Why the Minutemen?
Prior to the late 1960s and early 1970s Massachusetts athletic teams were known as the Redmen, and before that squads were named the Aggies.
In the spring of 1972, a group of American Indians from New York wrote a letter to the school's administration asking them if they were aware of "defamatory" connotations of the word Redmen and if they would curtail the use of the word. One portion of the letter referred to "undesirable racial connotations of the Redmen nickname."
The administration replied to this letter by asking all campus personnel and media to refrain from the use of the word Redmen as much as possible. The Student Senate resolved that the nickname connoted a stereotype of violence and savagery and created a "false picture of American history."
The nickname, which began being used by the University with the 1972-73 academic year, has a historical and patriotic relationship with Massachusetts. It is a name that is uniquely linked with the Commonwealth.
As women's athletic programs evolved on campus in the 1970s, those teams became known as the Minutewomen.
Massachusetts Minutemen is a word combination with eye and ear appeal. The combination lodges quickly in the mind and falls easily from the lips.
Thus the name: The Massachusetts Minutemen.