After going without a nickname for several years, it was decided that a nickname would be a valuable addition to the athletic program in 1928. For a short time that season, the nickname "Farmers" was used. That was changed to "Mudhens" when the football team won three games played in mud and rain.
A more appropriate name for all sports teams was needed. On December 28, 1928, the nickname "Terriers" was adopted. The name came about when coach Herb Matthews, speaking at an all-sports banquet, described Hiram athletics as "a little bull terrier that holds on until the end." He paused, then proclaimed, "No name would seem more appropriate to me than just the Terriers."