TIPHC Bookshelf

Published scholarship on black history in Texas is growing and we’d like to share with you some suggested readings, both current and past, from some of the preeminent history scholars in Texas and beyond. Each week, we will offer a featured selection. Check back regularly as our list grows. We welcome suggestions and reviews.

Nov. 11-17, 2018

Houston Cougars in the 1960s (2015)

Death Threats, the Veer Offense, and the Game of the Century

By Robert Jacobus

Houston Cougars In the 1960s

On January 20, 1968, the University of Houston Cougars upset the UCLA Bruins, ending a 47-game winning streak. Billed as the “Game of the Century,” the defeat of the UCLA hoopsters was witnessed by 52,693 fans and a national television audience—the first-ever regular-season game broadcast nationally.

But the game would never have happened if Houston coach Guy Lewis had not recruited two young black men from Louisiana in 1964: Don Chaney and Elvin Hayes. Despite facing hostility both at home and on the road, Chaney and Hayes led the Cougars basketball team to 32 straight victories.

Similarly, in Cougar football, coach Bill Yeoman recruited Warren McVea in 1964, and by 1967 McVea had helped the Houston gridiron program lead the nation in total offense.

Houston Cougars in the 1960s features the first-person accounts of the players, the coaches, and others involved in the integration of collegiate athletics in Houston, telling the gripping story of the visionary coaches, the courageous athletes, and the committed supporters who blazed a trail not only for athletic success but also for racial equality in 1960s Houston.

About the author

Robert D. Jacobus, a history teacher for twenty-six years, is a former high school volleyball, basketball, and tennis coach in Sugar Land, Texas.

TIPHC List of Suggested Reading