To hundreds of former Pirate student-athletes, fans of the ECU track program, and track aficionados nationwide, Bill Carson IS East Carolina University men's track and field.
Now in his 37th year of coaching at ECU, Carson has taken the Pirate track program from ground level to one capable of producing Olympic competitors.
Under Carson's direction, ECU athletes have advanced to the NCAA National Championship in 15 of the last 16 years. His program has produced 65 All-Americans and 33 individual event champions at IC4A, Colonial Athletic Association, or Conference USA championships.
Carson has also had several of his athletes earn meet MVP awards and special honors at CAA and IC4A meets. He has been responsible for four CAA Rookies of the Year and two CAA Athletes of the Year.
Known for his tremendous ability to produce top-notch sprinters year after year, Carson has also earned his share of coaching honors, including being named the NCAA District III Coach of the Year in 1988 and Southeast Region Coach of the Year in 2002. Among Carson's accomplishments, he was named persident of the IC4A in 1999, was named as head coach of the South team at the 1993 United States Olympic Festival, and served as the Broad Event Chairman for Sprint Development for USA Track and Field from 1991-97, with the most highly noted athlete in the development program being world-class sprinter Maurice Greene.
On the international scene, Carson is well respected as he has helped produce several Olympic-level athletes. Included in his list of prominent athletes is Lee McNeill, who was a five-time All-American at ECU before going on to represent the United States at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. McNeill competed for the U.S. on the 4x100-meter relay team.
Most recently, Carson was named as assistant coach for the United States Junior Olympic team that will attend the World Junior Championships in Italy this summer. He will serve as the U.S. team's sprint coach.
A native of Steubenville, Ohio, Carson graduated from West Virginia University in 1960 and competed as a senior co-captain for the Mountaineers' track team. The top sprinter in the WVU program for three years, he returned to his alma mater in 1963 as an assistant coach.
Carson spent the 1965 season as head track and field coach at Furman University and led the Paladins to the Southern Conference Outdoor Championship. He moved south later that year to the University of Florida, where he completed work on his master's degree in physical education and served as assistant coach from 1965-66.
After a short stint (1966-67) as head track coach at Florida's Ocala High School, Carson was hired at East Carolina in September 1967. In addition to guiding the men's track program since his arrival, he has also served as cross country and women's track coach during his tenure as a Pirate. His ECU track teams won three consecutive Southern Conference titles in the 1970s.
Carson and his wife, Ruth Ann, have two sons--Shawn and Shannon--and four grandchildren. Among Carson's hobbies are fly fishing and playing the banjo.