The Night Jim Morgan's Mocs Filled Big Mac

Coach Morgan Celebrates 75th Birthday Today

Thursday, January 24, 2013 - by B.B. Branton

Sat. Jan 24, 1976 and the UTC wrestlers gave coach Jim Morgan - born Jan. 24, 1938 – a grand 38th birthday present with a win against Appalachian State in Maclellan Gym for his 100th career win.

Mocs Wrestle at Home Sunday: Thirty-seven years later, many of those same wrestlers who helped coach Morgan, who is 75 today, win No.100 will be on hand Sunday at Maclellan Gym to honor their coach and cheer on the current Mocs during Legends Weekend as the Blue and Gold face Southern Conference foe The Citadel (2-1) at 2 p.


That birthday win nearly four decades ago, coupled with a 22-14 victory the previous night against visiting Alabama set the stage as the undefeated Mocs were ready for highly-touted Kentucky on Jan. 27, 1976.

Kentucky 22 UTC 18 -- Morgan’s Mocs were 28-1-1 over two seasons entering the long anticipated with Kentucky coached by Fletcher Carr. The only loss was a road setback to the same Kentucky squad in 1975.

Wrestling before a sellout crowd (3,000), the Cats edged the Mocs, 22-18 in possibly the greatest match ever held in Big Mac.

The Cats were led by SEC champ Garrett Headley (118) and Joe Carr (177), a member of the US. Junior Olympic team.  His younger brother, Jimmy Carr who wrestled in the 1972 Olympics, did not wrestle against the Mocs due to grade transcript irregularities from high school.

The Mocs had six current or future D-II All-Americans.

UTC All-Americans – Randy Batten (118), John Kavelage (134), Turner Jackson (158) and Tim Brennan (167) - all won their matches, but All-American David Weeks (177) lost a one-pointer to Joe Carr (5-4) and the late Ralph "Ziggy" Zigner (1977 All-American), lost a valiant battle in the decider at heavyweight.

Batten got the Mocs off to a good start with a 3-2 win against SEC champ Headley and Kavelage kept the Mocs up 6-5 with a win at 134 …  Jackson ignited the hometown crowd with a fall at 158 to even the match 12-12 and Brennan pushed the lead to 16-12 with a major decision at 167. But, the Cats had two wins and a draw in the final three matches for the victory.

This Sunday at Big Mac … This Sunday – exactly 37 years later to the date – Jan 27, 2013 – the Mocs look for another large crowd as the current Mocs take on Southern Conference foe The Citadel (2-1) at Big Mac at 2 p.m.

Legends Celebration: Coach Jim Morgan and All-Americans/national champions and Southern champions from the Morgan Era (1969-1984) will be introduced midway through Sunday’s match.


Recap:  Kentucky 22, Chattanooga 18 – Tues. Jan. 27, 1976 – Big Mac Sellout

118 – Randy Batten (UTC) dec. Garrett Headley, 3-2 ... UTC, 3-0

126 – Mark Randolph (UK) dec. John Noblit, 18-4 … UK, 5-3

134 – John Kavelage (UTC) dec. Kurt Mock, 8-4 … UTC, 6-5

142 – Tim Mousetis (UK) dec. Randy Shipley, 14-6 … UK, 9-6

150 – Scott Crowell (UK) dec . Duane Bennett, 12-5 … UK, 12-6

158 – Turner Jackson (UTC) pinned Dwight Dale, 2:28 … tied, 12-12

167 – Tim Brennan (UTC) dec. Kelly Korth, 10-0 … UTC, 16-12

177 – Joe Carr (UK) dec. David Weeks, 5-4 … UTC, 16-15

190 – Tom Flanagan ((UTC) tied Steve Linz (UK), 8-8 … UTC, 18-17

Heavyweight  - Harold Smith (UK) dec. Ralph Zigner, 18-5 … UK, 22-18


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