'Fighting Hawks' voted as new North Dakota nickname

AP Photo/Chris Szagola
AP Photo/Chris Szagola

The University of North Dakota has a new nickname, replacing “Fighting Sioux,” which the school retired three years ago.

Please welcome the North Dakota Fighting Hawks!

The new nickname comes after a runoff vote that was held from Nov. 12-16 that featured Fighting Hawks or Roughriders as the choices. A collection of current and former UND students and staff, as well as current season-ticket holders for UND events were eligible to vote.

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According to the university, Fighting Hawks won out with 57.24-percent of the support, earning 15,670 votes compared to 11,708 for Roughriders. “Nodaks” had been one of the three finalists, but just missed out on passing Roughriders and being part of the final vote.

In a statement, University of North Dakota President Robert Kelley said, “We are pleased to be able to announce the selection of a new nickname — Fighting Hawks — and bring this process, in which so many people have participated, to a successful conclusion. We especially appreciate the two nickname committees who worked so hard during this past year to make this a transparent, inclusive process that led to a short list of potential nicknames. Now, the voters have spoken, and they have told us that Fighting Hawks should be that new nickname. This is an appropriate choice, as Fighting Hawks symbolizes the competitive spirit of our athletes, the perseverance of the North Dakota spirit, and the continual ascendancy of the University and the state.”

With all the controversy surrounding the old nickname, using "Fighting Hawks" probably won't stop "Fighitng Sioux" supporters from chanting it during games. We imagine an attempt at a FIGHT-ING HAWKS chant will lead to a vocal group of fans using SIOUX instead of HAWKS.

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Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!