History of the Skyhawks
The UT Martin Skyhawks (also known as Tennessee-Martin Skyhawks) are the intercollegiate athletic teams representing the University of Tennessee at Martin (UTM) in Martin, Tennessee, United States. The Skyhawks athletic program is a member of the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) and competes at the NCAA Division I level, including the Football Championship Subdivision. The UTM mascot is Captain Skyhawk. The school colors are navy and orange.
College Sports Established
University of Tennessee at Martin
1992 - Present / NCAA Division I
1992 - Present / Ohio Valley Conference
Skyhawks - The Skyhawk derives part of its name from the term “sky pilots”: the nickname of the athletic teams at Hall-Moody Institute, which was the first educational institution on the site of the present university before UT Junior College was established in 1927. “Sky pilot” is a frontier description of preachers who traveled in the early 1900s.
The Skyhawk was fashioned from not only the Red-tailed hawks indigenous to West Tennessee, but also after the World War II pilots who were trained at the UT Junior College through a partnership with the Naval War Training Services. Pilots received initial flight training in the 1940s at Gill-Dove Field, which is where the Martin Recreation Complex is now located. The goggles, as pictured on the logo, are a dedication to the pilots who served during the war.
After the University of Tennessee Martin Branch became the University of Tennessee at Martin in 1967, the university has had three mascots: The Pacers, which featured a horse and sulky, before evolving into Pacer Pete and Pace-Her Polly, and then Captain Skyhawk. The mascot re-brand began in 1994 with the hiring of Benny Hollis, the first athletics director for both men’s and women’s programs, who wanted a distinguished, gender-neutral, marketable mascot that could easily be associated with UT Martin.
In 1995, the Skyhawk mascot’s first public appearance occurred during the historic football game featuring the first-ever Skyhawk-named football team and Bethel University, in which UT Martin defeated Bethel 97-7. That fall, students and faculty held a mascot naming election and eventually decided on “Captain.” Captain Skyhawk has continued to serve at university and athletic events since then.
In 2019, UT Martin Chancellor Keith Carver appointed a university committee to expand the enthusiasm and recognition of the Skyhawk brand. Intercollegiate athletics announced the first of two new alternative logos in January, which were voted on by students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members during the 2019 fall semester. Almost 4,000 participants were included in the decision process before the alternate and competitive marks were chosen.
Men's Basketball 0
Women's Basketball 0
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