Athletes and others at North Carolina A&T State University are mourning the passing of former coach Gene Littles. The coach had a history at N.C. A&T and was even a member of the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame. Get the full story from N.C. A&T below!
The North Carolina A&T Athletics family mourns the passing of former A&T head men’s basketball coach Eugene Scape “Gene” Littles (June 29, 1943 – Sept. 9, 2021). Littles was 78.
Littles was the head coach for the Aggies from 1977-79, compiling an overall record of 40-15 (.727) and two Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) championships and the MEAC coach of the year honor in 1979.
Littles played his college ball at High Point University from 1965-69 and is regarded by many as the best player in school history. He was a three-time NAIA All-American and, in 1969, led High Point to a school-best 28-3 record and the quarterfinals of the NAIA Tournament. He is the school’s all-time leading scorer with 2,398 career points and his No. 14 jersey is in the rafters.
The Dallas Chaparrals of the American Basketball Association (ABA) and the New York Knicks of the National Basketball Association (NBA) drafted Little after his college days. He chose to play in the ABA.
The Carolina Cougars later claimed his ABA rights. Eventually, he became the starting point guard for the league’s all-rookie team and finished his career with the Kentucky Colonels.
Littles got his start in the coaching realm as an assistant for the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers before returning to North Carolina to join the staff at Appalachian State, where he was before coming to A&T.
Littles returned to the NBA as a head coach for the Cleveland Cavaliers for the remaining 19 games of the 1985-86 season. Then, midway through the 1990-91 season, the Charlotte Hornets named him their head coach, and he remained in that position until the end of the season.
His last stop was for the Denver Nuggets in 1994-95, where he was an assistant and even stepped into the head coaching role on an interim basis for the final 19 games of the season.
Littles is a member of the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame and the High Point University Athletics Hall of Fame.