How did the Razorbacks get their name?
The wild razorback hogs that roamed the Arkansas countryside in the early 1900s bore only slight resemblance to the typical farm-grown pigs commonly found at a county fair. The untamed razorback hogs were lean, ill-tempered beasts that commonly fought, and defeated, whatever crossed their path.
Hugo Bezdek, the first Arkansas coach hired by the school and not the students, apparently was familiar with these animals, for Bezdek is credited with sparking the change of Arkansas’ mascot from the Cardinals to the Razorbacks. After beating the LSU Tigers 16-0 in 1909, a crowd of students and other fans gathered at the train station to welcome their team home. Bezdek delivered an impromptu speech, telling the crowd that the team had played “like a wild band of razorback hogs” in the victory over LSU.
Bezdek’s spark turned into a flame. The name was an instant hit among the student body, which voted in 1910 to change the school’s official mascot from the Cardinals to the Razorbacks one of the most unique mascots in all of college athletics.