UPDATE: Several alert readers were able to document the names of the cheerleaders pictured in last week's "Remember When, Chattanooga?" photo. Pictured at the UTC football stadium, from left, are Susan Eady, Mark Shanks, Gale Cary, Janet Wandell, Leslie Bridwell, Hans Humberger and Melia Brooks. The photo was by Walter Strickland.
This 1975 photo of University of Tennessee at Chattanooga cheerleaders is a bit of a mystery.
It was discovered in a box of color slides found recently at the Chattanooga Times Free Press offices on East 11th Street, but we were unable to find evidence that the image was ever published in the newspaper.
Occasionally, the "Remember When, Chattanooga?" series relies on readers to solve mysteries surrounding photos.
If anyone can identify these cheerleaders by name, please contact Mark Kennedy at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will attach the names to the digital version of this story, which will live online for years to come at timesfreepress.com and ChattanoogaHistory.com, our series partner.
In the meantime, much is known about the UTC football team in 1975, which was led by head coach Joe Morrison. The team hadn't finished at or above .500 since the 1968 season, but hopes were raised for a successful year when the Mocs opened the season with a respectable 17-7 loss to Vanderbilt University of the Southeastern Conference.
The Mocs later earned home wins over Middle Tennessee State University, Western Carolina and tied Eastern Kentucky and entered the season finale with a record of 3-4-1. They were unbeaten at home at the time.
Launched by history enthusiast Sam Hall in 2014, ChattanoogaHistory.com is maintained to present historical images in the highest resolution available.
If you have photo negatives, glass plate negatives, or original non-digital prints taken in the Chattanooga area, contact Sam Hall for information on how they may qualify to be digitized and preserved at no charge.
In the penultimate game of the year, though, the Mocs were drubbed 48-0 on the road at Arkansas State before returning home to face Tennessee State, a perennial power among historically black colleges and universities and a launching pad for NFL talent.
The Tennessee State Tigers arrived in Chattanooga in early November 1975 under head coach John Merritt, later inducted into the college football hall of fame.
The Mocs managed a 36-6 victory over Tennessee State in front of a sold-out Chamberlain Field crowd, with running back Mike Hogan leading the way with 163 yards rushing.
Nonetheless, the 1975 UTC-Tennessee State game was marred by a second-half brawl, according to press reports.
"A real, honest-to-goodness free-for-all broke out in the fourth quarter as players on both teams swapped blows for several minutes before order could be restored," the Chattanooga News-Free Press reported.
Morrison, a former NFL player who coached at UTC from 1973-1979, went on to coach at the University of New Mexico and the University of South Carolina.
After the 1975 season, Morrison would lead the Mocs to Southern Conference Championships three years in a row — in 1977, 1978 and 1979 — according to the UTC athletics website.
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