Why "The Broncos"?
What's In a Name?
( from Serving the Intellect, Touching the
Heart" by George Giacomini and Gerald McKevitt,
- "Wanted--a name for the varsity: Stanford has her Cardinals, California her Golden Bears, and Santa Clara may profit by their example."
- "We have been dubbed the `Missionites' by some, others have seen fit to label us the `Prunepickers', and still others have stretched the imagination to call us `Friars,' `Missions,' `Padres,' and what not... To the winner Santa Clara will give a cash prize of five dollars."
-- Student report, "The Santa Clara" (student newspaper), Feb. 26, 1923
With this brief statement, Santa Clara announces a prize contest for all the students to obtain a suitable name for Santa Clara's athletic teams on gridiron, basketball court, diamond, and track. Up to this point teams representing the University have never had an official designation.
a few months later ...
The Rev. Hubert Flynn, S.J., professor of philosophy at Santa Clara, is credited with creating the name for the school on Nov. 5, 1923. After attending a rodeo, he wrote:
"The Bronco is a native westerner, a chunk of living dynamite, not very big but game to the core. He can kick and Oh boy how he can buck. If you turn him loose in an open field his speed outstrips the wind.
"The real Bronco is closely identified with the old Santa Clara Mission days of the Padres, when large herds of cattle roamed their lands and annual roundups were held. The Bronco's distinctive traits typify all we could wish for in an athletic organization."
-- 1951 Santa Clara University Football Media Brochure
and two days later the student newspaper exhorts --
( from Serving the Intellect, Touching the Heart" by George Giacomini and Gerald McKevitt, S.J., Page 155)
"The Bronco is a native Western piece of living dynamite, not any too large, it is true, but hard as nails and always game to the core... How about it, students? Let's adopt it."
-- Student appeal, "The Santa Clara", Nov. 7, 1923