Terrapin is an Algonquian word for a turtle that lives in fresh or brackish waters. Because of the University of Maryland's close proximity to lands that have historically belonged to the Algonquain peoples, the school decided it'd be fitting to call the various sports teams that compete for it the Terrapins. The name was coined in 1932 by Dr. Harry "Curley" Byrd, then the university's football coach and eventually its president. Prior to the Terrapins, the Maryland teams were called the Old Liners, a reference to the state's moniker, "The Old Line State." The teams play in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I.
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