The Origin of the "Zips" Nickname
University of Akron 'ZIPS' is one of the more unique nicknames
in college sports today. With the Zips' more recent athletic
success, it is not uncommon for a U of A sports fan to get an
inquisitive look usually followed by the question, "Excuse me, but what
exactly is a 'Zip'?".
original nickname was the 'Zippers' named after a rubber shoe popular
in the early 1900's made by the BF Goodrich Company. With Akron
being the rubber capital of the world, it seemed fitting to use
a nickname with a local flair. The name was determined by a campus-wide
contest conducted by the college newspaper. Some of the names submitted
by the students and alumni included the Golden Blue Devils, Tip
Toppers, Rubbernecks, Hillbilies, Kangaroos, and Cheveliers. The
winner was Margaret Hamlin who received a prize of $10.
the zipper replaced the button-fly in a common pair of pants, it
became apparent that the University should reconsider the nickname.
In 1950, athletic director Kenneth 'Red' Cochrane officially shortened
the nickname to the 'Zips'.
OK, so what about Zippy?
"Zippy" the kangaroo
was officially declared The University of Akron's mascot on May
1, 1953. Chair of a committee to suggest a mascot, All-American
Zip diver Bob Savoy recommended the kangaroo and it was approved
by the student council.
At first much resentment and apathy
surrounded the decision, which was made without the benefit of
a campus wide vote. Defenders of the kangaroo countered with, "it
is an animal that is fast, agile and powerful with undying determination
- all the necessary qualities of an athlete."
Pete Demming appeared as the first
"Zippy" kangaroo at the inaugural Acme-Zip football game
Now fully accepted and an integral part of UA's athletics program, "Zippy" is revered by alumni and loved by children.
Listen to the University of Akron Fight Song
University of Akron Fight Song Lyrics
portions from www.gozips.com