Athletic Tradition


Cradle of Coaches

Throughout the sports world, Miami University has the unique reputation as the "Cradle of Coaches." At last count, more than 100 Miami graduates were active in coaching or administrative work in the professional and collegiate levels. The list of Miami graduates in the scholastic ranks totals more than 500.

Miami has been the training ground in football for eight national "Coach of the Year" recipients, including Earl H. (Red) Blaik; Woody Hayes, Ara Parseghian, John Pont and Bo Schembechler.

The professional ranks have included such famous Miami graduates as Walter (Smokey) Alston, former manager of the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers; Wilbur (Weeb) Ewbank, former head coach of the World Champion Baltimore Colts and New York Jets; and Paul Brown, former head coach and owner of the Cleveland Browns and former head coach, owner and general manager of the Cincinnati Bengals.

Victory Bell

Miami and the University of Cincinnati square off each fall for the famed Victory Bell. The original bell hung in Miami's Harrison Hall (Old Main) near the site of the first football game in 1888 and was used to ring in Miami victories. The traveling trophy tradition began in the 1890's when some Cincinnati fans "borrowed" the bell. The bell went to the winner of the annual game for the next 40 years until it mysteriously disappeared in the 1930's. The original bell reappeared in 1946 and is on display in the lobby of Miami's Murstein Alumni Center. The current trophy is a replica of the original bell and is kept in the possession of the winning team each year. One side of the bell is painted red and black and shows Cincinnati's victories, while the other side is red and white and shows Miami's victories. Miami leads the series 55-42-7 and has won six of the last 10 games.

The Miami-Cincinnati series ranks fifth on the list of most-played rivalries in college football and is the oldest rivalry west of the Allegheny Mountains. Of the more than 30 rivalries that include at least 89 games, none are older than Miami vs. Cincinnati. Below are the top 10 most-played rivalries in Division 1-A:

Games   Opponents               Begun
109     Minnesota-Wisconsin     1890 
108     Missouri-Kansas         1891 
106     Nebraska-Kansas         1892 
106     Texas-Texas A&M         1894 
104     MIAMI-CINCINNATI        1888 
104     North Carolina-Virginia 1892 
103     Auburn-Georgia          1892 
103     Oregon-Oregon State     1894 
102     Purdue-Indiana          1891 
102     Stanford-California     1892 
Nickname History

At the urging of the Oklahoma-based Miami Tribe, (for whom the school is named) the Miami Board of Trustees voted on Sept. 25, 1996 to discontinue the use of Redskins as the nickname for the university's athletic teams. More than 3,000 nickname suggestions (700 different names) from alumni and current members of the Miami community were received. At its meeting on April 19, 1997, the board selected the nickname RedHawks from three nickname finalists - RedHawks, Thunderhawks and Miamis - forwarded them by the athletic nickname selection committee. The new moniker went into effect July 1, 1997.

University president Dr. James C. Garland unveiled the RedHawk logos at a press conference on Oct. 18, 1997 prior to the Marshall game. Swoop, the mascot of Miami teams, made its first appearance on Dec. 9, 1997, before the men's basketball contest versus Xavier.

Use of the nickname Redskins for Miami athletic teams dated back to the 1930-31 school year, when the Miami alumni magazine, then edited by the school's lone publicity man, Ralph McGinnis, announced the new nickname as successor to Big Red, which had caused confusion with Denison University teams. A similar tag had popped up in a 1928 story in the Miami Student that referred to the "Big Red-Skinned Warriors," but the transition wasn't made for another three years. For a time in 1931, Redskins and Big Red were used interchangeably in The Student. Prior to 1928, teams had been referred to as The Miami Boys, The Big Reds or The Reds and Whites.

Miami Alma Mater

Old Miami, from thy hillcrest,
Thou hast watched the decades roll.
While thy sons have quested from thee,
Sturdy-hearted, pure of soul.

(Chorus) Old Miami, New Miami,
Days of old and days to be;
Weave the story of the glory,
Our Miami, here's to thee.

Aging in thy simple splendor,
Thou the calm, and they the storm,
Thou didst give them joy in conquest,
Strength from thee sustained their arm.

Thou shalt stand a constant beacon,
Crimson tow'rs against the sky;
Men shall ever seek thy guiding,
Power like thine shall never die.

Miami Fight Song

Love and honor to Miami,
Our college old and grand.
Proudly we shall ever hail thee,
Over all the land.
Alma mater now we praise thee,
Sing joyfully this lay.
Love and honor to Miami,
Forever and a day.