Dr. Ray Pennington excelled in both football and baseball for the Pirates from 1953-57. A four-year letterman in football, he was named all-conference his junior and senior seasons. As a senior co-captain he was named the Most Outstanding Senior, best blocker and the winner of the Lanche Trophy.
He was also a four-year letterman in baseball, starting all four years for the Pirates. Pennington was also named Dean's list. He graduated from ECU with a bachelor's of science in physical education in 1957 and later received his master's of education from North Carolina and earned a doctorate in education administration from Duke University.
He served as a physical education instructor and assistant football coach and golf coach for the Pirates from 1961-63 and then began his association with Pembroke State University in 1963, where he currently serves as a professor of physical education.