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The intercollegiate athletic teams at The University of Akron are known as the Zips. Teams compete in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) at the Division I level and in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) for college football. Since 1992, the Zips have been members of the Mid-American Conference. The Zips name is unique in college athletics and comes from "zippers", rubber overshoes made by the BF Goodrich Company that were popular in the 1920s and 1930s. In 1925, a campus-wide contest had been conducted to choose a nickname for the university's athletic teams. Suggestions submitted by students, faculty, and alumni included Golden Blue Devils, Tip Toppers, Rubbernecks, Hillbillies, Kangaroos, and Cheveliers. The winner, freshman Margaret Hamlin, received a prize of $10 for "Zippers". Athletic director Kenneth Cochrane officially shortened the nickname to Zips in 1950. The university's mascot is "Zippy", a kangaroo. Zippy is one of only a few female college mascots in the United States.
The Akron Zips men's soccer team, ranked number one throughout the 2009 regular season, went undefeated, making it to the NCAA Men's Division I Soccer Championship, but lost in penalty kicks to the University of Virginia Cavaliers. On December 12, 2010, Akron won the NCAA Division 1 National Championship in Men's Soccer by defeating the Louisville Cardinals, 1-0. This was also the first NCAA team championship for the school in any sport. The Zips play their home games at FirstEnergy Stadium-Cub Cadet Field. Following the 2012 campaign, head coach Caleb Porter left the Zips to take the reigns of the MLS franchise Portland Timbers. The men's basketball team is currently coached by Keith Dambrot. They have enjoyed success of late including four consecutive 20-win seasons and three consecutive appearances in the Mid-American Conference Tournament championship game. In 2009 they won their first-ever MAC Tournament title and advanced to the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament for the first time since 1986.