History You May Not Know About Moody Coliseum
By Chris Dell ’11
As the University community anticipates the makeover that Moody Coliseum will receive over the next year, a little reflection is called for on the storied history of the arena’s place among sports and public events in Dallas. In addition to serving as the home of SMU’s indoor athletics teams, Moody Coliseum also has been the site of some of the greatest moments in Dallas sports history during the past half-century. Check out the best of the best, and then try your hand at Moody trivia.
The Golden Era Of SMU Basketball
The year before it moved into Moody Coliseum in 1957, the SMU men’s basketball team made its first and only NCAA Final Four appearance, where the Mustangs, led by future All-American Jim Krebs ’57, fell short against future NBA great Bill Russell and the University of San Francisco Dons. In the decade that followed Moody’s opening, SMU, led by legendary coach E.O. “Doc” Hayes, won six Southwest Conference championships and made six NCAA Tournament appearances.
The Dallas Chaparrals
Little do most Dallas Mavericks fans know that their bitter rivals, the
San Antonio Spurs, got their start in Moody when they were the Dallas Chaparrals of the American Basketball Association. The Chaparrals played most of their home games in Moody from 1967-73 before the team moved to San Antonio and was rebranded as the Spurs. The Chaparrals made the ABA playoffs in all but one season but never won
World Championship Tennis
From 1971 to 1979, Moody hosted one of the biggest tennis championships
of the year, which was a season-ending eight-player tournament to decide the champion of the professional tennis circuit. All-time greats such as Arthur Ashe, John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors and Rod Laver dueled each other in
front of packed houses at Moody and a national television audience. The tournament was moved to Reunion Arena in 1980, but Moody continued to host exhibitions between stars such as Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras into the 1990s. The Virginia Slims of
Dallas Tennis Championships and the Rolex Intercollegiate Indoor Tennis Tournament also were held at Moody Coliseum.
Gerry York ’58, curator of SMU Heritage Hall, and former SMU tennis player Roman Kupchynsky ’80 served as resources for the article.