History of the Golden Eagles
The Southern Miss Golden Eagles and Lady Eagles (also known as Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles and Lady Eagles) are the intercollegiate athletics teams representing the University of Southern Mississippi (USM), located in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The Golden Eagles (Lady Eagles for women's basketball) compete at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I level, mainly as a member of the Sun Belt Conference (SBC). USM's newest sport, women's beach volleyball, a sport not currently sponsored by the Sun Belt, was added in the 2018–19 school year and competed in Conference USA. The school's earliest nickname was Tigers. After that came such nicknames as Normalites (from Mississippi Normal College, the early name of the university), Yellow Jackets, Confederates, and Southerners. Golden Eagles were selected in a student/alumni vote in early 1972. Seymour d'Campus is the name of the modern-day mascot eagle.
Southern Miss has a long history in the NCAA, and its intercollegiate sports teams operate under the auspices of the university's Department of Intercollegiate Athletics sponsors. Bowl games, conference championships, and All-American athletes have all been frequent occurrences at Southern Miss. Among notable alumni is former NFL quarterback Brett Favre and former NFL punter Ray Guy.
College Sports Established
University of Southern Mississippi
1973 - Present / NCAA Division I
1921 - 1973 / University Division of the NCAA
1922 - 1921 / Athletic Association of the United States
2022 - Present / Sun Belt Conference
1995 - 2022 / C-USA Conference
1948 - 1952 / Gulf States Conference
1928 - 1941 / Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association
1912 - 1928, 1942 - 1947, 1952 - 1995 / Independent
Golden Eagles - The first athletic teams were called Tigers or Normalites. In 1924, the mascot was changed to the Yellow Jackets. In April 1940, the student body of the newly renamed Mississippi Southern College voted to name the teams Confederates; the name was changed to the Southerners in 1941. General Nat (named for Confederate general Nathan Bedford Forrest) became the Southerners' mascot in 1953; his horse was named Son of Dixie.
In 1972, an ad hoc committee appointed by the Alumni Association voted on submissions from alumni, faculty, students, and staff for a new name, and the name "Golden Eagles" was chosen. The mascot was an individual in a golden eagle costume. The mascot was later named Seymour d'Campus (a pun on "see more [of] the campus"). The name was inspired by the 1984 World's Fair mascot, Seymore D. Fair (a pun on "see more [of] the Fair"), who was played by former Southern Miss mascot Jeff Davis '83.
Men's Basketball 0
Women's Basketball 0
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