Athletics has been an important part of the curriculum at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG), since the University opened as the State Normal and Industrial School in 1892. From the beginning, the School was known for its physical education and intramural sports programs for women.
Men’s athletics at UNCG can be traced back to 1932/33 when 75 undergraduate men were admitted as day students for one year during the Great Depression. These men formed a basketball team called the Tomcats and played against local college teams such as Elon College, Guilford College, and High Point College, as well as business teams such as Jefferson Standard Life Insurance.
After the University became co-educational in 1964, men participated in the intramural program, which featured basketball, billiards, bowling, fencing, flag football, golf, soccer, softball, table tennis, and volleyball.
In 1967, the intercollegiate program for both men and women received formal recognition from the University and the “Spartan” nickname was adopted for all teams.
Undergraduate men gave their basketball team the nickname “Tomcats.”
The intercollegiate program for men and women received formal recognition from the University. Men participated in basketball, cross country, golf, tennis, volleyball, and wrestling.
During the fall of 1967, the nickname “Spartans” was adopted.
On February 17th, UNCG joined the Dixie Conference.
The men’s basketball team, coached by Larry Hargett, won the Dixie Conference Championship and completed in the NCAA Division III Tournament.
Ryan Fox won the individual national title in Division III men’s golf.
UNCG captured its first men’s national championship in soccer with Mike Berticelli at the helm.
Nelson Bobb was hired as the first full time athletic director.
Men’s soccer player Eddie Radwanski, the first two-time All-American in the program’s history, was the first pick in the Major Indoor Soccer League draft.
Under Michael Parker’s direction, the men’s soccer team became the first in NCAA history to win three consecutive national championships, in 1985, 1986, and 1987.
In February, the University announced plans to elevate the athletic program from Division III to Division I.
UNCG joined NCAA Division II.
UNCG joined NCAA Division I.
The Soccer Stadium opened.
UNCG joined the Big South Conference.
Brian Moehler became the first Spartan to sign a professional baseball contract.
Men’s soccer won the 1993 Big South Championship. Shawn Mahoney was
named the tournament’s most valuable player.
Men’s soccer won its second straight Big South Championship on November 5th. Larry Feniger was named the tournament’s most valuable player.
UNCG Baseball claimed the Big South title and won two games in the NCAA Regionals. Mike Gaski was named Big South Coach of the Year.
On April 15th, men’s tennis captured the Big South Championship.
Men’s basketball won Big South regular season titles for second year in a row.
On March 2nd, men’s basketball won the Big South Tournament Championship.
On May 18th, men’s baseball won the Big South Tournament Championship.
Mike Gaski was named Big South Coach of the Year.
Wrestling, in its first year in the Southern Conference, tied for the 1997 SoCon title. Joe Stanton became the first and only three time NCAA qualifier in UNCG history.
Siggi Eyjolfsson became the first First-Team All-American in UNCG men’s soccer Division I history.
Men’s soccer claimed it first Southern Conference title and first NCAA Division I Tournament win.
The UNCG Baseball Stadium opened on February 12th.
Wrestler Dax Pecaro records his second straight undefeated season in the Southern Conference.
On March 4th, the men’s basketball team won its first Southern Conference Championship.
On February 11th, men’s soccer player Alejandro Moreno was selected by the Los Angeles Galaxy in the third round of the 2002 MLS SuperDraft.
On March 13th, the men’s basketball team received their first ever invitation to the National Invitation Tournament.
On May 30th, pitcher/outfielder Ryan Gordon was named first team All- American by Louisville Slugger.
In March, Darren Burns was named the Southern Conference Freshman Wrestler of the Year.
On October 17th, UNCG received its first No. 1 national ranking since moving to Division I.
In May, Charles Jones became the first Spartan to qualify for the NCAA Track and Field Championships.
In February, Jeff Williams earned his second consecutive conference title in the 800 meters at the Southern Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships.
UNCG alumnus Andy Bare qualified for the 106th US Open, becoming the first Spartan to qualify for a major golf tournament.
On September 27th, Kim Record was appointed Athletic Director.
UNCG Basketball began playing home games in the Greensboro Coliseum.
The Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives is pleased to have an exhibit about men’s athletics at UNCG on display in the Jackson Library/Elliott University Center Connector from January 7 – April 7, 2011.