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 also played in Charlotte at the (original) Charlotte Coliseum, Raleigh at Dorton Arena and Reynolds Coliseum, and in Winston-Salem at the Winston-Salem Memorial Coliseum.
The Carolina Cougars were a basketball franchise in the former American Basketball Association that existed from late 1969 through 1974.
The Carolina Cougars were born in the spring of 1969, when the Southern Sports Corporation (owned by several North Carolina businessmen) agreed to buy the troubled Houston Mavericks franchise and move it to North Carolina. The feeling at the time was that since North Carolina did not yet have a huge metropolitan area in which to base a franchise, the team would divide its time between the somewhat populous cities of Greensboro, Charlotte, and Raleigh. Carolina became the first professional basketball team to use this “regional” concept, and for this franchise at least, it was somewhat successful. The Cougars cultivated a very strong following in Greensboro, a somewhat strong following in Charlotte, and a not-so-strong attendance record in Raleigh.
Houston – Greensboro, Charlotte, Raleigh – St. Louis – Salt Lake City
1967 – 1976 / American Basketball Association
1976 / Utah Rockies (Never Played a Game)
1974 – 1976 / Spirits of St. Louis
1969 – 1974 / Carolina Cougars
1967 – 1969 / Houston Mavericks
Cougars – Unknown Nickname Origin.
ABA Championships 0
1974 – 1976 / St. Louis Arena
1969 – 1974 / Greensboro Coliseum
1969 – 1974 / Bojangles’ Coliseum
1969 – 1974 / J.S. Dorton Arena (Raleigh)
1967 – 1969 / Sam Houston Coliseum
1974 – 1976 / Ozzie Silna and Daniel Silna
1969 – 1974 / Southern Sports Corporation
1967 – 1969 / T. C. Morrow
1976 / Joe Mullaney
1975 / Rod Thorn
1974 – 1975 / Bob MacKinnon
1972 – 1974 / Larry Brown
1971 – 1972 / Tom Meschery
1971 / Jerry Steele
1970 – 1971 / Bones McKinney
1968 – 1969 / Art Becker and Jim Weaver
1967 – 1968 / Slater Martin and Art Becker
*Blue is this team’s history