Duke Basketball Museum & Sports Hall of Fame
Backstory and Context
The end of World War I saw an increase of interest surrounding college football. As World War I drew to a close, Trinity College, part of Duke University, lifted its ban on football. The college began competing against other schools in 1920. Before permanent names for the team began being considered, they were known as the Trinity Eleven, the Blue and White, or, simply, the Methodists. Other college teams began adopting more catchy names, such as the Georgia Tech “Golden Tornadoes” and the North Carolina State College “Wolf Pack.” It was decided that Trinity needed a catchier name as well.
was considered important to incorporate the school’s colors into the name. A
number of possible team names were put forward for consideration, including the
Blue Titans, the Blue Eagles, Polar Bears, Royal Blazes, and Blue Warriors. No
one particular name garnered large public support. So, in 1922-23, the student
publication The Trinity Chronicle
began referring to the team as the Blue Devils. Since the French soldiers were
so well known and since many war veterans were students at the school, the
meaning of the name was generally known.
"The Story of the Blue Devil," Duke University Official Athletic Website, http://www.goduke.com/ViewArticle.dbml?ATCLID=242333