To celebrate National Archives Month, the CPCC Archive will share a weekly post with our community throughout the month of October highlighting the many historic programs and people that have made CPCC what it is today. This week, CPCC Archivist, Erin Allsop, will share the history of CPCC’s athletic program.
The CPCC athletic program began as the result of efforts put forth by CPCC educators, Ross Surphlis (former director of Student Activities) and Jack Needy (physical education instructor) and many student supporters. The program started with a few on-campus club, with some eventually making their way to off-campus settings to accommodate the overwhelming popularity. CPCC had created teams for sports including football, basketball, baseball, softball, volleyball, cheerleading, judo, fencing, tennis, table-tennis, pool, and soccer. The history of some of the most popular programs are highlighted below.
Officially “kicking off” in 1970, the “CPCC Outlaws” played club teams from Duke, UNC-Chapel Hill, N.C. State, Eastern Carolina, Tennessee Military Academy, and Davidson College. The team largely consisted of veterans and local stars who played in high school. By 1972, the North Carolina Football Club Association was formed with CPCC playing within this association for three seasons. Throughout the 1970’s, participation in the football cub waned due to costs of equipment and field rental, but by 1983, there was a resurgence in the football club, flag football to be exact. Sadly, the flag football team only played for only a few seasons and was disbanded by the late 1980s.
The first CPCC team played in a city league in the winter of 1968 and competed against teams from area companies like Aetna Life, Humble Oil and Southern Bell. On February 4, 1969, the team played in its first inter-collegiate match, beating Rowan Tech 96-63. Buoyed by this success, tryouts for CPCC’s first varsity team were held in October 1969 and a school-wide contest was held to name the new team. The winner was the CPCC Tigers.
Over the next thirty years, both men’s and women’s basketball teams of the CPCC Tigers played in a number of intramural and varsity leagues. In February 1995, the CPCC Tigers were ranked fourth in the nation by the National Junior College Athletic Association and had won many awards and championships. The Tigers played their last game in the spring of 1997.
An informal baseball club was organized in 1979 with games being held between faculty members and students as a way to release stress during midterms and finals. By 1983, the baseball team had converted to the softball team and lasted until 1984-1985.
Being the second most popular athletic club on campus, the soccer club was founded in 1977 and lead by head coach, Miguel “Mike” Pimienta and assistant coach Tripp Lipinsky. By 1980, the CPCC “Golden Stars” gained a large following and included CPCC students from all over the world. The team was so popular that they even had their own cheerleading squad, The Golden Star Cheerleaders! The soccer club was a member of the Charlotte Amateur Soccer league and lasted for over two decades.
There were two cheerleading teams from the 1970s to the 1990s, the CPCC Tigers Cheerleaders and the Golden Star cheerleaders. The Tigers cheerleaders cheered on both of CPCC’s male and female basketball teams, while the Golden Star cheerleaders rooted for the Golden Star soccer team. The Golden Star cheerleaders disbanded along with the soccer club in the late 80s, while the Tigers Cheerleaders lasted until 1997 when the CPCC Tigers basketball team played their last game.
In 2016, there has been a resurgence of interest in intramural sports here on campus. For more information on how to participate, contact Justin Knoll (Coordinator of Recreation for Student Life) at Justin.Knoll@cpcc.edu. We hope you have enjoyed learning about CPCC’s athletic history! For more information on the history of our athletic programs, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.cpcc.edu/library/archives. Stay tuned for next week’s post in honor of National Archives Month!