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The Maryland Terrapins, commonly referred to as the Terps, consist of 20 men's and women's athletic teams that represent the University of Maryland, College Park in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I competition. Maryland was a founding member of the Southern Conference in 1921, founding member of the Atlantic Coast Conference in 1952, and is now a member of the Big Ten Conference.
The nickname was coined in 1932 by Dr. Harry C. "Curley" Byrd, then the school's football coach and later the school's president. Previously, Maryland teams were known as the "Old Liners"—a reference to the state's nickname, "The Old Line State." However, the school newspaper, The Diamondback, wanted a better nickname. Byrd thought "Terrapins" was a good choice because of the diamondback terrapins endemic to the Chesapeake Bay region. Byrd's hometown of Crisfield was famous for the number of terrapins along its shores. The school mascot is an anthropomorphic turtle named "Testudo." The official team colors are red, white, black, and gold, derived from the Maryland state flag. It is the only NCAA school to have four official school colors. On July 1, 2014, the Terrapins became members of the Big Ten Conference following 62 years of membership in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
The school's sports teams are referred to as the Terrapins, and the university mascot is a diamondback terrapin named Testudo. The school's athletic colors are red, white, black, and gold, derived from the colors of the state flag. The university currently sponsors varsity athletic teams in 20 men's and women's sports, which compete at the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I level. The University of Maryland, College Park was established in 1856 as Maryland Agricultural College. Baseball and football were played on the campus as early as the Civil War era. It was renamed Maryland State College in 1916, and in 1920, merged with the state's professional schools in Baltimore to become the University of Maryland. Between 1921 and 1953, the university was a member of the Southern Conference.