There’s an age-old question at Central that circulates among new and prospective students, community members and the general public – why in the world is Bronchos spelled with an “h?”
We all know that many other schools, who also happen to have Buddy-like mascots, spell their names without the alphabet’s magic eighth letter, so why do we? What is it about the “h” that makes it so special?
Our story begins in the roaring ’20s, in the days of Coach Charles W. Wantland, of Wantland Stadium fame, who served as coach and athletic director at Central from 1912 until 1931. In 1922, Coach Wantland created a letterman’s club for Central athletes, and the club needed a mascot.
Coach Wantland offered honorary membership to the person who came up with the name that fit the best for the club.
A member of the Central community, who we’ll get to later, suggested the name “Bronchos.”
The term “bronco” is first known to have been used in 1850, to describe a wild horse of North America. While today we use the plural spelling “broncos,” the world in 1922 frequently used the spelling “bronchos” – that’s with the “h,” people.
So who suggested we call ourselves the Bronchos?
Why Mrs. Mary Agnes Lindsey Wantland herself! That’s right – the lovely wife of Coach Wantland!
Coach Wantland liked his wife’s suggestion so much that he decided to roll with it, appointing the letterman’s club as “The Bronchos.” And he wasn’t the only one. The university president at the time, John G. Mitchell, also was fond of the name and approved it for use as the school’s mascot.
Mary Wantland, having chosen the winning name, earned a membership to the club, and remained the only female member of the letterman’s club for the majority of the university’s history.
Although the spelling has modernized over the years, Central maintained the “h” in its name to embrace the traditional spelling.
The next time you yell “Roll ‘Chos” to cheer on your fellow Bronchos, think of all the history behind one, little “h.” H yeah!