Broncos Athletics

School Colors, School Mascot, and School Song

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School Colors

 In 1891 red and white were chosen as the school colors. Forty years later, a rousing debate erupted between two priests, T.J. O'Connell class of 1892 and Patrick Foote, S.J., over the origins of that choice. What seems to be clear is that some teams wore red and white in the 1880s and that the student body petitioned for that combination of colors to be designated as the official school colors.

(from Serving the Intellect, Touching the Heart" by George Giacomini and Gerald McKevitt, S.J., Page 91)

But Why Red and White?

In a 1932 issue of the student newspaper "The Santa Clara", O'Connell suggests the colors honored the Sacred Heart. Foote replies that red and white were the colors of the Bear Flag of California and he "led the students of the pioneer college in California to adopt them." O'Connell counters, "I remember very clearly that in the meeting no mention whatever was made of the Bear Flag." Foot has the final word: "The colors were at first chosen for the teams merely because of their pleasing appearance."

Why Bucky?

Appearance Request | Tryouts | Follow Bucky

Santa Clara wasn’t always the home of the Broncos. In the early years, the Mission School was home turf of the Missionites. But that changed in the autumn of 1923, reports The Annals of Santa Clara, following on a brilliant proposal by Hubert Flynn, S.J., a beloved teacher at Santa Clara: “The bronco is a native western piece of dynamite” he said. “Not too large, it is true, but hard as nails, and always game to the core.” And so, soon after, Santa Clara became known as the Broncos.

Fast forward to the fall of 1976, sophomore Kim (Malley) Belotti ’79 cheered for sports like no other and sensed that the games needed some pepping up. The next basketball game day, she donned a costume she made at a theatre shop and assumed her new identity: Benny the Bronco – boundless enthusiast and booster of school pride and team spirit.

After Belotti had graduated, the embodiment of the bronco went on hiatus for a spell, but when the men’s basketball team made the NCAA tournament in 1995, Suzy (Pollack) Loftus ’96 took the costume out of mothballs and acquired, along with a mane, a new name: Bucky the Bronco.

Many graduates of Santa Clara have donned the costume over the years. Its look has changed with the times, most recently, to one fierce looking critter! Join us for a men’s or women’s basketball game where you can find Bucky in the Kidz Korner or on the sidelines cheering on his favorite team.

(Information above gathered from the Santa Clara Magazine, Bucky Bronco confidential.)

Why Broncos?

( from Serving the Intellect, Touching the Heart" by George Giacomini and Gerald McKevitt, S.J., Page 155)

"Wanted--a name for the varsity: Stanford has her Cardinals, California her Golden Bears, and Santa Clara may profit by their example."
"We have been dubbed the `Missionites' by some, others have seen fit to label us the `Prunepickers', and still others have stretched the imagination to call us `Friars,' `Missions,' `Padres,' and what not... To the winner Santa Clara will give a cash prize of five dollars."

-- Student report, "The Santa Clara" (student newspaper), Feb. 26, 1923

With this brief statement, Santa Clara announces a prize contest for all the students to obtain a suitable name for Santa Clara's athletic teams on gridiron, basketball court, diamond, and track. Up to this point teams representing the University have never had an official designation.

a few months later ...

The Rev. Hubert Flynn, S.J., professor of philosophy at Santa Clara, is credited with creating the name for the school on Nov. 5, 1923. After attending a rodeo, he wrote:

"The Bronco is a native westerner, a chunk of living dynamite, not very big but game to the core. He can kick and Oh boy how he can buck. If you turn him loose in an open field his speed outstrips the wind.

"The real Bronco is closely identified with the old Santa Clara Mission days of the Padres, when large herds of cattle roamed their lands and annual roundups were held. The Bronco's distinctive traits typify all we could wish for in an athletic organization."

-- 1951 Santa Clara University Football Media Brochure

and two days later the student newspaper exhorts --

( from Serving the Intellect, Touching the Heart" by George Giacomini and Gerald McKevitt, S.J., Page 155)

"The Bronco is a native Western piece of living dynamite, not any too large, it is true, but hard as nails and always game to the core... How about it, students? Let's adopt it."

-- Student appeal, "The Santa Clara", Nov. 7, 1923