In case y'all are curious (I was), here's how the Hokies got the name. 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.
- Hoki, Hoki, Hoki, Hy.
Techs, Techs, V.P.I.
Polytechs - Vir-gin-ia.
Rae, Ri, V.P.I.
Later, the phrase "Team! Team! Team!" was added at the end, and an "e" was added to "Hoki."
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 team mascot is the HokieBird
, a turkey
-like creature. The teams were originally known as the "Fighting Gobblers
," and the turkey motif was retained despite the name change. 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.