Why is Akron called the Zips

The Zips have tasted great success in recent times to arouse interest in the minds of its fans and common people as to why is Akron called the Zips. Zips is the nickname of the athletics team that represents the University of Akron. Zips is a very popular team and a big name in the world of college sports today. Zippy, the kangaroo, is the mascot of this team that has gained immense popularity these days. However, few people are aware of the fact why this name got associated with the athletics team of the University of Akron.

Why is Akron called the Zips – Facts

The name Zippers was based upon a rubber shoe by the same name

The quest to find a mascot for the U of A began in 1953 when Bob Savoy, who was the chairman of the committee for the selection of the mascot, decided on a kangaroo. Zippy was the name given to this mascot and it became an official mascot of the University of Akron in May 1953. The name Zips goes back to earlier times when a nickname for the college athletics team was being searched. In early 1900’s, the rubber shoe made by a company called B F Goodrich became very popular among the people. This shoe was called Zippers by the company. Akron started to be referred as the rubber capital of the world because of the popularity of these shoes. The name Zippers was liked by the administration as it also gave a local flair to the athletics team. In fact, the name Zippers was finally selected after a contest that was organized by the college newspaper. This name was suggested by a student called Margaret Hamlin who won the contest. Hamlin got a purse of $10 for suggesting this name.

Why is Akron called the Zips

Zippers was shortened to Zips because of use of zippers in pants

However, the name Zipper could not be continued for long as button fly in pants was giving way to the zipper. This made it difficult for the college to continue with this nickname. To avoid confusion and embarrassment, the nickname Zippers was shortened to Zips by Kenneth Red Cochrane, who was athletics director in the college. The nickname Zips caught the imagination of the students and the sporting fraternity and it stuck with the athletics team of the University of Akron.

Zippy was the name given to the mascot of the team

Thus, the nickname of the athletics team of the University of Akron that began with Zippers in 1927 finally became Zips when it had to be shortened because of the rising popularity of zippers in trousers worn by men and women. Female kangaroo Zippy became the mascot of the athletics team in 1953. Interestingly, this name was inspired by the popular comic strip named Kinky, the fighting kangaroo. Though the name zippy is a loved one today, it was resented by the student community in those times as the name was not finalized through an on campus vote.


Images Courtesy:

  1. Akron Zips by JEN9841 (CC BY-SA 3.0)

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