Affiliation: Colby competes in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC). Founded in 1971, the conference includes 11 highly selective liberal arts colleges that are committed to academic excellence and believe that athletic excellence supports their educational missions.
Division: All varsity sports compete in NCAA Division III, with the exception of alpine and Nordic skiing, which compete in Division I.
About Colby Teams:
- 32 varsity teams
- 15 men’s
- 16 women’s
- 1 coed
- 9 club sports
About Colby Athletes:
- 682 varsity athletes
- 53% men
- 47% women
Facilities: The Harold Alfond Athletic Center is one of the finest college facilities in New England. The 197,064-square-foot complex includes a 25-yard by 25-meter pool, an ice hockey arena, a field house with indoor track and tennis courts, two basketball courts, squash courts, a weight-training and fitness center, an aerobics room, saunas, a climbing wall, and a training and physical therapy center. Outdoor facilities include a synthetic track, 50 acres of playing fields, 10 newly resurfaced tennis courts, cross-country running and skiing trails, Johnson Pond for ice skating in winter, and a lumberjack area for woodsmen’s team meets.
Mascot: If Bowdoin has the polar bear and the University of Maine has the black bear, why does our very own Colby have the white mule? Colby’s infamous mascot didn’t come about until 1923, when one outgoing and innovative young man by the name of Joseph Coburn Smith, published an editorial in the school newspaper. In that editorial, Smith, editor of the Echo and nephew of Louise Coburn, suggested that the Colby football team be symbolized by a “white mule.” They were to no longer appear as the “dark horse” of college athletics, since they so often upset predictions made by local sports writers.
After reading Smith’s article, a group of students located a white mule on a Kennebec farm and borrowed the animal for the Bates game on Armistice Day in 1923. Dressed in blue and grey, the mule was placed at the head of the band and student body as they marched onto the field.
Colby defeated Bates 9 to 6 that day with the help of its newfound mascot. The win was enough to make Joe Smith’s suggestion permanent. Today we are still the white mules and now you know why.
—Taken from The History of Colby College by Ernest Cummings Marriner, 1963
|1867||Baseball becomes the first varsity sport at Colby.|
|1892||The Colby-Bowdoin football rivalry, the third-longest rivalry in Division III history, begins.|
|1923||The white mule is adopted as the Colby mascot after Joseph Coburn Smith writes an Echo article proclaiming Colby to no longer be a dark horse but a white mule.|
|1936||The Women’s Athletic Association is formed to oversee the women’s intramural sports program.|
|1975||The women’s ice hockey team competes against Brown in the first-ever women’s intercollegiate varsity game.|