30 Funny College Team Names in the U.S

30 Funny College Team Names in the U.S

30 Funniest College Team Names in the U.S.

This list speaks for itself. There are dozens of universities housing lions and tigers and bears but in most cases, only one school honors its athletic teams with each of the following names. The contributors that created these unusual names range from sportswriters to college presidents to student body election results, from British colonial aristocrats to P.T. Barnum. Read on.

  • Anteaters of University of California/Irvine: The name Anteaters was selected by a student vote in 1965 shortly after the school was founded. The name won by 56% of the vote; in second place was "none of the above."
  • Banana Slugs of the University of California/Santa Cruz: the team name for UCSC was officially adopted in 1985 after student sentiment overwhelmed the wishes of the administration to name the school teams "the sea lions."
  • Hokies of Virginia Tech: In 1896 Virginia Tech was known as Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College and Polytechnic Institute; shortened to VPI. Student O.M. Stull came up with a cheer for the new name which incorporated the nonsensical work Hoki; an E was added later and the term was attached to sports teams as they developed.
  • Billikins of St. Louis University: A Billikin is a charm doll that looks like a corpulent elf with pointed ears. It was created by Mrs. Florence Pretz of St. Louis in 1908 and named after President William Howard Taft. The University took the name, and the image, as its mascot.
  • Horned Frogs of Texas Christian University were so named in 1897 after a local creature that is actually a lizard; when agitated it can shoot a fine stream of blood from the eye. Here's a Horned Frog circa 1954.
  • Geoducks of Evergreen State College: This school in Washington has named its teams after the largest burrowing clam in the world. Pronounced gooey-duck, these mollusks can live to be over 100 years of age. Witness the mighty Geoduck in mascot garb -
  • Jumbos of Tufts University are named after an elephant that belonged to PT Barnum, who exhibited Jumbo in his touring circus. When Jumbo died he was stuffed by taxidermists whereupon Barnum donated him to Tufts; the elephant is the source of the term used in the English language today.
  • Boll Weevils of the University of Arkansas/Monticello: The boll weevil is an historic pest known to destroy cotton crops throughout the South and thus was an appropriate name for a school football team in 1920. Today's Arkansas boll weevil is a biped...
  • Sagehens of Pomona College were introduced as Sage Hens by a 1913 college newspaper article. The name stuck after the end of World War I, replacing the old nickname "Huns." The sage grouse is a native bird indigenous to the semiarid environment of Southern California. Here's a Sagehen dancing at halftime.
  • Trolls of Trinity Christian College in Illinois are so named despite the decidedly un-Christian nature of the mythical creature, in part because they are the only Trolls in the NCAA and in part because the school wanted a colorful mascot to liven up the growing school's image.
  • Black Flies of the College of the Atlantic: This college of oceanography in Bar Harbor Maine took the team name from an historic springtime pest that arrives in Maine with the mud season.
  • Catamounts of the University of Vermont: A catamount is a mountain lion that was native to the mountains of Northern New England and thought to be extinct until reported sightings that have occurred in recent years.
  • Claim Jumpers of Columbia College: This community college is located in Sonora, California which was at the heart of the 1849 Gold Rush when miners staked claims and claim jumpers robbed them.
  • Dirtbags of Cal State Long Beach: The formal team name for this California University is the 49ers, but since 1989 the unofficial name for the school baseball team has been the Dirtbags. They are consistently ranked in the nation's top twenty five Division I baseball teams.
  • Dust Devils of Texas A&M International acquired its team name from the whirling columns of dust created in the Southwest desert by a weather phenomenon.
  • Fire Ants of the University of South Carolina/Sumter are named after a thoroughly nasty form of stinging ant that is native to the southern coastal states from North Carolina to Florida.
  • Flying Queens of Wayland Baptist University is the women's basketball team; they could conceivably be paired with the Lord Jeffs of Amherst College.
  • Gentlemen of Centenary College of Louisiana adopted this name for its men's sports teams after the original football team nicknamed Old Ironsides developed a reputation for rough play.
  • Gorlocks of Webster University is the combination of two streets that intersect in Webster: Gore and Lockwood Avenues. The mascot is a creation of a student committee who in 1984 gave life to a creature with "paws of a speeding cheetah, the horns of a fierce buffalo and the face of a dependable Saint Bernard."
  • Green Terror of McDaniel College is named after a colorful tropical fish that is neither green nor a terror, but rather a moderately aggressive striped fish popular with aquarium enthusiasts. Hardrockers of the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology: This one is obvious; the only question is how the students sold it to the administration.
  • Hoyas of Georgetown University: There is great debate over the origins of this name, which may have been taken from the Latin word for rock. A student newspaper in existence in 1920 changed its name from the Hilltopper to the Hoya, which in turn became the nickname for the school teams.
  • Hustlin' Quakers of Earlham College: This Indiana college was founded by the Friends Society in 1847; their teams were known as the "Fighting Quakers" until 1980 when the administration decided that hustling was more befitting than fighting. Today they are simply "The Quakers."
  • Ichabods of Washburn University are named after college founder Ichabod Washburn. It conjures up headless horsemen though, doesn't it?
  • Kohawks of Coe College, Iowa came up with a name that combined the name of the "Hawkeye State" with the name of the college. It was necessary to invent something after the student body voted down all traditional suggestions in a 1922 election.
  • Lord Jeffs of Amherst College drew their name from the founder of the town of Amherst, Massachusetts which was the basis for the naming of the school in 1821. Lord Jeffery Amherst was a British military commander who was instrumental in the British victory over France in the French and Indian War.
  • Praying Colonels of Centre College in Danville, Kentucky may draw their name from the Presbyterian roots of the school's founders who established the campus in 1819. In 1921 the Praying Colonels beat the best football team in the nation, Harvard University.
  • Salukis of Southern Illinois University are named after a relatively obscure breed of dog that was once the "royal dog" of Egypt, presumably during the days of the Pharaohs. Southern Illinois was known as "Little Egypt" since the days it was colonized, because it is geographically and culturally distinct from the rest of the state.
  • Stormy Petrels of Oglethorpe University, Atlanta, are named after a small seabird that skims low over the waves in search of food. The name was selected by a college president in 1915; the bird was supposedly an inspiration to James Oglethorpe, the British colonist who founded Georgia.
  • Wonder Boys of Arkansas Tech got their name from an overwrought sports writer who in 1919 referred to the school's football team as "a bunch of Wonder Boys" after they upset Arkansas State University. The name applies to all men's sports teams at the school.
  • Zips of the University of Akron are named after a rubber overshoe called the Zipper developed by hometown corporation BF Goodrich in 1910. In 1950 the name was shortened to the Zips. Repeated attempts by fraternity members to assert the name evolved from the front closure on men's pants have gone for naught.