‘Hail Adrian!’ voted best fight song in NCAA Division III

Bulldogs of all types are very dedicated to their families — especially Adrian College’s Bulldogs. When recently called on to support their college fight song, Adrian College’s students and alumni responded. The Bulldogs quickly recorded more than enough votes on D3Playbook’s Twitter account to make their fight song No. 1 in the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Division III.

Adrian College’s “Hail Adrian!” rose to the top of the 32-school D3 Fight Song Madness bracket and was the winner over Heidelberg University’s “Victory March” by a margin of 55-45 percent in the finals, with almost 1,100 votes tallied.

The story behind Adrian College’s current fight song began in the fall of 1988 when Darin McNabb, Class of ’89, went to his band instructor and asked if he could write a new one. He was given the green light and the new song was a hit and played for the next couple of seasons before getting shelved. 

In 2007, McNabb heard the Bulldogs were creating a new marching band and asked the band director, Dr. Marty Marks, if he could rework his old fight song and create an updated version they could play. The idea was taken to Adrian College President Jeffrey Docking and he gave the go-ahead to update the song. Just a couple of months later, the marching band was proudly playing “Hail Adrian!”

McNabb said his inspiration for the song came from “The 40 Greatest College Fight Songs,” recorded by the University of Michigan marching band.

“If one listens closely to my new Adrian fight song, they can hear musical references to the fight songs of Northwestern, Wisconsin, Michigan State and the University of Michigan,” McNabb wrote in a 2008 Adrian College alumni magazine. “Yet, Hail Adrian! Is written to sound uniquely its own.”

McNabb went on to explain in the story that he wanted the words of the song to be non-gender and non-sport specific.

“I also wanted to promote a positive up-beat message that included references to school pride, school colors, a supportive crowd, and the Bulldog mascot,” he said in the article. “Finally, I wanted to be sure to include the words “heroes,” “champions,” and “victory,” to convey the concepts of excellence, pride and success, concepts I think Adrian College has always strived to instill in its graduates.

“I am so proud to know that my music will help create that great atmosphere found only at collegiate athletic events for many years to come,” McNabb said.

Hail Adrian!

Hail, hail to Adrian —

The home of the Black and the Gold!

Cheer, cheer for Adrian — 

Lift high your voices, proud and bold,

“Go, Dawgs, Go!”

Fight, fight for Adrian — 

And champions again we will be!

Our heroes will score,

and the crowd will roar,

“Another Bulldog victory!”