In 1939, Central Michigan University joined the Mid-American Conference (MAC), which was established in 1946 as a collegiate athletic conference for universities located in the Midwestern United States. Central Michigan became one of the charter members of the MAC, along with seven other universities. Central Michigan’s membership in the MAC has allowed the university’s athletic programs to compete at the ...
In 1954, the Central Michigan men’s basketball team won its first Mid-American Conference (MAC) championship. The Chippewas, led by head coach Ted Kjolhede, finished the season with a record of 16-6 and a conference record of 10-2. The championship season was highlighted by several key victories, including a 71-63 win over Western Michigan that clinched the MAC title for the ...
In 2007, the Central Michigan football team won its second Mid-American Conference (MAC) championship. The Chippewas, led by head coach Butch Jones, finished the regular season with a record of 8-5 overall and 6-2 in the MAC. The championship season was highlighted by several key victories, including a 35-10 win over arch-rival Western Michigan that clinched the MAC West Division ...
Antonio Brown: Brown was a standout wide receiver for the Central Michigan football team from 2007 to 2009. He set several program records, including most career receiving yards and most career touchdown receptions. Brown was named an All-American in 2008 and was selected in the sixth round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers. He went on to ...
History of the Chippewas
The Central Michigan Chippewas have a long and proud history of excellence in NCAA sports. From their inception in 1895, the Chippewas have been competing at the highest levels of collegiate athletics, developing an impressive resume that includes numerous conference championships and NCAA tournament appearances.
For more than 120 years, Central Michigan has been a leader in college sports across all divisions. The program’s first major success came when they won the Mid-American Conference (MAC) championship for football back in 1949—the same year they also earned their first-ever bowl game appearance with an invitation to play against Bowling Green State University. Since then, CMU has gone on to win five additional MAC titles as well as three National Invitational Tournaments (NIT).
In recent years, CMU's athletic teams have continued to excel both within and outside of conference play thanks mainly due to its talented roster featuring some of the nation’s best student-athletes from across multiple disciplines, including baseball/softball, basketball, cross country/track & field; golf; lacrosse; soccer; tennis; volleyball, and wrestling. These teams routinely compete amongst top-tier opponents such as Ohio State University, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, and Penn State Nittany Lions while proudly representing CMU on national television broadcasts each season.
Whether you're already a diehard fan or just getting acquainted with what makes this university special - one thing is sure: there's no better way for any true sports enthusiast out there than experiencing firsthand why so many people call themselves "Chippewa Nation." So if you've got your tickets ready - it's time to get out onto the Mount Pleasant campus and cheer loudly for those hardworking student-athletes who make up our beloved Central Michigan Chippewas!
College Sports Established
Mount Pleasant, Michigan
Central Michigan University
1971 - Present / NCAA Division I
1971 - Present / MAC Conference
Chippewas - As sports fans, we know teams have unique nicknames. For Central Michigan Chippewas, their nickname has a remarkable origin story.
The name "Chippewa" is derived from the Anishinaabe people who lived in the area of what is now known as Michigan and Ontario before European settlement. The tribe was part of the Ojibwe Nation, which consisted of many different tribes located throughout Canada and parts of the northern United States, including Minnesota and Wisconsin. French traders referred to this group as “Odawa” or “Ottawa,” but they called themselves Anishinaabeg, meaning original men or first nation people, which translates into English as Chippewa (or Ojibwa).
The university adopted this name for its athletic teams in 1895 when it began competing against other schools in intercollegiate athletics competitions such as football games between rival universities like Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Central Michigan Chippewas. Since then, they have become one of the most successful programs within NCAA Division I-A with multiple bowl appearances over time, including three consecutive Mid-American Conference titles from 2006–2008 under head coach Butch Jones. The team mascot named 'Chip' also wears traditional Native American clothing while cheering on his fellow teammates during sporting events!
All these facts make it clear why Central Michigan chose to use such an important symbol for its athletic program - not only does it represent a rich history, and it pays tribute to those who were here long before us! We hope you enjoyed learning about how this iconic nickname came about and can appreciate its significance even more now that you understand where it originated!
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