|Northwestern State Demons|
|University||Northwestern State University|
|Athletics director||Greg Burke|
|Football stadium||Harry Turpin Stadium|
|Basketball arena||Prather Coliseum|
|Baseball stadium||Brown-Stroud Field|
|Mascot||Vic the Demon|
|Colors|| Purple and White
The Northwestern State University athletic teams go by the Demons, with women's athletic teams generally called the Lady Demons, and its mascot is Vic the Demon. The school competes in the Southland Conference.
"Fork 'em" is a hand gesture and slogan used by students at Northwestern State University in their celebration of sports teams. The gesture is performed by curling the ring and middle fingers under the thumb against the palm, and extending the pinky and index fingers – identical in fashion to the University of Texas "Hook 'em Horns" gesture.
On March 17, 2006, NSU's 14th-seeded basketball team shocked the college basketball world by defeating 3rd-seeded, 11th-ranked, Big Ten Conference tournament champion Iowa in the first round of the 2006 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament on a late three-pointer by Jermaine Wallace. NSU was the lowest-seeded team to advance to the second round in 2006. NSU's men's basketball team also won the inaugural play-in game, beating the Winthrop University Eagles 71-67 in 2001 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament to advance to the 16th-seeded spot. In doing so, the Demons became the first #16 seed to earn a victory in the NCAA Tournament .
Prominent athletic alumni include former New Orleans Saints quarterback Bobby Hebert, St. Louis Cardinals and Dallas Cowboys tight end Jackie Smith, Miami Dolphins wide receiver Mark Duper, former Kansas City Chiefs running back Joe Delaney, University of Southern California defensive line coach Ed Orgeron, John Stephens, former Houston Oilers wide receiver Charlie Hennigan, current Buffalo Bills cornerback and Pro Bowl kickoff returner Terrence McGee, U.S. Olympians LaMark Carter and Kenta Bell, Junior Olympian Latrell Frederick, former Chilean High Jump record holder Felipe Apablaza and Major League Baseball pitcher Brian Lawrence. Former Major League relief pitcher Lee Smith is a former Demon, having played basketball at Northwestern. Smith held the major league record for career saves from 1993-2006. The NSU athletic offices are housed in the George Doherty Wing, named for George Doherty (1920-1987), a former head football coach of the Demons.
NSU also has the distinction of being the only NCAA division IAA/FCS member to have 2 NFL rookies of the year. In 1981, Delaney, running back for the Kansas City Chiefs, was awarded the AFC Rookie of the year by UPI. In 1988, Stephens, another former Demon running back, of the New England Patriots, was named Offensive\AFC Rookie of the year. No other 4 year institution in the state of Louisiana has more than 1. The pair of awards is more than won by Ohio State, Texas & AM and UCLA.
Each season, Stephen F. Austin State University of Nacogdoches, Texas and Northwestern State play for the country's largest football trophy. In 1961, longtime rivals SFA and Northwestern State decided to award the winner of the game a trophy, the game was won by Northwestern State University. According to the stipulations of that particular match, the loser would have to present the winner with a tree chopped down from a nearby forest.
In March 1962, the Lumberjacks of SFA in Nacogdoches, Texas, presented NSU with a black gum tree trunk from the SFA campus from which a statue was to be carved. The black gum tree weighed over a ton and was thirty inches in diameter. An Indian statue, Chief Caddo, was chosen because of the historic founding of Natchitoches, Louisiana and Nacogdoches, Texas by Indian tribes. Natchitoches means chinquapin eaters and Nacogdoches means persimmon eaters. It was carved by Harold Greene in Logansport and required over 200 hours of labor. The name “Chief Indian Caddo” was selected in honor of the ancient federation of Caddo Indian tribes, which once inhabited the northern Louisiana area. The final painting of the statue was done at Northwestern. The finished product stands around 7.6 feet tall and weighs about 320 pounds. The first game for Chief Caddo was September 15, 1962. Northwestern won 23-6. Tradition has it that the winner of the annual NSU and SFA football game keeps Chief Caddo on their respective campus. Currently, Chief Caddo is the largest college football trophy in the nation.
After the November 22, 2009 meeting of the two teams, Chief Caddo resides at Stephen F. Austin State University. The final score was 19 - 10, SFA.
Go ye Demons take the field.
Northwestern Demons never yield.
Fight Demons win tonight,
Victory is on our side!
Go! Fight! Win! (line inserted after 1970)
Purple and White shall ever reign,
Filling the air with battle strain.
So, Demons forever stand,
And fight for dear old Demonland!
Lyrics by Larry D. Powell, MD
- Northwestern State University
- University of Louisiana System
- The Current Sauce
- NSU Student Handbook
- Cane River National Heritage Area, a National Park Service Discover Our Shared Heritage Travel Itinerary