University of South Florida Herd of Thunder

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Herd of Thunder
School University of South Florida
Location Tampa, Florida
Conference The American
Founded 1999
Director Dr. Matthew McCutchen
Assistant Director Mr. Bryan Braue
Members 320
Fight song ""Golden Brahman March""
Uniform Black shoes and black pants. Green jacket with the "USF" athletics logo over the heart, gold sash and sleeve accents, and USF's "Iconic U" logo on the back. Black baseball hats with the "USF" athletics logo on the front and "HOT" on the back.
Website USF Herd of Thunder

The Herd of Thunder (often called H.O.T.) is the name for the athletic bands of the University of South Florida, which includes the show band, pep band, and marching band ensembles, although it is often used to refer simply to the Marching Band. The Herd of Thunder was founded in 1999, two years after USF fielded its first football team.[1]


The Herd of Thunder (H.O.T.) Marching Band at The University of South Florida first took the field in September 1999. With the addition of a football team in 1997, the marching band was a needed faction of USF and was implemented by then University President, Betty Castor. With the help of the Athletic Department, the USF Alumni Association, and the USF School of Music, the Herd of Thunder was born.

The First Year During the first year, the H.O.T. Marching Band was very eager to start traditions and try new things. Even though there had already been a USF Pep Band for decades (in basketball), an undertaking of this magnitude was much different. Three hundred uniforms were ordered and many new instruments were purchased. At the first day of Marching Band Camp, 140 students were in attendance, under the direction of Dr. Sid Haton. With their shiny new instruments, these students were prepared to learn the first drill sets of the USF Pre-game show. A Field Guard of 24 members rounded out the band. New members continued to join the H.O.T. every day, during this important growth period for the band. That first year began the tradition of the "Call" and “Running of the Bulls”, where the band ran from the tunnels of the stadium, "stampeding" onto the football field. By their first game, the H.O.T. had grown to over 200 members! Starting another tradition, their first show featured a Latin theme, including "La Copa de La Vida". Ironically, the sky thundered during the debut of the Herd of Thunder and the marching band was unable to march. However the rain couldn’t stop them, as they still performed from the stands.

Directors of The Herd of Thunder[edit]

  • 1999-2002 Dr. Donald Sidney "Sid" Haton (1963-2008)
  • 2002-2008 Dr. Michael C. "D-Rob" Robinson
  • 2008-2009 Mr. John "Schnetty" Schnettler (Interim)
  • 2009–Present Dr. Matthew "Cutch" McCutchen


The Herd of Thunder has established many traditions over the years while being a major contributor to the university community and the Tampa Bay area. The "Call of the Bulls" is a storied one among the trumpet section (formerly known as the "Scream Team") and band members, since most of them never forget running onto the field for the first time with the loud roars of the home crowd cheering them on. The Road Show and Post-game parade have also been staples in H.O.T.'s traditions.

"The Bull"' In 1999, HOT band member Keith Sanz was studying at the USF School of Music. He composed a short piece that the Marching Band uses to inspire spirit. This notable tune is "The Bull" chant. The band plays this on offensive 3rd downs or whenever the defense needs to make a stop. "The Bull" became a favorite of USF Bulls fans, who wave their Bulls hands in the air whenever this song is played.

South Florida School Songs[edit]

HOT sousaphones givin' the "GO BULLS!!!"

The Herd of Thunder performs several school spirit songs, including the Golden Brahman March (USF fight song), Alma Mater, "The Bull", and March Victorious.

Golden Brahman March (USF Fight Song)

U-S-F Bulls are we,
We hold our standard upright and free.
For Green and Gold we stand united.
Our beacon lighted and noble to see.
U-S-F Bulls are we,
For USF will always be.
With all our might we fight the battle
here and now, and we will win the victory!
(shout!) S-O-U-T-H F-L-O-R-I-D-A
South Florida, South Florida
Go Bulls!!!

USF Alma Mater

Hail to Thee, our Alma Mater
May thy name be told,
Where above thy gleaming splendor,
Waves the green and gold.
Thou our guide in quest for knowledge.
Where we all are free
University of South Florida,
Alma Mater, Hail to thee!
Be our guide in truth and wisdom
As we onward go,
May thy glory, fame and honor
Never cease to grow;
May our thoughts and prayers
be with thee through eternity,
University of South Florida,
Alma Mater, Hail to thee!

March Victorious

(fanfare#1) GO BULLS!!!
(fanfare#2) GO BULLS!!!
(fanfare#3) GO BULLS!!!


Herd of Thunder performing "The Bull" during Pre-game.

The University of South Florida pregame festivities begin with the Herd of Thunder luring tailgaters to the stadium with their parking lot concert ("Road Show"), where they play the Golden Brahman March, March Victorious, The Bull, and other tunes to pump up the last of the tailgaters. 15 minutes before game-time, the HOT trumpets perform the "Call of the Bulls", which begins the USF on-field pregame tradition.

When the trumpets hold their last note, the drumline begins the cadence to signal the entire band, cheerleaders, and Rocky the Bull to come "stampeding" onto the field. This format, gives the illusion of a small and modest performance before filling the field with USF pride and "blowing away" the audience each time. The Herd of Thunder then performs their version of "El Toro Caliente", the Golden Brahman March (USF Fight Song), March Victorious and the Alma Mater, before leading the stadium in the National Anthem. HOT retires from the field to "The Bull" which they play to each side of the stadium to begin the football team's stampede. After forming a tunnel in front of the entrance to the field, HOT again performs "The Bull", until the team comes running out, they then cut directly into the Fight Song.


HOT plays downs cheers on each offensive down to energize the crowd, in addition to stands tunes during timeouts and other opportune times. A notable tune which has been used as both a stands tune and a down cheer is Rage Against the Machine's Bulls on Parade. Wooly Bully also continues the Bulls theme, which concludes with a "Go BULLS!"

1st Down: 1st Down "Go Bulls"(March V. fanfare)

2nd Down: Random song

3rd Down: The Bull

Opposing teams 4th Down: Bulls on Parade(Rage Against the Machine)

N5021589 35562646 7107.jpgN5021589 35562644 6598.jpg Herd of Thunder performing in the Stands During the 2007 Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas HOTandRocky.JPGN5021589 31591156 3119.jpg "Rocky" usually gives HOT a visit in the 3rd quarter, Home AND Away. BOWL GAME 055 jpg.jpgN5021589 34667541 7495.jpg HOT Band has many away game appearances. These pics are at NC State and Auburn.


The Herd of Thunder performs several different halftime shows each year, and performs during each home game at Raymond James Stadium, select away games, bowl games, and other exhibitions. After halftime at Raymond James, the band has a chance to get the crowd pumped up for the 2nd half, when returning to their section.


The Herd of Thunder concludes each game with a playing of the USF Alma Mater and the Marching Band's own personal alma mater, "The Mission". This portion of the game is always conducted the Director of Athletic Bands. When leaving the stadium, the HOT Drum Line parades out of Raymond James, with fans following, and ending with a final parking lot concert.

2013 London New Year's Day Parade[edit]

On February 27, 2012, former Lord Mayor of Westminster Duncan Sandys visited the University of South Florida to formally present an invitation to the Herd of Thunder to participate in the 2013 London New Year's Day Parade. The band performed in a parade whose route extended through Piccadilly Circus, Regent Street, Trafalgar Square, and Whitehall; the street attendance was in excess of a half million people, and the worldwide television viewership was over 220 million.[2][3]



2013 Staff[edit]

HOT members shake hands with fellow students after halftime.
The Band Director shakes hand during a game
  • Dr. John C. Carmichael - USF Director of Bands
  • Dr. Matthew McCutchen - Associate Director of Bands & Director of Athletic Bands
  • Bryan Braue - Assistant Director of Athletic Bands
  • Jamie Dyer - Color Guard Director
  • Michael James - Color Guard Choreographer
  • Doug Moser - Percussion Director/Arranger
  • Joshua Blair - Graduate Assistant
  • Bruce Hermann - Graduate Assistant
  • Kevin von Kampen - Graduate Assistant
  • Jason Bombaugh - Academic Program Specialist & Office Administrator/HOT Webmaster
  • Stephen Alia - Drill Writer
  • Beau Edwardson - The Voice of the Herd of Thunder


External links[edit]