How Did Marshall Thundering Herd Get Their Name?

How Did Marshall Thundering Herd Get Their Name?

How Did Marshall Thundering Herd Get Their Name?

The name "Thundering Herd" is deeply rooted in American folklore, as old as the buffalo that once roamed the western plains. This nickname has been a part of Marshall University's athletic teams for decades, but do you know the story behind it?

The Early Years

Marshall University's athletic teams weren't always known as the Thundering Herd. The first nickname on record was "Indians," which was used for the pre-1900 athletic teams. Around 1910, the name "Big Green" began to be used, inspired by the color of the team uniforms.

The Birth of Thundering Herd

The name "Thundering Herd" came into existence in the late 1920s when Huntington Herald-Dispatch sportswriter Duke Ridgley referred to the football team as a "Thundering Herd." This was inspired by a then-current movie based on the 1925 Zane Gray novel of the same name. The name caught on quickly and has been used alongside "Big Green" ever since.

Marshall Thundering Herd Cups

Controversies and Finalization

Despite its popularity, the name "Thundering Herd" faced criticism for not representing West Virginia or the school's founding father, John Marshall. Various alternative names were suggested, but none caught on. Finally, in 1965, over 85% of Marshall students voted to officially adopt "Thundering Herd" as the nickname and chose the buffalo as the official mascot.

Marshall Thundering Herd T-Shirts

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