Chattanooga native Stanford Strickland is one of the most underrated players in basketball history at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He played with a number of all-time greats, but still managed to make his mark on the Mocs’ record book. He was a part of four postseasons (three NCAA and one NIT) and helped Chattanooga to three SoCon titles in his career.
This weekend, Strickland will be among the five newest members of the UTC Athletics Hall of Fame. He will join a number of teammates who have been previously enshrined, solidifying his already secure place in Mocs basketball history.
Strickland joined the UTC basketball program at the start of its championship run in 1980-81, just three seasons after UTC made the jump to NCAA Division I. He was a part of a recruiting class that included all-time leading scorer Willie White, fellow hall of famers Nick Morken and Russ Schoene, along with key contributor Chris McCray.
It was quite a recruiting haul for Hall of Fame coach Murray Arnold. The trio of Strickland, White and McCray entered as freshmen and won three Southern Conference Championships, earned three NCAA Tournament berths and one NIT bid. The cumulative record during their careers was 98-24 (.803).
Strickland helped key the Mocs’ surge to SoCon dominance, including Chattanooga’s win over N.C. State in the 1982 NCAA Mideast Regional. His Mocs won 20+ games all four years and defeated the likes of Mississippi State and Georgia, while taking nationally-ranked North Carolina (including Michael Jordan) and Tennessee to the brink in 1983. That’s the same year Chattanooga lost to Maryland by a point the first round of the NCAA Mideast Regional. The 1983 squad finished the year ranked No. 15 in the nation.
The 6’6” power forward was a fan favorite due to his hard-working, blue-collar style of play. He accumulated 1,153 points, 528 rebounds and 94 steals in his career, starting every game (61) of his junior and senior years. Strickland is UTC’s all-time leader for free throws made with 401. His 540 attempts ranks No. 2 behind Nicchaeus Doaks (2006-09). He’s seventh in scoring and rebounding for the Mocs.
Strickland graduated in 1984 with a degree in Criminal Justice. He is the assistant director of transportation for Coca-Cola Bottling in Cleveland, Tenn., and the father of Abria (17) and Makaly (7). He starred at Howard, playing with NFL Hall of Famer Reggie White.