The Carolina Cougars were a basketball franchise in the former American Basketball Association that existed from late 1969 through 1974. The Cougars were a charter member of the ABA as the Houston Mavericks in 1967; the Mavericks moved to North Carolina in late 1969 after two unsuccessful seasons in Houston at the Sam Houston Coliseum. The Carolina Cougars franchise began when future Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina Jim Gardner bought the Houston Mavericks and moved them to North Carolina in 1969. At the time, none of North Carolina's large metropolitan areas--Charlotte, the Piedmont Triad and the Triangle—was large enough to support a professional team on its own. With this in mind, Gardner decided to brand the Cougars as a "regional" team; the Cougars were based in Greensboro and played most of their home games at the Greensboro Coliseum, the state's largest arena at the time. However, some games were played in Charlotte at the Charlotte Coliseum, Raleigh at Dorton Arena and Reynolds Coliseum, in Winston-Salem at the Winston-Salem Memorial Coliseum.
Early on, the Cougars were not successful on the court, posting a 42-42 record in the 1969–70 season, a 34-50 record in 1970–71, a 35-49 record in 1971–72. Only the 1969–70 Cougars managed to make the ABA playoffs but lost in the Eastern Division Semifinals to a much stronger Indiana Pacers team. In spite of this, the Cougars had a good fan following in Greensboro; the 1971–72 team was coached by former NBA All-Star Tom Meschery, who had just retired from 10 years of NBA play with the San Francisco Warriors and the Seattle SuperSonics. Gardner sold the team after one season to Tedd Munchak, who poured significant resources into the team. In 1972–73, the Cougars hired retired ABA players Larry Brown and former Cougar Doug Moe as coaches; the 1972–73 Cougars were talented and featured players Billy Cunningham, Joe Caldwell, Mack Calvin. All three appeared in the ABA All-Star Game that season, Cunningham was named the league's Most Valuable Player. Carolina went on to post a 57-27 record, the best in the ABA.
The Cougars beat the New York Nets in their first-round playoff series 4 games to 1, but lost a close series to the Kentucky Colonels 4 games to 3 in the Eastern Division finals. There were many upset and disappointed fans in Greensboro when the Cougars decided to hold game 7 of the series in Charlotte. Of the 42 scheduled regular season home games, 25 were scheduled for Greensboro while only 12 were played in Charlotte. With Cougar management having the choice of city to play game 7, it mystified its Greensboro area fans with the choice to play such a pivotal game on a less familiar court. Game 7 was hotly contested but Kentucky prevailed, much to Cougar fans dismay. Due to injuries and internal squabbles, the 1973–74 Cougars posted a 47-37 record but was swept in the Eastern Division semifinals 4 games to 0 by the Kentucky Colonels, it turned out to be the Cougars' last season in North Carolina. Although they were moderately successful overall and had one of the most loyal fan bases in the ABA, talks toward an ABA–NBA merger were in the final stages, it had become apparent that a "regional" franchise would not be viable in the NBA.
Although the Charlotte/Greensboro/Raleigh axis was beginning an unprecedented period of growth that still continues to this day, neither city was big enough at the time to support an NBA team on its own. Additionally, several persons quoted in the book Loose Balls by Terry Pluto say the added travel expenses incurred by the regional concept proved insurmountable. Munchak sold the Cougars to a consortium of New York businessmen headed by brothers Ozzie and Daniel Silna, who moved to St. Louis as the Spirits of St. Louis. However, the new owners assembled an entirely new team after moving to St. Louis; the Spirits were one of two teams that lasted until the end of the league but not join the NBA. At the time of the ABA–NBA merger, the Spirits' owners planned to move the team to Salt Lake City, Utah to play as the Utah Rockies. Professional basketball would return to North Carolina in 1988 when the Charlotte Hornets entered the NBA; that franchise moved to New Orleans in 2002. However, Charlotte did receive a new expansion club.
In 2014, one year after the New Orleans Hornets were renamed the New Orleans Pelicans, the Bobcats were renamed the Hornets and inherited the original franchise's records and legacy from its 1988–2002 Charlotte period. Since 2012, the Cougars' uniforms are used by the Bobcats/Hornets under the NBA Hardwood Classics moniker. Note: W = Wins, L = Losses, % = Win–Loss % Remember the ABA: Carolina Cougars Remember the ABA: Carolina Cougars year-to-year rosters
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Winston-Salem is a city in and the county seat of Forsyth County, North Carolina, United States. With a 2019 estimated population of 251,907 it is the second largest municipality in the Piedmont Triad region, the fifth most populous city in North Carolina, the eighty-ninth most populous city in the United States. With a metropolitan population of 676,673 it is the fourth largest metropolitan area in North Carolina and is expected to keep that fourth spot for many more years. Winston-Salem is home to the tallest office building in the region, 100 North Main Street the Wachovia Building and now known locally as the Wells Fargo Center. Winston-Salem is called the "Twin City" for its dual heritage and "City of the Arts and Innovation" for its dedication to fine arts and theater and technological research. "Camel City" is a reference to the city's historic involvement in the tobacco industry related to locally based R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company's Camel cigarettes. Many locals refer to the city as "Winston" in informal speech.
Another nickname, "the Dash," comes from the in the city's name, although technically it is a hyphen, not a dash. In 2012, the city was listed among the ten best places to retire in the United State by CBS MoneyWatch. Winston-Salem has seen an explosion in growth and urbanization in the downtown area with hotels and apartments being constructed. In 2017, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal ranked the city second in their lists of the most livable downtowns in America; the city of Winston-Salem is a product of the merging of the two neighboring towns of Winston and Salem in 1913. The origin of the town of Salem dates to January 1753, when Bishop August Gottlieb Spangenberg, on behalf of the Moravian Church, selected a settlement site in the three forks of Muddy Creek, he called this area "die Wachau" named after the ancestral estate of Count Nicolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf. The land, just short of 99,000 acres, was subsequently purchased from John Carteret, 2nd Earl Granville. On November 17, 1753, the first settlers arrived at what would become the town of Bethabara.
This town, despite its rapid growth, was not designed to be the primary settlement on the tract. Some residents expanded to a nearby settlement called Bethania in 1759. Lots were drawn to select among suitable sites for the location of a new town; the town established on the chosen site was given the name of Salem chosen for it by the Moravians' late patron, Count Zinzendorf. On January 6, 1766, the first tree was felled for the building of Salem. Salem was a typical Moravian settlement congregation with the public buildings of the congregation grouped around a central square, today Salem Square; these included the church, a Brethren's House and a Sisters' House for the unmarried members of the Congregation, which owned all the property in town. For many years only members of the Moravian Church were permitted to live in the settlement; this practice had ended by the American Civil War. Many of the original buildings in the settlement have been restored or rebuilt and are now part of Old Salem Museums & Gardens.
Salem was incorporated as a town in December 1856. Salem Square and "God's Acre", the Moravian Graveyard, since 1772 are the site each Easter morning of the world-famous Moravian sunrise service; this service, sponsored by all the Moravian church parishes in the city, attracts thousands of worshipers each year. In 1849, the Salem congregation sold land north of Salem to the newly formed Forsyth County for a county seat; the new town was called "the county town" or Salem until 1851 when it was re-named Winston for a local hero of the Revolutionary War, Joseph Winston. For its first two decades, Winston was a sleepy county town. In 1868, work began by Salem and Winston business leaders to connect the town to the North Carolina Railroad; that same year, Thomas Jethro Brown of Davie County rented a former livery stable and established the first tobacco warehouse in Winston. That same year, Pleasant Henderson Hanes of Davie, built his first tobacco factory a few feet from Brown's warehouse. In 1875, Richard Joshua Reynolds, of Patrick County, built his first tobacco factory a few hundred feet from Hanes's factory.
By the 1880s, there were 40 tobacco factories in the town of Winston. Hanes and Reynolds would compete fiercely for the next 25 years, each absorbing a number of the smaller manufacturers, until Hanes sold out to Reynolds in 1900 to begin a second career in textiles. In the 1880s, the US Post Office began referring to the two towns as Winston-Salem. In 1899, after nearly a decade of contention, the United States Post Office Department established the Winston-Salem post office in Winston, with the former Salem office serving as a branch. After a referendum the towns were incorporated as "Winston-Salem" in 1913; the Reynolds family, namesake of the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, played a large role in the history and public life of Winston-Salem. By the 1940s, 60% of Winston-Salem workers worked either for Reynolds or in the Hanes textile factories; the Reynolds company imported so much French cigarette paper and Turkish tobacco for Camel cigarettes that Winston-Salem was designated by the United States federal government as an official port of entry for the United States, despite the city being 200 miles inland.
Winston-Salem was the eighth-largest port of entry in the United States by 1916. In 1917, the Reynolds company bought 84 acres of property in Winston-Salem and built 180 houses that it sold at cost to workers, to form a development called "Reynoldstown." By the ti
Finch Field is a baseball venue in Thomasville, North Carolina, United States. It is home to the High Point-Thomasville HiToms of the Coastal Plain League, a collegiate summer baseball league; the park was built in 1935 and has been renovated in 2002, 2005, 2007. The park's dimensions are 325 ft. down the left field line, 350 ft. to left center, 390 ft. to dead center field, 365 ft. to right center, 330 ft. down the right field line. The park hosts the Coastal Plain League's High Point-Thomasville HiToms; the High Point-Thomasville HiToms began playing at Finch Field in 1999, the same year as their inception in the league. During their time at Finch, the team has won three Coastal Plain League championships; the park has hosted numerous other professional teams since its construction in 1935. Below is the seasons in which they played at Finch Field. In addition to professional and collegiate summer baseball, the park is home to numerous amateur baseball teams. Area American Legion baseball teams and the Thomasville High School teams both utilize the field.
In 1982, the park's original grandstand was burned down by arson. A metal seating structure was erected soon after. In 2002, the High Point-Thomasville HiToms installed new fencing. Soon after, in 2005, the 1980s seating structure was replaced with a new grandstand. In 2005, new dugouts and concessions were built. In 2007, a new infield was installed at the field. A scoreboard was constructed past the left field fence was built during the 1950s and has been renovated
First National Bank Field
First National Bank Field is a minor league baseball park located in downtown Greensboro, North Carolina. The home of the Greensboro Grasshoppers of the Class A South Atlantic League, it opened on April 3, 2005; the park is on the block bounded by Bellemeade, Edgeworth and Eugene Streets. The stadium's current capacity is 7,499; the stadium has room for future expansion. In 2017, the Grasshoppers had the best average attendance in the South Atlantic League and the highest total attendance in the league; the team moved to First National Bank Field after the 2004 season, leaving their previous home of many decades, World War Memorial Stadium. Lindsay Street, which once cut through the property of the new park, now T's into Eugene, provides a direct path to the old stadium. Greensboro's downtown stadium opened its gates to a crowd of 8,540 on April 3, 2005, with a Grasshoppers exhibition game against the Florida Marlins. In the first regular season game, the Grasshoppers defeated the Hickory Crawdads, 3–2, in front of 8,017 fans.
This state-of-the-art facility features a 30-foot-wide, open-air concourse, 36 concession points of sale, the Go Triad grandstand outdoor sports bar, a kid-safe play park, numerous amenities. On May 5, 2009, it was announced that the 2010 ACC Baseball Tournament would be held at Yadkin Bank Park, a change from the discussed location of Fenway Park in Boston, due to economic reasons. Florida State won the tournament. From May 23 to 27, 2012, the park hosted the 2012 ACC Baseball Tournament, won by Georgia Tech. During this time, the University of North Carolina took on North Carolina State University in a game that broke the record for attendance at a college baseball game in the state of North Carolina, it was the largest crowd for an ACC baseball game. The attendance, 10,229, was the largest crowd in the history of First National Bank Field. First National Bank Field features 16 luxury suites, 26 grandstand Boxes, picnic areas, a grandstand party deck, a state of the art retail store, children's playground area.
A 30-foot-wide open concrete concourse wraps around the ballpark, giving fans the opportunity to see the game from any vantage point in the stadium. Fans are served at three major concession stands with 36 points of sale; the grandstand provides 3 additional points of sale. The ballpark opened in 2005 as First Horizon Park. Memphis, Tennessee-based First Horizon National Corporation was awarded the naming rights of the ballpark on December 7, 2004, for 10 years. On November 7, 2007, it was formally announced that locally based NewBridge Bank had acquired the ballpark's naming rights, after First Horizon National Corporation ended their agreement with the Grasshoppers; the deal runs through the 2017 season. However, Yadkin Bank's acquisition of NewBridge Bank resulted in a name change for the ballpark, effective in the 2016 season. FNB Corporation of Pittsburgh made an offer for Yadkin Bank in 2016; the team and FNB Corporation announced March 6, 2017 that First National Bank will continue the NewBridge sponsorship, the stadium's new name for the 2017 season will be First National Bank Field.
Baseball America Directory 2005 Greensboro Grasshoppers official website First National Bank Field views – Ball Parks of the Minor Leagues First National Bank Field – Greensboro Downtown
The Winston-Salem Fairgrounds was a dirt oval track spanning 0.500 miles in addition to its primary purpose as a fairground. During the times of the year that it wasn't expected to host a stock car race, this fairground was the home of the annual Winston-Salem Fair/Dixie Classic Fair for Northwest North Carolina along with other events related to the Piedmont Triad area of North Carolina; the annual fair would traditionally take place in the first week of October. On December 1, 1969, the Winston-Salem Foundation gave the Fairgrounds, the Memorial Coliseum, $75,000 to the City of Winston-Salem; the race track component of the fairgrounds was used for NASCAR-style stock car racing and was discarded by the Grand National Series after their 1955 season. Most of the races took place on either early autumn months. Lee Petty won both the May 29 and August 7 unnamed Grand National Series races on this race course. Fred Dove would be notable for participating in his last NASCAR Cup Series career race on this track.
Outside of the Cup Series, Fonty Flock, Curtis Turner, Jack Harrison would win races at this ½-mile dirt oval. The SAFE Convertible Series would be bought out by NASCAR to become the NASCAR Convertible Division in 1955; however the NASCAR Convertible Series would be short-lived and become permanently disbanded after 1959. This was due to the fact that multiple sedan passenger automobiles could race on the track much more safely with the faster speeds than their convertible counterparts. Both of the Cup Series races spanned 100 miles and the most expensive purse was $3,765. Driving speeds of up to 59.016 miles per hour could be sustained on this race track through single-car qualifying. When all cars were on the track, the fastest average speed would be reduced to 50.583 miles per hour. The speeds are considered to be inferior to the typical modern highway which can sustain speeds up to 110.000 kilometres per hour. Races would last less than two hours. All forms of automobile discontinued on this track after 1963.
The fate of motorcycle and horse racing on the track were left uncertain after the stock cars stopped racing in this venue. Legends of NASCAR
Atlantic Coast Conference
The Atlantic Coast Conference is a collegiate athletic conference in the United States of America in which its fifteen member universities compete in the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Division I, with its football teams competing in the Football Bowl Subdivision, the highest levels for athletic competition in US-based collegiate sports. The ACC sponsors competition in twenty-five sports with many of its member institutions' athletic programs held in high regard nationally. Current members of the conference are Boston College, Clemson University, Duke University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Florida State University, North Carolina State University, Syracuse University, the University of Louisville, the University of Miami, the University of North Carolina, the University of Notre Dame, the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Virginia, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Wake Forest University. ACC teams and athletes have claimed dozens of national championships in multiple sports throughout the conference's history.
The ACC's top athletes and teams in any particular sport in a given year are considered to be among the top collegiate competitors in the nation. The conference enjoys extensive media coverage; the ACC was one of the five collegiate power conferences, which had automatic qualifying for their football champion into the Bowl Championship Series. With the advent of the College Football Playoff in 2014, the ACC is one of five conferences with a contractual tie-in to a New Year's Six bowl game, the successors to the BCS; the ACC was founded on May 8, 1953 by seven universities located in the South Atlantic States, with the University of Virginia joining in early December 1953 to bring the membership to eight. The loss of South Carolina in 1971 dropped membership to seven, while the addition of Georgia Tech in 1979 for non-football sports and 1983 for football brought it back to eight, Florida State's arrival in 1991 for non-football sports and 1992 for football increased the membership to nine. Since 2000, with the widespread reorganization of the NCAA, seven additional schools have joined, one original member has left to bring it to the current membership of 15 schools.
The additions in recent years extended the conference's footprint into the Midwest. ACC member universities represent a range of well-regarded private and public universities of various enrollment sizes, all of which participate in the Atlantic Coast Conference Academic Consortium whose purpose is to "enrich the educational missions the undergraduate student experiences, of member universities"; the ACC has 15 member institutions located within the borders of 10 states. Listed in alphabetical order, these 10 states within the ACC's geographical footprint are Florida, Indiana, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia; the geographic domain of the conference is predominantly within the Southern and Northeastern United States along the US Atlantic coast and stretches from Florida in the south to New York in the North and from Indiana in the west to Massachusetts farthest east. In two sports and baseball, the ACC is divided into two non-geographic divisions of seven teams each, labeled the "Atlantic" and "Coastal" divisions.
Notre Dame does not participate in ACC football and Syracuse does not participate in ACC baseball, leaving 14 total ACC schools for each of those sports. For all other sports, the ACC operates as a single unified league with no divisions; when Notre Dame joined the ACC, it chose to remain a football independent. However, its football team established a special scheduling arrangement with the ACC to play a rotating selection of five ACC football teams per season. Since July 1, 2014, the 15 members of the ACC are: On July 1, 2014, The University of Maryland departed for The Big Ten Conference as The University of Louisville joined from The American Athletic Conference. In 1971, The University of South Carolina left The ACC to become an independent joining The Metro Conference in 1983 and moving to its current home, The Southeastern Conference, in 1991. Full members Non-football members The ACC was established on June 14, 1953, when seven members of the Southern Conference left to form their own conference.
These seven universities became charter members of the ACC: Clemson, Maryland, North Carolina, North Carolina State, South Carolina, Wake Forest. They left due to that league's ban on post-season football play. After drafting a set of bylaws for the creation of a new league, the seven withdrew from the Southern Conference at the spring meeting on the morning of May 8, 1953 at the Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, North Carolina; the bylaws were ratified on June 14, 1953, the ACC was created, becoming the second conference formed by schools collectively withdrawing from the SoCon, after the Southeastern Conference. On December 4, 1953, officials convened in Greensboro, North Carolina, admitted Virginia, a SoCon charter member, independent since 1937, into the conference. In 1960, the ACC implemented a minimum SAT score for incoming student-athletes of 750, the first conference to do so; this minimum was raised to 800 in 1964, but was struck down by a federal court in 1972. On July 1, 1971, South Carolina left the ACC to become an independent.
The ACC operated with seven members until the addition of Georgia Tech from the Metro Conference, announced on April 3, 1978 and taking effect on July 1, 1979 except in football, in which Tech would remain an independent until joining ACC football in 1983. The total number of member schools reached nine with the addition of Florida State formerl