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Arkansas State Red Wolves
University Arkansas State University
Conference Sun Belt Conference
NCAA Division I
Athletics director Dean Lee
Location Jonesboro, AR
Varsity teams 12
Football stadium ASU Stadium
Basketball arena Convocation Center
Mascot Howl (formerly The Indian Tribe, Jumping Joe, Running Joe, and Red)
Nickname Red Wolves (formerly Indians until 2008)
Fight song
Colors Scarlet and Black



The Arkansas State University Red Wolves (known as the Indians until Fall 2008) is the name given to Arkansas State University's athletic teams. The university is affiliated with the Sun Belt Conference in sports and maintains NCAA Division I status.



Arkansas State was a member of the Southland Conference from 1964-1986. ASU then became independent until joining the Big West Conference in 1993, remaining until 1995. The school rejoined the Big West Conference for two years (1999-2000) before joining the Sun Belt Conference in 2001.[1]



Indians (1931-2008)

The school's sports teams were nicknamed "Indians" in honor of the Osage Nation that inhabited the area until the 1800s.[2][3] The name “Indians” officially became the school’s athletic nickname in 1931 following “Aggies” in 1911 (sometimes called “Farmers”), “Gorillas” in 1925, and then “Warriors” in 1930.[4]

Arkansas State officially retired the Indian mascot on February 28, 2008 during the last home basketball game of the season. The school retained the Indians nickname for the remainder of the 2007-08 school year.

Red Wolves

On January 31, 2008, Arkansas State University’s Mascot Selection Steering Committee decided to use the Wolves as a mascot.[5] The Red Wolves was officially approved by the NCAA on March 7, 2008.[6] The unveiling ceremony for the new Red Wolves logo was held on March 13, 2008. The University planned on doing a slow phase out of the Indian imagery on the Arkansas State University campus. According to the Athletic Director Dr. Dean Lee, the Indian imagery will be phased out by importance, meaning the most visible sports will have the Red Wolves imagery first.


Arkansas State first fielded a football team in 1911. Since then, the team has compiled six conference championships, and one small college (now Division II) football championship. The team was briefly discontinued during the First and Second World Wars. In 1953, the Indians moved from the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), where they competed at the small college level. In 1975, they were promoted to NCAA Division I, and Arkansas State briefly played at the I-A level, from 1978 to 1981. From 1982 to 1991, the Indians competed at the Division I-AA level, before again being promoted to I-A, which is now known as Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS).

An Arkansas State football player wearing his home uniform.

In 1970, as a member of the Southland Conference, Arkansas State was crowned the NCAA small college football national champion after they defeated Central Missouri State University to complete an 11-0 season. It was the Indians third consecutive bowl appearance. In 1975, the team's first year at the Division I level, Arkansas State recorded an 11-0 season, as one of only two undefeated teams. As a member of the Southland Conference, Arkansas State did not receive an automatic bowl game bid, and was not selected for post-season play. The Independence Bowl in Shreveport, Louisiana was created as a direct result of the snub. In the 1980s, Arkansas State made four appearances in the Division I-AA (now Division I FCS), including a loss in the 1986 championship final.

During the 2005 football season, Arkansas State finished the regular season as Sun Belt Conference champions with a 6–5 record and played in the New Orleans Bowl. The Indians lost to Southern Mississippi.[7]


Arkansas State shares an in-state rivalry with the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Trojans (UALR). In recent years, the basketball series has gone in favor of Arkansas State with ASU winning five of the past six games (updated 2007-2008 season). The ASU - UALR series has become one of the more intense rivalries in the Sunbelt Conference. The schools play each other twice per year, splitting the series between Little Rock and Jonesboro.

In 1987, Arkansas State University received a bid to play in the National Invitation Tournament. The first game was against the University of Arkansas and was played in Barnhill Arena in Fayetteville, Arkansas. While the Indians led for the majority of the game, the Razorbacks rallied from a 20 point half-time deficit and won in overtime. The game marks the only meeting between the two universities in men's basketball. In 1999, ASU went to the NCAA Tournament for the first time, losing to Utah in the first round.

In the 2006-2007 season, ASU won the Sun Belt West Division Championship, finishing just ahead of the University of Louisiana at Monroe. The Indians went on to lose to the North Texas Mean Green in the finals of the SBC Conference Tournament. After an (18-15) season and a finals appearance in the Sunbelt Conference Tournament, ASU tumbled to (10-20) the next season. One of the worst performances in school history, this record was a huge contributing factor in head basketball coach Dickie Nutt's resignation. ASU then began a month-long search for a new basketball coach.

On March 19, 2008, Arkansas State named John Brady as the university's 15th head basketball coach. Brady had coached at Louisiana State University of the SEC, taking the Tigers to the Final Four of the NCAA Basketball Tournament in 2006. Brady will be the only head basketball coach in the Sun Belt Conference with Final Four experience.


Under head coach Keith Kessinger, ASU's baseball team usually finished in the middle of the pack in the SBC. ASU has claimed several victories over major teams in the last few years, including wins over the University of Mississippi, University of Kentucky, and Michigan State University. Arkansas State University director of athletics Dr. Dean Lee announced on July 1, 2008 that Tommy Raffo had been named head coach of the Red Wolves baseball team. Raffo was hired from Mississippi State after the controversial retirement of Ron Polk at MSU.

Fight song

On, On, On to victory
Brave team you're second to none
Let's make this game history
along with the others we've won
with all your might
so that the world may see that
RED W-O-L-V-E-S means Victory! Go stAte! Originally written and composed by George L."Pop" Hodge, of Marked Tree in 1960 but rewritten in 2007 when the Indians became the Red Wolves. The original song still doubles as the Fight Song for the Marked Tree Indians.

Notable sports figures


  1. ^ "Arkansas State Historical". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved 2008-03-10.  
  2. ^ "NCAA May Force ASU To Drop Indian Mascot".  
  3. ^ "NCAA won't allow Indian mascots at playoff games". Noble Savage Media. Retrieved 2007-10-17.  
  4. ^ "Mascot Retirement".  
  5. ^ "Mascot Selection Steering Committee votes to recommend ‘Wolves’ as next ASU mascot". Arkansas State Athletics. 2008-01-31.  
  6. ^ Rued, Monika (2008-03-07). "Arkansas State Goes With Red Wolves". Associated Press. TodaysTHV. Retrieved 2008-03-07.  
  7. ^


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