Colonels Primary Logo
The Nicholls State Colonels are an NCAA Division I team that has existed since the early 1970s. The school is in Thibodaux, Louisiana, and competes in the Southland Conference. While many may not know much about this small school, they have a unique nickname with fascinating origins.
The nickname "Colonels" was adopted by Nicholls State University in 1972 when it first became a member of the NCAA's Division I-A level of competition. It was chosen to honor two prominent figures from Louisiana: Colonel William Caffery and Colonel Alfred Mouton, who served as leaders during America's Civil War period (1861-1865). Both men were born into families with strong ties to France, so their French ancestry was also considered when selecting this name for the university’s athletic teams.
The mascot for Nicholls State University is known as “Colonel Tillou” or simply “Tillou,” which pays homage to one of these two colonels mentioned above—William Caffery—who had his plantation near Thibodaux where he grew sugarcane and other crops on land given to him by his father-in-law Jean Baptiste Baudoin dit Tillou (hence why he is referred to as ‘Tillou').
So while some may think that having such a unique name might be strange or even intimidating at times, it does pay tribute to those who fought bravely during America's Civil War over 150 years ago! As sports fans, we should all appreciate how special names like these can be when representing our favorite teams! Go, Colonels!
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2009 - Present
A letter “N” in red with white and black trim and a black and white sword through it.
2005 - 2009
A letter “N” in red with white and grey trim and a grey and white sword through it.
1980 - 2005
A blue, red, and white sword integrated with the letter “N” in red with white and blue trim.