) Toni Paisley (softball)
2012 Matt Milner (football) Kimmy Cummings (soccer)
2013 Trent Tignor (football) Hannah Lee (swimming and diving)