HOME ~ College Football History
The Orange, Green & White
colors were selected in 1926. The colors of the Florida orange tree
represent UM. Orange symbolizes the fruit of the tree, green represents
the leaves and white, the blossoms.
In 1973, UMís Athletic Federation, the fund raising arm of the athletic
department at the time, commissioned a local public relations expert to
develop a distinctive logo. The University had gone several years with a
variety of helmet and uniform changes and the Federation noted that a
number of major colleges have the initials UM. Miami designer Bill Bodenhamer suggested the "U" idea, which lent itself to slogans like "U
gotta believe" and "U is great".
It began in controversy. Some reports say the 1927 football team held a
team meeting to select Hurricanes, hoping they would sweep away
opponents just as the devastating storm did on September 16, 1926.
Another version holds that Miami News columnist Jack Bell asked end
Porter Norris of the 1926 team what the team should be called. Told that
the local dignitaries and University officials wanted to name the team
for a local flora or fauna, Norris said the players wouldn't stand for
it and suggested "Hurricanes" since the opening game had been postponed
by such a storm. From time to time, opposition has arisen to the name
that would "reinforce Miamiís negative reputation as a weather-beaten
community living constantly under the threat of destruction." But as one
UM official rationalized in the 60ís, "Does anyone think Chicago is
overrun by bears just because the town has a football team by that name?
Lil' Joe & Touchdown Tommy
"Lilí Joe" was a forerunner to the present "Touchdown Tommy" cannon
fired by the Sigma Chi fraternity after each UM score.
At the beginning of the fourth quarter at every home football game,
Miami players and fans can be seen holding up four fingers. The sign
indicates their belief that a game is won in that crucial final period.
True Hurricane fans and players use the sign as a symbol that they own
that last quarter.
The traditional Hurricane "smoke" entrance in the Orange Bowl began in
the 1950s. In an attempt to increase fan interest, UM transportation
director Bob Nalette came up with the idea of using fire extinguishers
to produce the now-famous smoke that Hurricanes run through as they
enter the field. In his spare time 40 years ago, Nalette welded the pipe
together that even today billow smoke from the top of the Hurricanesí
entrance tunnel. The original set up included flashing lights, two large
hurricane flags and a tape of a hurricane being blasted over the loud
speaker. The flags and lights are now gone but the smoke and sound track
Sebastian the Ibis
Folklore maintains that the Ibis, a symbol of knowledge found in the
Everglades and Egypt, is the last sign of wildlife to take shelter
before a hurricane and the first to reappear after the storm. The local
marsh bird was considered UM's first unofficial mascot when the school
yearbook adopted the name "Ibis" in 1926. Its popularity grew among the
students during the 50ís. In 1957 San Sebastian Hall, a residence hall
on campus, sponsored an Ibis entry in the homecoming celebration. The
next year, student John Stormont performed at games in an Ibis costume
that was glued, sewn and pinned together and was the forerunner of
today's bird. Through the years, the Ibis has become one of the most
recognizable college mascots in the United States.
Alma Mater and School Songs
Southern suns and sky blue water,
Smile upon you Alma mater;
Mistress of this fruitful land,
With all knowledge at your hand,
Always just to honor true,
All our love we pledge to you.
Alma Mater, stand forever
On Biscayne's wondrous shore.