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Meet the new, bright Minges Coliseum

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By RONNIE WOODWARD
The Daily Reflector

Monday, August 12, 2019

Jon Gilbert identified during his first few months as East Carolina athletics director that Minges Coliseum was too dark.

A summer makeover to the arena where the Pirates play basketball and volleyball included updating the lights and a new floor paint scheme that features a Pirates' skull and crossbones logo at mid-court. There is no gray or black paint, only purple, gold and white.

"The 3-point areas were darker and that gave a darker look to (the court), so I wanted to make sure that we did a good job of brightening everything up," said Gilbert, who was hired by the Pirates from Southern Miss on Dec. 3. "After talking to the coaches and to our creative people, we felt a lighter look would be best suited for us. ... This is much brighter."

ECU's volleyball team will hold a purple-gold scrimmage on Aug. 20 and its first home match is Sept. 13.

The Pirates have a first-year women's basketball coach in Kim McNeill.

The men's team is coached by Joe Dooley, who upgraded his squad's roster through recruiting and by signing 11 new players since the end of last season. Dooley and his staff are expecting some of those newcomers to be impact players this year in the American Athletic Conference.

"We do have a level of excitement that we haven't had in a while, and I'm talking programmatically," Gilbert said. "The more that we could do, at that time, to make everything look the way we want and have it consistent was probably the right thing to do."

Minges opened in 1967 and has a seating capacity of 8,000.

Gilbert has viewed the coliseum as a microcosm for how he wants to implement more logos and visibility to the Pirates' branding on the main athletics part of campus. Brightening the Minges Coliseum court was important, but the East Carolina AD said Monday that the facility still requires more attention.

"One of the things that I want to constantly improve upon is our branding, so prior to basketball season, we will be putting in some different logos and graphics around the concourse," he said.

Contact Ronnie Woodward at rwoodward@reflector.com, 252-329-9592 and follow @RonnieW11 on Twitter.

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