The Top 20


Steve White ’67, retired sports information director and official Catamount athletics historian, compiled a list of the top 20 moments in WCU athletics.

Our official athletics historian has ranked basketball legend Henry Logan breaking the color barrier and going on to score 60 points in a single game on Jan. 6, 1967, as the top moment in WCU sports history, with Ronnie Carr ME ’07 making the first 3-point shot ever in college basketball coming in second on that list (see other athletic features).

#1 –  Jan. 7, 1967:  Henry Logan Scores 60 Points – WCU’s all-time leading scorer in men’s basketball sets the WCU and Carolinas Conference record in Reid Gym in a 109-72 win over Atlantic Christian.

#2 –  Nov. 29, 1980:  Ronnie Carr ME ’07 Makes First Three-Point Field Goal in College Basketball History – The historic moment comes early in WCU’s win over Middle Tennessee State in Reid Gymnasium.

#3 – March 16, 1963: Catamounts Play for NAIA Basketball National Championship – Western’s men’s team wins four games in four days before losing in the championship game to Texas-Pan American in front of 10,000 fans in Kansas City.

#4 – Dec. 10, 1983: Catamounts Upset Furman to Advance to NCAA Division I-AA Football National Championship Game – More than 7,000 WCU fans travel to Greenville, South Carolina, to watch the Cats beat the Paladins 14-7 in a classic rematch in the NCAA semifinals to advance to the championship game against Southern Illinois.

#5 – March 3, 1996: Catamounts Win Southern Conference Basketball Championship and Punch Ticket to First NCAA Tournament – WCU men’s team snaps Davidson’s 19-game winning streak with a 69-60 win in the SoCon Championship game in the Greensboro Coliseum.

#6 – Dec. 6, 1986: WCU Opens Ramsey Center against 18th-Ranked N.C. State – A standing-room only crowd of 8,114 watches WCU’s men’s basketball team unveil the university’s impressive new arena against Jim Valvano’s Wolfpack.

#7 – Nov. 19, 1949: Western Carolina Wins North State Conference Football Championship – The Catamounts defeat Appalachian State, East Carolina and Lenoir-Rhyne for the first time in a season and advance to first postseason game – the Smoky Mountain Bowl, held in Bristol, Virginia.

#8 – July 1, 1976: Western Carolina Admitted to Southern Conference – WCU joins the ranks of NCAA Division I schools, along with Marshall University and University of Tennessee-Chattanooga.

#9 – Jan. 30, 1957: Reid Gymnasium Is Dedicated – The No. 1-ranked UNC Tar Heels visit Cullowhee and leave with a 77-59 win over the men’s basketball team, going on to an undefeated season and the NCAA championship.

#10 – Nov. 30, 1974:  WCU Plays In First NCAA Football Postseason Football Game – The Catamounts lose their season-opener and then win nine straight to advance to the NCAA Division II Playoffs against Louisiana Tech.

#11 – March 22, 1969: WCU Women’s Basketball Team Plays for National Championship – The Lady Cats defeat Ball State, Southern Illinois and Iowa Wesleyan before losing to West Chester State in the CIAW National Championship Game in Boston.

#12 – April 29, 1985: WCU Wins First SoCon Baseball Tournament and NCAA Bid – The Cats come back through the losers’ bracket and defeat Marshall 13-12 to advance to their first NCAA Division I Baseball Championship Tournament.

#13 – March 5, 2005: WCU Women Win First SoCon Basketball Title and Bid to NCAA Tournament – Kelli Harper’s team beats Georgia Southern in two overtimes to cap a four-wins-in-four-days championship run.

#14 – Oct. 25, 1969: Western Football Becomes Nationally Ranked for First Time – The Catamounts stay unbeaten at 6-0 with a 41-25 upset of top 10-ranked Lenoir-Rhyne on Homecoming Day in Cullowhee.

#15 – Nov. 15, 1975: Catamounts Pull off Shocking Upset of Appalachian State – A 2-7 WCU football squad stuns the 8-2 Mountaineers for the Catamounts’ fifth straight win in this storied rivalry.

#16 – Nov. 6, 2005: Women’s Soccer Upsets Furman for Southern Conference Tournament Championship and First NCAA Postseason Appearance – WCU’s seventh-year program goes on to fall to second-ranked North Carolina in the NCAA College Cup.

#17 – April 30, 2006: WCU’s Inaugural Softball Team Wins Southern Conference Regular Season Title – The Catamounts sweep College of Charleston to clinch the title in the softball program’s first season of existence, ending with a 41-20 record.

#18 – Nov. 19, 1983: Volleyball Team Beats East Tennessee State to Win SoCon’s First Ever Championship Trophy – WCU goes unbeaten in conference play and posts a 29-8 record.

#19 – April 24, 1999: WCU Completes Sweep of All Four SoCon Track and Field Championships – The men and women win both outdoor titles after bringing home both indoor trophies in February, among the 21 combined titles under Coach Danny Williamson ’84 MAEd ’86.

#20 – Sometime in 1932: On-campus Contest Held to Pick New Athletics Team Name – Thanks to the preference of C.C. Poindexter, football coach and organizer of Western’s first department of athletics, the moniker “Catamounts” is selected over another finalist, the Mountain Boomers. And Catamount fans everywhere breathe a sigh of relief that they are not reading a list of the top moments in Mountain Boomer athletics history.