Northwestern State Demons and Lady Demons
|Northwestern State Demons|
|University||Northwestern State University|
|Athletic director||Greg Burke|
|Football stadium||Harry Turpin Stadium|
|Basketball arena||Prather Coliseum|
|Baseball stadium||H. Alvin Brown–C. C. Stroud Field|
|Softball stadium||Lady Demon Diamond|
|Soccer stadium||Lady Demon Soccer Complex|
|Other arenas||Jack Fisher Tennis Complex
Walter P. Ledet Track Complex
|Mascot||Vic the Demon|
|Colors||Purple, White, and Orange
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. Once a member of the SIAA conference, the school now 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.
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 one. The pair of awards is more than won by Ohio State, Texas A&M and UCLA.
Northwestern State sponsors 12 varsity athletic teams, 5 men's teams and 7 women's teams.
Battle for Chief Caddo
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.
Notable alumni and faculty
- Kenta Bell, U.S. Olympian
- LaMark Carter, U.S. Olympian
- Joe Delaney, former Kansas City Chiefs running back
- George Doherty, former head football coach of the Demons and NSU athletic offices are housed in the George Doherty Wing
- Mark Duper, Miami Dolphins wide receiver
- Bobby Hebert, former New Orleans Saints quarterback
- Charlie Hennigan, former Houston Oilers wide receiver
- Jeremy Lane, current Seattle Seahawks cornerback
- Brian Lawrence, MLB pitcher
- Terrence McGee, current Buffalo Bills cornerback and Pro Bowl kickoff returner
- Ed Orgeron, USC Trojans football interim coach (2013)
- Don Shows, Demons offensive line coach in 1988 season, won conference championship; later at West Monroe High School from 1989 to 2012, fourth winningest coach in Louisiana state high school football history
- Jackie Smith, St. Louis Cardinals and Dallas Cowboys tight end
- Lee Smith, former Major League relief pitcher (played basketball at Northwestern)
- John Stephens, University of Southern California defensive line coach