From integration to innovation: New book details history of the Houston Cougars in the 1960s

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Housotn’s Elvin Hayes (#44) shoots over UCLA’s Mike Lynn in the “Game of the Century” in 1968. via ESPN.

A new book about the Houston Cougars during the tumultuous 1960’s written by Robert D. Jacobus, a local Houston-area educator, will be released soon. The book, appropriately called Houston Cougars in the 1960s, details everything from integration at UH to the football team’s innovative “veer offense” to college basketball’s “Game of the Century” in 1968. Book description from the publisher:

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.

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

Jacobus will be doing a book signing this Saturday December 5th at Katy Budget Books from 2pm-4pm… so Coog fans can swing by after the AAC championship game!

Book on the publisher’s website here.