Marshall's sports teams are known as the Thundering Herd
; the school's mascot is an American Bison (buffalo). The school colors are green and white. Marshall participates in NCAA Division I (I-A for football)
as a member of the Mid-American Conference (MAC), but
will join Conference USA in 2005.Marshall's most prominent program in recent decades has been its football program. In the years after the 1970 crash, Marshall
built its football program into one of the most powerful in Division I-AA. Its stay in Division I-AA ended in 1996 with an undefeated national championship season.The following year (1997), Marshall rejoined the MAC. The Herd proceeded to win the
conference's football championship that season, behind an explosive offense led by quarterbacks Chad Pennington (now the New York Jets'
starter), Byron Leftwich (now the Jacksonville Jaguars' starter) and receiver Randy
Moss (now a superstar with the Oakland Raiders). In 1998, Moss had departed for the NFL, but Pennington was still at Marshall, leading the Herd to
another MAC title and an unbeaten season. By 2000, Marshall extended its string of MAC
titles to four. The Herd lost in the MAC championship game in 2001, but won the conference
title again in 2002.In 2003, Marshall renamed its football stadium Joan C. Edwards Stadium, honoring a major donor to the university and its athletic program.
The facility became the first football stadium in Division I-A to be named after a woman.