In today’s news we learned of yesterday’s passing of famed Villanova University basketball coach Rollie Massimino. Above is a detail from a photograph of Massimino made by Hugh Morton on March 17, 1991 during the NCAA East Regional played in the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, NY. A View to Hugh post from 2009 titled UNC vs. Villanova: 1982 and 1985 recounts two Tar Heel encounters against Massimino, and another post, “When Carolina’s Roy Williams and Villanova’s Jay Wright were assistants” includes another Morton photograph of Massimino made during the same game as this photograph.
When Carolina met Duke on November 25, 1950 in historic Kenan Memorial Stadium, we didn’t know it at the time, but it would be Duke Head Football Coach Wallace Wade’s last coaching appearance against his rival from Chapel Hill. Over a 16 year period from 1934 through 1950, UNC Coach Carl Snavely met Duke Coach Wallace Wade seven times on the gridiron. Snavely won 5 of those games. Wade won in 1935 in Durham and his only win against Snavely in Kenan Stadium came on a cold day in November of 1950.
As official football practice gets underway today for Carolina’s 2017 football season—the 91st in Kenan Stadium, and the 104th meeting with Duke on September 23rd—Morton collection volunteer Jack Hilliard recalls that famous game from 66 seasons ago.
I remember, as a little kid, my dad telling my mom, as he left for work early Saturday morning, November 25, 1950, “I guess Carolina and Duke will play in the snow today.” Had it not been for the covering on Kenan’s turf, my dad would have been right. On Friday the 24th, high winds, snow and bitter 15-degree temperatures moved into North Carolina. The headline in Saturday’s Durham Sun, read: “Vicious Icy Storm Batters East.”
A check of the 1950 UNC football media guide, which was actually published in August, indicated the game was already a sellout. 40,000 of those ticket-holders braved the weather and came out for the game . . . the other 6,000 decided to stay home by the fire and the radio. Photographer Hugh Morton was one of the former.
Head coach Carl Snavely’s North Carolina Tar Heels had beaten head coach Wallace Wade’s Duke Blue Devils the past four seasons and the Heels were made a slight favorite in this, the 37th meeting between the two rival schools. Wade and Snavely had tremendous respect for each other. In July of 1950 the two rival coaches appeared together in the North Carolina outdoor drama “The Lost Colony.” They were special guests as part of Kay Kyser’s and Emma Neal Morrison’s “Celebrity Night” celebrations. Going into the 1950 “battle of the blues,” the darker blue, Blue Devils were 6 and 3 on the season, while the lighter blue Tar Heels were 3-3-2.
As one might guess, wind was to be a factor in the game, so when the Tar Heels won Referee Orrell J. Mitchell’s toss, they elected to defend the west goal with the wind at their backs. The Tar Heels moved the ball inside the Duke 25-yard-line twice in the first half, but couldn’t score. Duke’s only first-half threat came near the end of the second quarter. The Blue Devils went on a 44-yard drive to the Carolina 36-yard-line, mainly through the efforts of Duke captain Billy Cox’s running and passing, but they couldn’t score. The score at halftime was 0-0.
Because of the weather, there was no halftime entertainment on the field. Fans had to be content reading through their game-day programs, which on this day featured a front cover Lon Keller image of radio and TV personality Arthur Godfrey. You could read a column by UNC’s Jake Wade or Duke’s Ted Mann, and get their takes on the game.
At the 2:58 mark of the third quarter, Coach Wade decided to gamble. Duke with the ball, fourth down at the Carolina 34 and needing seven yards for a first down, tailback Billy Cox took the direct snap from center J. E. Gibson . . . looked down field . . . spotted wingback Tommy Powers . . . and threw a perfect shot which Powers caught as he crossed the goal line. Mike Souchak’s point-after made the score 7-0.
During the final quarter and a half, Carolina had three great opportunities, but the score remained 7-0. The final game stats showed that Carolina had first downs at the Duke 22, 17, 28, 9, 7, and 20, but could not score. In his post game interview, Wade praised Duke’s incredible defense.
As the game ended and the late November sky began to turn a darker shade of gray, the Duke players rushed to hoist their victorious coach on their shoulders; but as we had come to expect, Coach Wade wanted no part of anything like that. Wade told his players, “No, no, boys there’ll be none of that. Let’s go shake their hands.” He then walked calmly across field for a final time and shook Snavely’s hand, just as he had done on six previous occasions when the two coaches had played one another. It would be Wade’s first, final, and only win in Kenan Stadium against a Snavely-coached Tar Heel team.
When the field cleared, the Carolina cheerleaders, led by head man Joe Chambliss, rolled the Victory Bell across the cold Kenan turf to the Duke section on the North side of the stadium, as the Blue Devil fans cheered. It was their first opportunity to ring the bell since its introduction following Carolina’s 1948 win. (That respectful type Victory Bell transition seems to have been forgotten in today’s world of overwrought fan and player hostility.)
The headline in Sunday’s Charlotte Observer, read: “Blue Devils’ Gamble Pays Off for Score in High Wind and Freezing Temperature.” Coach Snavely, when asked in his Monday morning news conference about his impression of Saturday’s game, had this to say: “Duke was hotter than we were in several crucial moments. . . . You must remember that Duke played in the same weather we did.”
Four days after the game, Wade married Virginia Jones and after a honeymoon in New York, he announced his resignation from Duke in order to take the position of Commissioner of the Southern Conference. He would hold that position for ten years. Upon his retirement from the Southern Conference in 1960, words of praise came from media outlets across the country. One of those tributes came from an avid UNC Tar Heel, who broadcast UNC football games on the Tobacco Sports Network…Bill Currie, then the Sports Director of WSOC-TV, Channel 9, in Charlotte once said: “Nobody ever gets over being a Tar Heel. He also said this about Coach Wade:
“The true measure of Wallace Wade’s greatness as a man is not fully reflected in his overwhelming won-lost record on the field, nor in his patriotic devotion to our country in combat during two world wars: rather, it is reflected in the dignity and bearing of the man, which makes him a giant among his peers and successors.”
William Wallace Wade was inducted into the National Football Foundation’s College Football Hall of Fame with the Class of 1955. Twelve years later, in 1967, Duke Stadium was renamed Wallace Wade Stadium in his honor.
He died on October 7, 1986. He was 94-years-old.
On Tuesday, June 7, 2016—one year ago today—a special memorial service was held at the Old Chapel Hill Cemetery on Raleigh Road. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill had lost one of its strongest supporters. Three days before, Ralph Strayhorn Jr. had passed away in Winston-Salem. He was 93-years-old. On this anniversary, Morton Collection volunteer Jack Hilliard looks back at Strayhorn’s amazing list of accomplishments.
Ralph Nichols Strayhorn Jr. at one time or another served his university as
- cocaptain of the varsity football team;
- member of UNC Board of Trustees;
- President of the General Alumni Association;
- General Counsel for the Rams Club;
- chairman of the search committee charged in 1987 with finding a replacement for Head Football Coach Dick Drum (he and his committee found Mack Brown);
- President and General Counsel of the Educational Foundation, Inc.; and
- Fund Raising Chairman for the George Watts Hill Alumni Center building project.
As you will see later in this post, this list will continue.
A native of Durham, Strayhorn was recruited by UNC assistant football coach Jim Tatum and played three seasons with the Tar Heels before he entered the United States Navy and served in the Pacific theater from 1943 until 1946, completing his active service as a sub-chaser commanding officer. He served twenty years in the U. S. Naval Reserve, retiring in 1962 as a lieutenant commander.
He returned to Chapel Hill in time for the 1946 football season where he was a cocaptain along with Chan Highsmith. In a 2010 interview, Strayhorn described his returned: “It was a delightful time to be in Chapel Hill. Everyone was glad to be home from the war, back in school where they belonged.”
The 1946 Tar Heels under Head Coach Carl Snavely won eight games during the regular season while losing only to Tennessee and tying VPI (formally Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, known today as Virginia Tech). That record was good enough to earn a Southern Conference championship and Carolina’s first bowl game, the Sugar Bowl on January 1, 1947. Strayhorn’s trip to New Orleans was not a joyous occasion as it should have been. His father had suffered a heart attack back in Durham and was unconscious.
“My mind wasn’t focused on the game, needless to say. I thought about not going. My first cousin was a doctor and was very close to our family. He said my father would want me to go and play in that game. I stayed behind when the team left and then caught the last train to New Orleans. . . I was on the first train back out of town. I returned to my father’s bedside but he never recovered.”
Strayhorn could have played one more season with the Tar Heels. The 1943 season didn’t count against his eligibility because he had gone off to World War II; he chose, however, to graduate with the class of 1947 with a degree in commerce and enter law school. He got his law degree in 1950 and joined the firm of Newsom, Graham, Strayhorn, Hedrick, Murray, Bryson and Kennon as a senior partner. He held that position until 1978 when he assumed the executive position of general counsel of the Wachovia Corporation and the Wachovia Bank and Trust Company. Strayhorn retired from that position in his 1988 retirement. He then joined the law firm Petree Stockton & Robinson.
Throughout his professional career, Ralph Strayhorn remained active in the life of his alma mater, especially its athletic programs and his beloved football Tar Heels. From 1973 until 1981 he was a member of the UNC Board of Trustees, serving as chairman in 1979 and 1980. Additionally, he served on the Central Selection Committee of the Morehead Foundation, the Board of Visitors, and the NC Institute of Medicine. In 1989 the UNC Board of Trustees awarded Strayhorn the William Richardson Davie Award.
Over the years, Strayhorn kept in touch with Coach Jim Tatum and in 1955 he wrote Tatum a four-page letter asking him to return to Chapel Hill to take over the football program. “The football situation at Chapel Hill seems to have reached an all-time low,” Strayhorn wrote. The following year Tatum returned and led the program until his untimely death in July of 1959. Ironically, in 1957 Strayhorn had prepared Tatum’s will and delivered the document to him the week before the Tar Heel were to meet Maryland for the first time since Tatum left—the famous “Queen Elizabeth” game. As the coach was signing the document, he asked Strayhorn if he was going to the game on Saturday.
“I told him I didn’t have tickets, transportation, a room or a baby-sitter. He said, ‘Well, find yourself a baby-sitter. I’ll take care of the rest. You be at the airport Friday at 2 o’clock.’ We got to the airport and everything was arranged for us.”
In December 1996 Carolina’s 1947 football team celebrated the 50th anniversary of their ’47 Sugar Bowl game with a train trip to New Orleans for the 1997 Sugar Bowl game. An on-the-field pre-game ceremony included Charlie Justice and Ralph Strayhorn along with Charlie Trippi of Georgia. Hugh Morton was a special invited guest at the ceremony.
Seven years later, on November 5, 2004, Ralph Strayhorn and Hugh Morton were featured speakers at the dedication of Johnpaul Harris’ magnificent Charlie Justice statue which now stands just outside of Kenan Stadium.
The next time you visit the “Charlie Justice Hall of Honor” in the Kenan Football Center, notice the Harold Styers’ portrait of the 1947 Sugar Bowl coin toss featuring UNC’s Cocaptain Ralph Stayhorn #62, and Georgia’s Captain Charlie Trippi, also #62.
And oh yes . . . that list. Ralph Strayhorn Jr. was President of the North Carolina Bar Association in 1971-72, and a member of the
- Legal Advisory Committee of the New York Stock Exchange;
- American College of Trial Lawyers;
- American Bar Association;
- International Association of Defense Counsel;
- Newcomen Society of the United States; and the
- Board of Visitors of the Wake Forest School of Law.
He also argued a case before the Supreme Court of the United States and served in the North Carolina General Assembly in 1959.
Ralph Nichols Strayhorn Jr., a Tar Heel treasure like no other.
UPDATE: caption for second photograph revised to reflect identification received in a comment on June 12. Previously the caption began with “THREE TAR HEELS.”
UPDATE: On June 13, the caption was once again update with the discovery of more recent information about Charlie Carr. Mr. Carr was a member of the UNC Class of 1968 and he received a master’s degree from there in 1970. In 1971 he became a UNC assistant football coach. He also served in various roles at East Carolina, Mississippi State before joining Florida State in 1995. Carr left Florida State on October 1, 2007, when he became the athletic director at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas. On May 17, 2017 Mr. Carr entered phased retirement from MSU, and he will officially retire on August 31. Also updated was the caption for the final photograph with the identification of Bill Hartman, the Georgia Bulldog’s team captain in 1937. (Thanks, Jack Hilliard, for new info on Charlie Carr and the identification of Bill Hartman!)
NASCAR’s longest race of the season, the Coca-Cola 600, will be run at the Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday, May 28, 2017. This year’s event will mark the 58th running of the race that started back in 1960 when it was called the World 600. That name continued until the 1985 race when Coca-Cola became a major sponsor.
In 1978 NASCAR held a supporting race, a Late Model Sportsman Series 100-mile race the day before the 600 miler. The following year NASCAR held the Sun Drop 300, and beginning in 1980 the Mello Yello 300. In 1982 the 300-mile race became part of the Busch Series, with another sponsorship name change to the Winston 300 in 1985. Today the race is called the Hitense 4K TV 300.
Back on May 7, 2010, Jack Hilliard wrote a post about the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame, and Hugh Morton’s wife Julia added this comment: “I remember how anxious Hugh was to have Stock Car Racing ‘declared a sport.’” Four years later, Jack wrote a post about the 1971 National 500 at Charlotte’s famous mile-and-a-half oval. He wrote in the article that while High Morton is famous for his sports photography, there aren’t many NASCAR events represented in his portfolio.
Fast forward to earlier this year, when Jack noted in the Morton collection finding aid the following entry:
- Slide Lot 008864: “World 600, Viaduct,” (NASCAR), June 1983 #P0081, Subseries: “Other events, 1940s-early 2000s”
With the 2017 Coca-Cola 600 approaching, Jack wrote an article looking back thirty-four years to the then World 600 of May 29, 1983. This morning, as I was assembling the image scans and writing captions for the World 600 posting, all was well . . .
I dropped in another image . . .
. . . and moved on to the next.
In the World 600, Hueytown, Alabama’s Neil Bonnett edged out Richard Petty by 0.8 seconds for the victory. Could this image be the two dueling as they came out of the last turn? Alas, no because the car is yellow and Jack’s article had a quote by Bonnett from after the race:
Richard was dictating how fast I had to run. I knew I had to pick up the pace because every time I looked in my rear view mirror I saw that red-and-blue car and I knew that man meant business.
Then I placed the following photograph, Morton’s slide #19, and something was awry . . .
The above photograph, Morton’s 35mm color slide #19, depicts a pack of cars exiting turn four with car 23 in front of cars 34, 76, and 5. To write a caption, I looked up on the Internet and found the race results with a list of the drivers’ names and car numbers. That’s when I discovered that none of those car numbers raced in the World 600. Digging a bit more, I learned about the Mello Yello 300 and found a list of drivers and car numbers for that race, then emailed the news and webpage links to Jack. He found footage of the entire race on YouTube, and by comparing the beginning minutes of the film footage to Morton’s wide angle photograph shown at the top of this post, we confirmed that Morton’s photographs are of the Mello Yello 300 and not the World 600. The race broadcaster mentions (at 4:20 on the video), “Dale Earnhardt in the Wrangler car, number 15.” As the results webpage shows, Dale Earnhardt defeated Neil Bonnett to win the Mello Yello 300.
There’s still a little “Morton Mystery” left, though: some of the car numbers seen in slide 19 are unknown. According to the list on the website Ultimate Racing History, the driver for car number 23 was Davey Allison while Joe Kelly drove the following car, number 34. The next car, 76, is not listed . . . nor is car 47. In between those two cars is car 5 driven by John Anderson. Dale Jarrett is next in car 32, followed by Slick Johnson in car 46. With two car numbers unaccounted for, is it possible that Hugh Morton attended the qualifying race the day before? That’s not likely because car number 7 in the second photograph above is probably pole sitter Morgan Shephard. Or, more likely, is the list of drivers on the Internet list incomplete or contain some errors?
That’s what I could piece together this morning before today’s 1:00 starting time. Any race fans out there who can add more to the story?
Addendum: May 28, 2017
Another “Morton Mystery” (that we didn’t know we had) has been solved!
Today, April 22, 2017, Carolina’s Woody Durham will receive the Lindsey Nelson Broadcasting Award at the University of Tennessee Orange and White spring football game in Knoxville. This will be just the latest in a long line of awards that fill his trophy case. Woody’s son Wes will be on hand to accept the award for his dad. On this special day, Morton volunteer contributor, Jack Hilliard, reminisces about his long-time friend and UNC classmate.
Many of the recent reports in the media of Woody Durham’s health issues have described him as “The Voice of the Tar Heels for 40 Years.” While that is true, there is far more to it than that. Woody Durham was, is, and forever will be The Voice of the North Carolina Tar Heels, period. Others will broadcast the play-by-play of the Tar Heel games and will do it well, but none will ever come close to what Woody Durham was able to accomplish . . . the bar is just too high.
I came to work for WFMY-TV in Greensboro on February 6, 1963 and worked until July 24th, when I left for a short tour of active duty with the US Army. When I returned in January, 1964, WFMY’s long-time sports director Charlie Harville had left for the new station in High Point and taking his place was Woody Durham, a classmate from UNC. While at Carolina, I had often watched Woody and news anchors Ray Williams and Dave Wegerek from the WUNC-TV control room in Swain Hall as director Wayne Upchurch directed the evening news. I decided then that I wanted to direct a show like that someday. But I never imagined that my path would cross with Woody’s and Dave’s down the road.
When I returned to WFMY in ’64, I got a promotion from the floor crew to a control room job—audio and technical director, then assistant director. And in early November of 1966, I got to direct my first newscast and for me it was magical. As had been the case back at WUNC-TV, Dave Wegerek anchored the news and Woody Durham anchored the sports. I had the honor and privilege of working with Dave for four years, and with Woody for almost fourteen, until August of 1977. During that time with Woody, I saw a master at work. From a ten-second promotional announcement to a one-hour documentary it was always the same: carefully research, then script it and deliver it with dignity, class, and style. That’s the way Woody has lived his life, with perhaps a bit less emphasis on the scripting part. And that’s the way he’s approaching his current health struggles.
As most of the Tar Heel Nation will recall, Woody delivered a letter to his many friends and fans on June 1, 2016. In it he explained his current health condition with primary progressive aphasia, a neurocognitive disorder that affects language expression:
I can still enjoy the company of friends and traveling with my wife, Jean, but I am not able to address groups as I did in the past,” Durham said. “While learning of this diagnosis was a bit of a shock for Jean and me, and yes, quite an ironic one at that, it also brought a sense of relief to us in terms of understanding what was happening to me and how best to deal with it.
Goodness knows, Tar Heel fans have heard him often over the years telling the Tar Heel story for the Athletic Department, the General Alumni Association, the Tar Heel Sports Network, and you name it, Woody has been there. And as you would likely guess, Woody is using his health issue to help people become aware of aphasia and how it affects individuals and families.
As in the past, I will continue to attend Carolina functions and sporting events as my schedule permits, and be part of civic and other charitable endeavors throughout the state. As part of these events, we want to make people more aware of primary progressive aphasia, and the impact that these neurocognitive disorders can have on individuals, families and friends.
Along with raising awareness, we hope to encourage financial support for continued research and treatment in our state, as well as nationally.
Over the years, Woody has urged us to “go where you go, and do what you do” when a close game was on the line. As Woody’s friend for more than 50 years, I would urge all to take Woody’s game advice because he is involved in yet another difficult struggle. And in the end, when he wins this battle, (and I choose to believe he will), he can say, as he often has said following a big Tar Heel victory: “Act like you’ve been there before.”
I think it’s appropriate that we update Woody’s progress on the web site which is everything Hugh Morton. Woody was a Hugh Morton photo subject often and during the 2005-2006 UNC basketball season, Woody gave us periodic reports on Hugh’s condition.
On October 5, 2013, there was a very special event at the Turchin Center on the campus of Appalachian State University in Boone. I was honored to be a panelist along with Betty McCain, Robert Anthony, and Woody Durham. Our topic: “Hugh Morton and His Photography.” It was a magical afternoon . . . one to forever remember.
So on this special day I say: “Best wishes, dear friend, our thoughts and prayers are with you, Jean, and family.”
Yesterday while looking through Sheet Film Box P081/C-24 in the Hugh Morton collection, I came across the above color negative labeled “Augusta Nat’l for John Wms.” Today, coincidentally, is the opening round of the Masters Tournament, so I had the negative digitized for posting on A View to Hugh. Turning to the finding aid to see what additional material on Augusta National might be in the collection, I found the following:
Roll Film Box P081/35C-6
- Envelope 6.4-6-1, “Golf, Augusta,” 1971, Color 35mm roll film negatives, 35 images
Roll Film Box P081/120C-5
- Envelope 6.4-4-1, “Augusta” (mostly scenic golf course), 1971?, Color 120 roll film negatives, 31 images
- Envelope 6.4-4-10A, “Augusta National for John Williams” (golf course), 1970s-early 1980s, Color 120 roll film negatives, 6 images
Some of the images depict a foursome and others playing the course; many other negatives are scenic views. The images didn’t seem to merit scanning them all just to select a few to use for the blog, but if anyone is ever looking for images of the Augusta National circa 1971 (the 35mm negatives are labeled Spring 1971 but the reaming dates are estimates), you may aways request to see them or have them digitized. One of the negatives, however, depicted a gentleman sitting outside a door with the nameplate “John H. Williams.”
So two question remained: Who is John Williams and what is his connection to Hugh Morton? According to his obituary from May 2013, Williams “was recognized nationally as one of the great financial minds and deal-makers in America during the 1960s and 1970s.” The portrait of Williams in his obituary looks very much like the man pictured above, so it’s safe to say this is photograph of Williams at Augusta National.
Based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Williams was co-founder, president, and chief executive officer of The Williams Companies from 1949 to 1971, and chairman and CEO from 1971 to 1979. When he retired, the company’s assets were $2 billion. Listed among his many accomplishments and associations: Williams served on the board of Augusta National Golf Club . . . and “Grandfather Golf and Country Club and Linville Golf Club of Linville, NC.” At the time of his death, Williams and his wife resided in both Tulsa and Linville. And therein lies his connection to Hugh Morton. Turning back to the Morton collection finding aid, there are thirty-one entries for John Williams spanning the 1960s through the 1980s.
That’s what I discovered after a little investigation. Please leave a comment if you would like to add to the story.
There has been an ample amount of media ink and airtime since Syracuse University Head Basketball Coach Jim Boeheim made his comments about Greensboro and the Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament back on March 8. Following his team’s loss to Miami in the quarterfinals, Boeheim went before the media and bashed the “Gate City” as the ACC Tournament site, saying: “. . . There’s no value in playing Greensboro, none. It’s there because the league’s been there and the office is there, and they have 150 people that the ACC needs. That’s why it’s there. It should not be there.”
As one would expect in this day and age, Greensboro city officials—including Mayor Nancy Vaughn—came back in force on Twitter tweeting, “We kindly disagree. But I guess you can lose in the 1st round anywhere. At lease it’s a quick ride home.” In a later statement Mayor Vaughn added: “Unfortunately for Syracuse they didn’t stay around long enough to experience the Greensboro value.”
It seems history might be on the Gate City’s side. Greensboro has hosted the ACC Tournament twenty-eight times going back to 1967 and has hosted the NCAA Tournament first and second round games twelve times going back to 1976. And two weeks after the Greensboro Coliseum hosted the 1974 ACC event, they hosted the thirty-sixth annual NCAA semifinals and championship game. So as the UNC Tar Heels head to Phoenix for the 79th annual NCAA Final Four, Morton collection volunteer Jack Hilliard looks back at that 1974 tournament that put Greensboro in the national spotlight on March 23rd and 25th, 1974.
It wasn’t called the “Final Four” in 1974—that term would first appear a year later—but in mid-March, four regional-winning teams came into the Greensboro Coliseum to compete in the thirty-sixth annual NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship. The road to Greensboro started on March 9 with twenty-five teams looking to upset defending NCAA champion, UCLA. Two weeks later the list was down to four teams headed to the Gate City to do battle: UCLA from the West Region, North Carolina State from the East, Marquette from the Mideast, and Kansas from the Midwest.
NBC-TV Sports was in the house with legendary broadcaster Curt Gowdy calling the game. At the media table was the Coliseum’s announcer Johnny Phelps, a sports anchor at Greensboro’s WFMY-TV. Hugh Morton, typically on the floor for basketball games, photographed from the stands.
Head Coach John Wooden’s UCLA squad had won nine of the last ten NCAA tournament championships and opened play against Norm Sloan’s NC State Wolfpack, a team the Bruins had beaten earlier in the season by eighteen points, snapping a twenty-nine-game winning streak for the ‘Pack. State was accustomed to winning in the Greensboro Coliseum, having won the ACC Tournament a couple of weeks earlier with a 103-to-100 overtime victory over “Lefty” Driesell’s Maryland Terps. Hugh Morton and Smith Barrier, in their 1981 book, The ACC Basketball Tournament Classic, called the 1974 ACC final the “Greatest Game Ever.” I believe most of the 15,451 screaming fans in attendance would have agreed.
The NCAA semifinal game between State and UCLA turned out to be a classic as well. It was a two-overtime affair with State, led by All-American David Thompson, finally winning 80 to 77. UCLA lost a five-point lead near the end of regulation play and a seven-point lead in the second overtime. The game is number thirteen on the USA Today “Greatest 63 games in NCAA Tournament history.” UCLA’s All-American Bill Walton, who scored twenty-nine points and grabbed eighteen rebounds in the semifinal game, calls it, the most disappointing loss of his entire basketball career.
The second semifinal game pitted Kansas, coached by Ted Owens, against Al McGuire’s Marquette Warriors (they’re called the “Golden Eagles” today.) Marquette came away a winner 64 to 51, thus setting up the championship game between the Wolfpack and the Warriors. Most fans would say that State and UCLA played the championship game on March 23, but two days later, State met Marquette for the real championship. The contest was close in the first half, but State pulled away in the second. The Wolfpack led by nineteen at one point, finishing with a twelve-point win, 76 to 64.
UCLA won the “Third Place” game, 78 to 61, as Bill Walton closed out his college career. In a 1987 interview with then basketball broadcaster Billy Packer, Walton said of the lost to State: “We were incredibly disappointed. You just don’t have the opportunity to win championships that often and when you do and lose, it changes your life.”
NC State finished the ’73-’74 season as national champion for the first time with a 30-and-1 record. They became only the fifth school in history to win the national championship playing in its home state—in Greensboro, NC—slightly more than seventy-five miles from its home court in Raleigh.
And, oh yes, Greensboro is scheduled to host the ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament again in 2020. Coach Boeheim, who said he would likely retire following the 2017- 2018 season, has now signed a contract extension beyond the end of that season. So it looks like he might once again have the opportunity to enjoy—or endure—yet another ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament in Greensboro—a city he said he loves, backtracking the day after his March 8 postgame remarks.
On March 18th, 2012 Bill Richards, a colleague who worked in the library’s Digital Production Center, passed away unexpectedly while watching the Tar Heel’s basketball team defeat Creighton University in the “Sweet Sixteen” round of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. In 1982, Bill was the Chief Photographer for the Chapel Hill Newspaper. In 1988, he began working as a photographer and graphic designer in the UNC Office of Sports information. In 1998 he started working in Library Photographic Services, but continued shooting for Sports Information into the 2000s. I am dedicating this blog post, as I have each year since his departure, to Bill who, like Hugh Morton, was an avid UNC basketball fan.
Here we are again . . . it’s March Madness time and UNC is in the NCAA Mens Basketball Tournament for the forty-seventh time. Yesterday’s 103 to 64 first-round win against Texas Southern, coupled with Arkansas’ 77-to-71 defeat of Seton Hall, set up the sixth tournament meeting between the Tar Heels and Razorbacks. Hugh Morton photographed three of those contests in 1990, 1993, and 1995. In the latter two face-offs, the victors continued on to play for the national championship.
The first of these two encounters was the 1993 tournament’s East Regional Semifinals played at East Rutherford, New Jersey. Arkansas was fueled by eleven three-pointers, but but UNC’s sophomore guard Donald Williams scored the last nine Tar Heel points—including three foul shots at the end—to clinch the game 80 to 74. At one point in first half Arkansas led by eleven, but the game was often close. The score at halftime was 45 to 45, and with 6:30 left to play it was 69 to 69. It was then that North Carolina’s Brian Reese bucket gave the Tar Heels a lead that would not give back.
A monstrous dunk by 245-pound Razorback freshman Corliss Williamson bought Arkansas to within two points, 73 to 71, and their fans leapt to their feet. With just over a minute to play in the game, Carolina held onto a 75-to-74 lead. UNC’s legendary coach Dean Smith called a time out at the 0:51.7 mark and drew up play. Rather than stall in a patented four-corners set, he designed a quick-scoring backdoor pass from George Lynch to Williams for a lay-up that extended the score to 77 to 74 with 0:42 seconds left. An Arkansas turnover forced the Razorbacks to foul Williams. He iced the free throws and capped the Tar Heel victory. George Lynch led UNC in scoring with twenty-three points and ten rebounds. Eric Montrose added fifteen points. The win sent the Tar Heels to the East Regional Finals against Cincinnati.
April Fools Day was no laughing matter for UNC in the 1995 NCAA tournament when the Hogs beat the Heels 75 to 68 in the tournament semifinal played at the Seattle Kingdome. UNC had returned to the Final Four after exiting early in 1994, and Arkansas was the returning national champion. UNC led at the half 38 to 34. The score would normally have been 38 to 31, but Arkansas’ Dwight Stewart heaved a 55-foot shot at the buzzer that found nothing but net to end the first half. The bomb enlivened the lackluster Razorbacks and left the Heels stunned.
The energy boost carried Arkansas well into the second half, reeling off an early 17-to-5 run. UNC suffered twelve-and-a-half minutes without a score until a three-pointer by Stackhouse with 15:14 left to play. Carolina closed the deficit to one, 69 to 68, with 47.7 seconds left, but the Tar Heels scoring ended there. They made only seven shots in the closing half after hitting fifteen in the opener, including seven threes. Equally domineering, Arkansas made ten shots from close-range inside the paint in the second half, compared to Carolina’s two. Donald Williams, now a senior, finished with nineteen points, but Corliss “Big Nasty” Williamson scored the same amount in just the second half, finishing with twenty-one. UNC’s Jerry Stackhouse scored eighteen.
Arkansas coach Nolan Richardson said afterward, “We’re called the ‘Cardiac Kids’ and we tried to do it again.” With their victory Arkansas earned the right to defend their title against UCLA, which defeated Oklahoma State 74 to 61. UCLA, however, denied the Razorback repeat by scoring an eleven-point win, 89 to 78. After the season, as a junior, Williamson declared for the 1995 NBA draft and was the thirteenth pick overall by the Sacramento Kings. From UNC, Jerry Stackhouse was the third overall pick by the Philadelphia 76ers, and the Washington Bullets selected Rasheed Wallace next as the fourth selection. Both Stackhouse and Wallace left UNC as sophomores.
Morton also photographed the North Carolina versus Arkansas regional semifinal in March 1990 won by Arkansas 96 to 73, but there are no images of that game in the online collection of images.
A previous version incorrectly stated “In the latter two face-offs, the victors continued on to win the national championship.” This has been corrected and now reads “to play for the national championship.”
“March Madness” is only a week away when the 64th annual Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament takes place starting today, March 7, through March 11, 2017 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Officially, it’s the “New York Life ACC Tournament,” but a title sponsor has not always been attached. That addition is just one of the many changing facets of this classic sporting event that have taken place over the years— and photographer Hugh Morton was there for twenty-one (at least) of them between 1954 and 2005. On day one of the ACC Tournament, Morton collection volunteer and A View to Hugh contributor Jack Hilliard takes a brief look at the record book. Within the story, you may follow the links to see Morton’s photographs for the years available in online collection. (Not all the years photographed by Morton are available in the online collection. See Series 6.1 in the collection finding aid for a full listing.)
In early March, 1997, the ACC Tournament was staged in Greensboro for the 17th time, but the front page basketball story in the March 9th edition of the “News & Record” was titled “Shooting with the Best of Them: At 76, Hugh Morton still keeps life in focus.” The article told the Hugh Morton story and how he had covered the ACC tournament starting back in 1954. In fact, feature writer Jim Schlosser’s article said: “He’s been shooting Carolina wins, and the occasional loss, in every ACC tournament, save one, since the first in 1954 in Raleigh.”
The fifteen-team league competing for the 2017 ACC Tournament Championship is a far cry from the league that Morton first photographed in 1954 when only 8 teams made up the conference. That ’54 tournament was played in Raleigh’s William Neal Reynolds Coliseum and was won by Coach Everett Case’s NC State Wolfpack…an 82 to 80 overtime thriller against Coach Murray Greason’s Wake Forest Demon Deacons. State went on to win the event in ‘55 and ’56 before North Carolina won its first tournament in 1957. And Carolina continued its winning ways as the NCAA Champion that year…the first North Carolina based team to do that since the official formation of the Atlantic Coast Conference in May of 1953.
The University of Maryland won the 1958 tournament, defeating the defending champion Tar Heels as the Terps became the first out-of-North Carolina tournament champion. In ’59, NC State came back as a winner for the 4th time with a win over UNC.
Duke beat Wake Forest for its first ACC Tournament in 1960, while Wake beat Duke in ’61 for its first tournament win. Wake won again in ’62. During the next four years, Duke won three more times and State won in ’65. Hugh Morton photographs can be seen in the online collection for the UNC vs USC semifinal game in 1963 and the Duke vs NC State first-round game in 1964.
In 1967, the tournament moved from Reynolds Coliseum to the Greensboro Coliseum where Carolina beat Duke for the title. Carolina continued its winning ways with two wins over State and Duke as the tournament moved to Charlotte in 1968 and 1969.
Following NC State’s 1970 win in Charlotte over South Carolina, it was back to Greensboro for the next five years. South Carolina won its only ACC Tournament in 1971 and Carolina and State split the next four years: Carolina winning in 1972 and 1975, and State winning in 1973 and 1974—and of course State won the National Championship in 1974, the only time the “Final Four” championship round has been played in Greensboro.
In 1976, the tournament moved to the Capital Center in Landover, Maryland where Virginia won its first ACC Tournament, beating North Carolina 67 to 62. It was back to the Greensboro Coliseum in 1977 for a four year stint. Carolina and Duke split with UNC winning in 1977 and 1979 and Duke winning in 1978 and 1980. (Note: four photographs in the online collection lack definite identifications with “late 1970s” being the estimated date range, and another photograph only dated as “1980s” appears for all searches for the years 1980 through 1989. Please try your hand at identifying the photographs and leave a comment with your findings!)
Carolina won in 1981 back at Capital Center, and then again in Greensboro in 1982, where the Tar Heels won the NCAA Championship again 1982. The tournament moved again in 1983—this time to the Omni in Atlanta where NC State won over Virginia and went on to its second NCAA Championship. Maryland beat Duke back in Greensboro in 1984 and Georgia Tech won its first ACC Tournament at the Omni in 1985, beating North Carolina.
Duke won twice in Greensboro in 1986 and 1988 while NC State won at Capital Center in 1987. Carolina beat Duke 77 to 74 in 1989 at the Omni before the tournament moved back to the Charlotte Coliseum in 1990 for five years with Georgia Tech winning twice, in 1990 and 1993, and North Carolina twice, in 1991 and 1994. Duke won in 1992 adding a NCAA Championship. The years 1995 to 1998 were back in Greensboro where Wake Forest won twice, in 1995 and 1996, and Carolina won in 1997. And I believe that’s where we came in with Morton shooting the 1997 tournament in Greensboro. Morton’s last ACC Tournament was in 2002 at the Charlotte Coliseum.
Since Morton made “tournament headlines” in Greensboro in 1997, the ACC Tournament has played out nineteen times and Morton’s Tar Heels have won only four of those events, while Duke has won ten. (And it should be pointed out that Duke’s wins in 2001, 2010, and 2015 were followed up with NCAA championships). Florida State, Miami, and Notre Dame have added one win each while Maryland and Virginia have added one each to their championships lists. Also, the tournament has added two additional venues since 1997: DC in 2006 and Tampa, Florida in 2007.
Ten years after Tampa was added, the tournament moves to Brooklyn, New York in 2017—where Duke will be going for overall tournament championship number twenty, UNC will be going for number nineteen, NC State will be looking for number eleven, and Wake Forest number five. But as ACC basketball goes, any one of the now fifteen member teams could win in the “Big Apple” this March as “Madness” abounds.
UNC Head Football Coach Larry Fedora will be taking his 2016 Tar Heels to the Hyundai Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas on Friday, December 30, 2016. The game will be featured on CBS at 2:00 p.m. This will mark Carolina’s thirty-third bowl appearance going back to the 1947 Sugar Bowl. Of the thirty-two previous games, the Tar Heels have won fourteen going back to the 1963 Gator Bowl, a game Tar Heels like to recall. Morton collection volunteer Jack Hilliard takes a look back at the 1963 season and Carolina’s first bowl win played on this date fifty-three years ago.
We had everything going. What a great feeling to have been struggling since 1949 (sic) and then have this (Gator Bowl) chance. It was just a sweet spot in time.”
—1963 UNC All-America Halfback Ken Willard, 1963 Gator Bowl Anniversary Celebration, October 20, 1984
In the late summer of 1963 when UNC Head Football Coach Jim Hickey announced that twenty-nine lettermen would be returning from the 1962 squad, some Tar Heel fans rolled their eyes, remembering that the ’62 team won only three games while losing seven. But Hickey quickly added, “It’s a veteran squad with many talented players. Our schedule is rugged, as always, but I feel certain we can give an excellent account of ourselves each Saturday.”
Turns out, Hickey was right. The ’63 Tar Heel team won eight games and was Co-ACC Champion, along with NC State.
The season started out with a come-from-behind-win against Virginia in Kenan Memorial Stadium on September 21, followed by a disappointing blow-out loss at Michigan State one week later. Then came a five-game win streak with victories over Wake Forest, Maryland, NC State, South Carolina, and Georgia. Then, a second bump in the road versus Clemson in Death Valley followed by a final ’63 win in newly renovated Kenan over Miami.
So a showdown at Duke for an ACC title tie and a bowl invitation was originally scheduled for November 23, 1963; the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas on Friday, November 22, however, brought the season to a halt. At first the forty-ninth meeting between Carolina and Duke was re-scheduled for Saturday, November 30. Then, on Sunday, November 24, it was moved to Thanksgiving Day, November 28. It would be only the third time the two teams had met on Thanksgiving and photographer Hugh Morton was covering his second Thanksgiving Day Duke-Carolina game.
The roads leading into Duke Stadium (now Wallace Wade Stadium) were crowded at 1:50 p.m. as traffic was backed up on highways N.C. 751 and Interstate 85. The game was to begin at 2:00 p.m. At 1:57, fans and players, both Duke and Carolina, faced the half-staffed flag and stood for a minute of silence to pay homage to President Kennedy. This game was not like the Duke-Carolina battles of years past. A subdued crowd of 47,500 remained standing as both bands, not in uniform because this was a class holiday, played the National Anthem.
At 2:02 p.m. the game began under cloudy skies. After a scoreless first quarter, UNC’s great halfback Ken Willard saw his way through the left side of the line, got great blocks from John Hammett and Eddie Kesler, and dragged Duke’s Danny Litaker the final three yards into the end zone. The play covered 14 yards. It was 2:55 p.m., the sun had come out, and Carolina led 7-0. There was no more scoring in the first half and there was no formal halftime show, but a Tar Heel fan swiped the Duke Blue Devil’s pitch fork and ran across the field, the Blue Devil in pursuit. One of the Duke cheerleaders made a head-on tackle, but the spear was tossed to a Tar Heel cheerleader who pitched it into the stands. Duke security police stood by and laughed.
Early in the third quarter, UNC completed a twelve-play-scoring-drive covering 77 yards, to take a 13-0 lead. Halfback Eddie Kesler scored from one yard out, but Tar Heel kicker Max Chapman missed the extra point. Duke came back on the following series with a 70-yard pass play from quarterback Scotty Glacken to halfback James Futrell. With 4:15 remaining in the third quarter, the score was UNC 13, Duke 7, and the quarter ended with no additional scoring.
With just over five minutes remaining in the game, Duke’s Jay Wilkinson made one of the great plays of the game. With Duke at the Carolina 24-yard-line, he hit left tackle, cut back, faked UNC’s Eddie Kesler, and ran the distance for the score. Steve Holloway’s extra point gave Duke the lead 14-13. It was 4:12 p.m. and getting dark as that second quarter sun was nowhere to be seen.
With 4:58 on the game clock, Carolina got the ball back—but not for long. Quarterback Junior Edge’s pass was intercepted by Duke’s Stan Crisson who returned to the Tar Heel 34-yard line. There were those in light blue who said, “We just gave Duke another victory.” Duke, however, was unable to get a first down and Carolina got the ball on its own 28-yard line with 1:28 left to play. Quarterback Junior Edge and left end Bob Lacey moved the ball steadily down the field. When they reached the Duke 21-yard line, there was but thirty-eight seconds left in the game and it was fourth down and fifteen yards to go. Coach Hickey sent in kicker Max Chapman and holder Sandy Kinney. Chapman’s field goal was perfect and Carolina led 16-14.
A long discussion among the officials and the time keeper followed, after which they reset the clock to 0:33. Duke mounted a rally, but time ran out. It was 4:40 p.m and the game was over. Two minutes later, UNC Athletic Director Chuck Erickson and Gator Bowl Selection Chairman Joseph G. Sykora stepped into the press box. Said Erickson: “We’ve been invited to the Gator Bowl and we’ve accepted.” The two men shook hands, and Sykora added, “I think I’ve seen a bowl game today.”
Twelve seasons had come and gone since UNC’s legendary All-America Charlie Justice led the 1949 Tar Heels into the 1950 Cotton Bowl. But Carolina was headed to its fourth bowl game, the nineteenth annual Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Florida to meet the Air Force Academy.
Carolina went to St. Augustine, Florida and set up training headquarters in preparation for the December 28 game. On Thursday evening, the 26th, the Tar Heels had a very special guest drop by their Ponce De Leon Hotel: ninety-one-year-old William Rand Kenan, Jr. dropped by to wish the team well. (By the way, Mr. Kenan owned the hotel where the Tar Heels were staying.) Back in Jacksonville, the Carolina crowd began to arrive at alumni headquarters in the Hotel Robert Meyer where UNC Chancellor William Aycock held a special reception on Friday, the 27th.
On Saturday morning, 5,000 Tar Heel faithful got up early for a pep rally and brunch at the Jacksonville Coliseum. Also in attendance were UNC Head Basketball Coach Dean Smith, North Carolina Governor Terry Sanford, and former North Carolina governor and current United States Secretary of Commerce Luther Hodges.
At 2:00 p.m. it was game time and CBS Sports was in place to send the game out nationally. Also in place was a sellout crowd of 50,018—10,000 of them Tar Heels— in the 70-degree weather with overcast skies. Hugh Morton was set to document his third Tar Heel bowl game.
Carolina’s 77-yard TD drive in the first quarter started things off and the boys from Chapel Hill never looked back. They led by 20-0 at halftime and picked up additional scores in the third and fourth quarters. The final score was a Gator Bowl record 35-0. UNC Halfback Ken Willard was the hero of the day with 94 yards in eighteen carries and one score—good enough to gain him MVP honors at the awards banquet at the George Washington Hotel in downtown Jacksonville.
Following the game, Minnesota Vikings Head Coach Norm Van Brocklin and General Manager Bert Ross were on hand to sign Tar Heel end Bob Lacey to a pro contract. Also on hand was 1964 Miss America Donna Axum who had just returned from Greensboro and their Holiday Jubilee Parade. “That was some weather we had for that Christmas Parade,” she said, adding, “But it’s better than we’ve had at home [Arkansas] the past week—eleven inches of snow.” The following morning Axum would be rescued from a tragic fire at the Hotel Roosevelt in Jacksonville.
The headline in the New York Times on Sunday, December 29 read: “North Carolina Trounces Air Force in Gator Bowl, 35-0.” The late Hall of Fame sportswriter Dick Herbert, writing in the Sunday, December 29 issue of Raleigh’s News and Observer, opened his report with this: “A superbly prepared North Carolina football team dropped the biggest bomb in the 19-year history of the Gator Bowl here Saturday as it destroyed the Air Force Academy team, 35 to 0.”
On December 28, 1963, for one brief shining moment, the football glory at UNC that had been missing since the “Charlie Justice Era” during the late 1940s had returned and Carolina football was once again in the big time. The 1963 Tar Heels would be Coach Jim Hickey’s best team and likely his favorite. Jim Hickey passed away on December 27, 1997 at age 77. On October 4, 2003 when Carolina played Virginia on letterman’s day in Kenan Stadium, the 1963 Gator Bowl Champs were honored on the 40th anniversary of their great win.