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.
Evolution of the Logo