The University of Akron's storied athletics history dates back nearly 130 years. Now, 19 intercollegiate sports strong and with more than 350 student-athletes, the Akron Zips are into their second decade of Mid-American Conference membership and poised for academic and competitive growth.
The Zips' intercollegiate athletics program includes basketball, cross country, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, indoor and outdoor track and field and volleyball for women; and baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, and indoor and outdoor track and field for men. Rifle is offered as a co-ed sport.
One of the more memorable nicknames in intercollegiate athletics — the Zips — belongs to The University of Akron.
In 1927, a campus-wide contest was conducted to choose a nickname for the University's athletic teams. Student Margaret Hamlin suggested "Zippers," which was also the name of a popular rubber overshoe sold by Akron's B.F. Goodrich Co. In 1950, then-athletic director Kenneth Red Cochrane shortened the nickname to the "Zips."
The evolution of Zippy, The University of Akron’s mascot, began 54 years ago when the student council, under president Dave Frye, decided the University needed a mascot.
“Zippy” the kangaroo was officially declared UA’s mascot on May 1, 1953. Dick Hansford, UA student council adviser, recommended the kangaroo, and it was approved by the council.
The first known printed reference to the mascot as “Zippy” was a 1965 Zips football press brochure. The Buchtelite's first use of the name “Zippy” came Sept. 24, 1965, under a photo of the cheerleaders listing “Mascot - ‘Zippy’ - Charles Huettner.”
In 2007, Zippy was the winner of the national Capital One Mascot of the Year Challenge.