The River Hawks Are Born
The University gathered 154 submissions from campus and city community members at meetings, but one idea came in a letter to then hockey coach Bruce Crowder. Chad Dooley, a member of the YougStar Club, suggested that the Hawks would be a good name for the school’s teams.
Looking to connect the idea to the Merrimack River, the committee added the River Hawks to a ballot with the other finalists: the Ospreys; the Raging Rapids; and the Lightning. The River Hawks had their first victory in the popular vote.
Brian Trainor ’80 (pictured) designed a new logo for the school and the River Hawks made their campus debut on May 6, 1994.
“The River Hawk has keen vision, sharp focus and a competitive spirit,” said Ralph Lawson, then president of the Friends of UMass Lowell Hockey, when introducing the mythical bird. “It soars to great heights, but never loses its connection to the river and land below.
Straddling both sides of the Merrimack River, UMass Lowell has for a century been a thriving educational and research center with strong ties to the river and to the industries that line its shores. For this institution, the River Hawk is a most fitting symbol.”
Dana Skinner, then associate athletic director, said that his staff were already coming up with ideas for the River Hawks and that the University would have a lot of fun with the new mascot. The fun hasn’t stopped since then.
The first River Hawks hatched at the Tulley Forum on Oct. 22, 1994. Twin birds- one blue, one red- took the ice as the River Hawks’ reign began.