Bold. Fierce. Majestic. Inspiring.

New team name. New Era. 
Same commitment to excellence.

“I’d be shaking in my boots if the team I was up against was called the Firebirds.”
— Grace Gattorna ’22

Carthage College adopted the team name Carthage Firebirds in February 2021, after a 18-month search in which the College received extensive input from students, faculty, staff, and alumni across the country.”

“We set out to find a team name that represents modern-day Carthage in an inclusive and dynamic way, and this search led us to a name that fits on so many levels,” said Jeff Hamar ’80, chair of the Carthage College Board of Trustees. “I know I speak for many Carthaginians in saying I’m proud to be a Firebird.”

A Carthage football player stands on Art Keller Field during the Homecoming football game, Oct. 1...


“ ‘Firebirds’ has good cheering potential, and promotes a fierce and radiant competitive spirit.”
Emily Roubik ’23

A legendary creature made of living fire or light, the firebird appears most prominently in Slavic folk tales. Its mythological ancestors, from the Greek phoenix to the Chinese fenghuang, can be traced back thousands of years. In surveys, Carthaginians endorsing the name described it as “bold,” “fierce,” “uncommon,” “majestic,” and “inspiring.”

“The image we want to portray, as a program, is that we will always fight. We may get beat from time to time, but we will always get up to fight again,” said Brady Lindsley ’95, head coach for the men’s and women’s tennis teams. “To me, that’s exactly what a Firebird is: rising from the ashes, unable to be held down.”

Many Carthaginians note the firebird’s ties to the flames in the Carthage seal and logo — which represent the torch of knowledge — as well as the College’s primary color, red. Fans also draw parallels between the radiant beauty of the legendary bird and the natural elegance of our campus, an 80-acre arboretum along Lake Michigan.

“It’s been wonderful to see the excitement that this process has ignited throughout the Carthage community,” said Carthage President John Swallow. “The new name captures Carthage’s bold history and imagery, as well as its rising trajectory and visibility.”

More than one-third of Carthage’s full-time undergraduate students compete in 28 varsity sports. Carthage launched its newest varsity sport, esports, in Fall 2021.

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VIDEO: Majestic and powerful…