Marshall University has a long and unique history, but perhaps the most endearing custom of the institution rests in its furry friend, Marco, the school’s mascot. Initially nicknamed the ‘Big Green’, Marshall’s idea of a mascot did not come to fruition until Huntington sportswriter Duke Ridgley coined the phrase the ‘Thundering Herd’ in 1925. Later in the same year, football coach Charles ‘Trusty’ Tallman guided Marshall to its first win of the season. Headlines everywhere read ‘Trusty Tallman’s Thundering Herd.' The headlines, along with Zane Grey’s hit novel The Thundering Herd, popularized the term within the community. As such, Marshall needed a mascot that could thunder to victory and successfully lead a herd. Thus, the idea of a strong, determined buffalo was born.
Endicott, Katherine. The Definitive History of Marco: The Mascot of Marshall University. Huntington, W. Va.: Marshall Digital Scholar, 2014.