History of the Dons
The San Francisco Dons is the nickname of the athletic teams at the University of San Francisco (USF). The Dons compete in NCAA Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) as members of the West Coast Conference (WCC), of which USF is a charter member.
College Sports Established
San Francisco, California
University of San Francisco
1973 - Present / NCAA Division 1
1952 - 1973 / University Division of the NCAA
1952 - Present / West Coast Conference
Dons - Until November 1931, our athletic programs were referred to as the “Grey Fog,” a logical tribute to the cool blanket that swaddles our city. The San Francisco Junior Chamber of Commerce, however, felt that the name encouraged a chilly reputation and could hurt the city’s advertising.
So our beloved student newspaper, The San Francisco Foghorn, held a contest, challenging students and alumni to propose a new name. According to USF Historian Alan Ziajka in Legacy and Promise: 150 Years of Jesuit Education at the University of San Francisco, suggestions included seagulls, seals, and sea lions. In January 1932, a committee of undergraduates, alumni and administrators selected by Father President Edward Whelan, S.J. considered these and other submissions. Their votes were tallied to reveal USF’s new name: the Dons.
The new name spawned a more dignified mascot. In his signature mask and cape, Don Francisco – whose name is a subtle nod to Don Francisco de Haro, the city’s first mayor – represents a highly stylized version of the old-school Spanish look. We asked him to speak to us about his origins but he was unable to comment – he could only gesture wildly.
Men's Basketball 2
Women's Basketball 0
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