Mocs Highlights

General Information

NCAA Division: Division I
Conference: Southern Conference
Past Conferences: Dixie Conference, Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association
City: Chattanooga, Tennessee
Arena: McKenzie Arena
NCAA Tournaments: 12 (1981, 1982, 1983, 1988, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 2005, 2009, 2016, 2022)


National Championships: 0
Conference Titles: 20 (1981, 1982, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 2002, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2016, 2022)

Team History

Like many schools, the origins of the Chattanooga Mocs basketball program are a little sketchy. The university lists its first basketball letter winners in 1913, so Chattanooga has had a varsity program for at least that long. There was no team between 1942-1945 due to World War II.

When the Mocs resumed play after the war, they struggled, going 50-150 between 1946-47 and 1957-58. The team’s fortunes began to turn when Tommy Bartlett took over the program for the 1958-59 season, as he led them to their first NAIA in 1961. Leon Ford took over for Bartlett in 1962, and the team finished 129-123 in his nine seasons. Rod Shumate became coach in the 1972-73 season and led the Mocs to NCAA Division II Tournament appearances in 1973, 1975, and 1976, and to the Division II championship in 1977.

The Mocs became a full-fledged Division I team in 1977-78 and after a few mediocre seasons, Chattanooga qualified for the NCAA Tournament in 1981, 1982 and 1983 under coach Murray Arnold. The Mocs participated in the NIT every year between 1984 and 1987, with Mack McCarthy as coach for the last two years. McCarthy led the Mocs to the NCAA Tournament in 1988, 1993, 1994, 1995, and 1997, when the Mocs reached the Sweet 16.

The Mocs qualified for the NCAA Tournament in 2005, 2009, 2016 and 2022 under three different head coaches, but lost in the first round each time. Chattanooga received an invitation to play in the CIT in 2014, but lost its first game.

Chattanooga Mocs All-Time Records

Points Scored

Wayne Golden, 2,384
William Gordon, 2,140
Willie White, 1,969


David Bryan, 1,059
Walter McGary, 937
Nicchaeus Doaks/Gary Stitch, 844


Keegan Bell, 538
Tim Brooks, 414
Wes Moore, 414

Chattanooga Mocs FAQs

How Many NBA Players Played for the Mocs?

Chattanooga has sent five players to the NBA, with Gerald Wilkins having the best career. Wilkins played 900 games for four different teams and finished with a scoring average of 13.04 points per game.

Have the Mocs Ever Been Ranked?

Despite a fair amount of success, the Mocs have only been ranked in the 1982-83 season. Chattanooga entered the poll in Week 15 on February 28th, 1983, at No. 19. The Mocs moved up to No. 18 the following week and were No. 15 in the final poll of the year.

Why Is Chattanooga Called the Mocs?

Chattanooga became known as the Moccasins in the 1920s, the name taken from nearby Moccasin Bend. The school originally used a snake mascot but that was later changed to a Native American mascot until 1996 when the university wanted to “move away from the politically incorrect Native American Indian imagery.” In 1996, it was decided to adopt the state bird of Tennessee, the Mockingbird, as the core of the new identity. “Moccasins” was shortened to simply “Mocs.”

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