USC's nickname, "Trojans," originated in 1912.
Up to that time, teams from USC were called the Methodists or Wesleyans and neither nickname was looked upon with favor by university officials. Athletic Director Warren Bovard, son of university president Dr. George Bovard, asked Los Angeles Times sports editor Owen Bird to select an appropriate nickname.
"At this time, the athletes and coaches of the university were under terrific handicaps," Bird recalled. "They were facing teams that were bigger and better-equipped, yet they had splendid fighting spirit. The name 'Trojans' fitted them.
"I came out with an article prior to a showdown between USC and Stanford in which I called attention to the fighting spirit of USC athletes and named them 'Trojan' all the time, and it stuck.
"The term 'Trojan' as applied to USC means to me that no matter what the situation, what the odds or what the conditions, the competition must be carried on to the end and those who strive must give all they have and never be weary in doing so."