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Virginia Tech Hokies
The Virginia Tech Hokies are the athletic teams officially representing Virginia Tech in college sports. The Hokies participate in the NCAA's Division I Atlantic Coast Conference in 19 varsity sports. Virginia Tech's men's sports are football, basketball, baseball, cross country, golf, soccer, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, and wrestling. Virginia Tech's women's sports are basketball, cross country, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field and volleyball. Although Virginia Tech is still seeking its first national title in a varsity sport, it has won a national championship in bass fishing, as well as individual track and field events.
Virginia Tech's sports teams are called the "Hokies". The word "hokie" originated in the "Old Hokie" spirit yell created in 1896 by O.M. Stull for a contest which was held to select a new spirit yell when the college's name was changed from Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College to Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College and Polytechnic Institute and the original spirit yell, which referred to the old name, was no longer usable. Stull's yell won, and he received the $5 award. Stull later said that he made up the word as an attention-grabber. Though he may not have known it, "Hokie" (in its various forms) has been around at least since 1842. According to Johann Norstedt, now a retired Virginia Tech English professor, "[Hokie was] a word that people used to express feeling, approval, excitement, surprise. Hokie, then, is a word like 'hooray,' or 'yeah,' or 'rah.'" Whatever its original meaning, the word in the popular cheer did, as Stull wanted, grab attention and has been a part of Virginia Tech tradition ever since. The official university school colors - Chicago Maroon and Burnt Orange - also were introduced in 1896. The colors were chosen by a committee because they made a "unique combination" not worn elsewhere at the time.