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The Origin of "Huskies"

Washington's teams were called Sun Dodgers starting in 1919. The nickname originated when a college magazine of the same name was banned from campus and, in protest, students adopted the name for their teams. But the Sun Dodgers did not do much for the Northwest's image, so a committee set out in 1921 to pick a new nickname.

While no progress was being made on the name change, athletic officials adopted Vikings during the semester break in December of 1921. When the students returned to campus, they immediately protested the name change.

In an attempt to determine a mascot, the committee came down to two final choices -- Malamutes and Huskies. The committee felt those were appropriate because of Seattle's nearness to the Alaskan frontier. The Husky was voted the most appropriate.

The University officially accepted the nickname Huskies for its athletic teams on Feb. 3, 1922. The announcement was made at halftime of the Washington-Washington State basketball game. The nickname was selected by a joint comittee of students, coaches, faculty, alumni and businessmen. The name "Huskies" was presented at halftime by football captain-elect Robert Ingram. When Ingram made his speech, large white pacards were hoisted in the rooters section occupied by varsity letterwinners displaying the slogans: "The Husky stands for -- fight and tenacity -- character and courage -- endurance and willingness."

Other suggested nicknames were Wolves, Malamutes, Tyees, Vikings, Northmen and Olympics.

There are nine other senior (four-year) colleges that share the UW's nickname of Huskies. Among the Division I-A ranks, Connecticut and Northern Illinois are the only other programs using Huskies as a nickname. The other seven schools are: Bloomsburg, Connecticut (Stamford), Houston Baptist, Michigan Tech, Northeastern, Saint Cloud State and Southern Maine.

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