Fans of Virginia Tech athletics have referred to the teams by the nickname Fighting Gobblers since the early 20th century. According to the Virginia Tech university relations, the name originated in 1909, when football coach Branch Bocock initiated his players into the "Gobbler Club", a name which appeared in print that same year. Another popular legend regarding the origin of the "Gobblers" moniker refers to when the university was a military college known as the Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College (VAMC). As future military officers and gentlemen, cadets were not allowed to look at their plates as they ate. To do so was termed "gobbling" your food and was a cause for punishment. Athletes were given increased portions of food and in consideration of the limited meal time, were allowed to "gobble" their meals. Because of this, the sports teams for VAMC became known as "The Gobblers". The 1909 football team was the first team to be referred to in print as the "Gobblers", and it became the official nickname in 1912.