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Bringing the Fun, our college team mascots!

by Growth Brains 03 Jun 2024 0 Comments

Here's the detailed description and trivia for each of the listed team mascots:

Wisconsin Badgers - Bucky Badger

First Appearance: 1949

Trivia: Named after the state nickname "The Badger State," Bucky (short for Buckingham U. Badger) is known for his distinctive striped sweater and was originally depicted in a more aggressive, fight-oriented manner.

Utah Valley Wolverines - Willy the Wolverine

First Appearance: 1987

Trivia: Willy was named by the students and represents the fierce and resilient spirit of Utah Valley University.

Kennesaw State Owls - Scrappy the Owl

First Appearance: 2012

Trivia: Scrappy is known for his energetic performances and represents the wisdom and intelligence associated with owls.

UC Davis Aggies - Gunrock the Mustang

First Appearance: 1921

Trivia: Gunrock is named after an Army horse used in World War I and reflects the university's strong agricultural and equestrian programs.

Colorado Buffaloes - Ralphie the Buffalo

First Appearance: 1966

Trivia: Ralphie is a live buffalo that leads the football team onto the field at home games, one of the most iconic live mascots in college sports.

Cal State Long Beach - Prospector Pete

First Appearance: 1949 (retired in 2018)

Trivia: Inspired by the California Gold Rush, Prospector Pete was retired due to concerns about its historical connotations.

Oregon State Beavers - Benny Beaver

First Appearance: 1952

Trivia: Benny is beloved for his antics and is a staple at Oregon State athletic events, embodying the industrious nature of beavers.

BYU Cougars - Cosmo the Cougar

First Appearance: 1953

Trivia: Known for his athletic stunts and dance routines, Cosmo has a significant social media following and often performs with the cheer squad.

NC State Wolfpack - Tuffy

First Appearance: 2010 (live mascot)

Trivia: Tuffy represents the university’s wolfpack spirit and is often accompanied by a costumed version named Mr. and Mrs. Wuf.

UTSA Roadrunners - Rowdy the Roadrunner

First Appearance: 1977

Trivia: Rowdy embodies the spirit of the fast and agile roadrunner, the state bird of Texas, and is a constant presence at UTSA games.

Utah Utes - Swoop

First Appearance: 1996

Trivia: Swoop, a red-tailed hawk, represents the university’s connection with the Ute tribe, emphasizing speed and agility.

Colorado State Rams - CAM the Ram

First Appearance: 1946

Trivia: CAM stands for Colorado Agricultural and Mechanical, the former name of the university. CAM is a live ram that appears at games and events.

Missouri Tigers - Truman the Tiger

First Appearance: 1986

Trivia: Named after Missouri-born President Harry S. Truman, Truman the Tiger is known for his friendly demeanor and involvement in community service.

Iowa State Cyclones - Cy the Cardinal

First Appearance: 1954

Trivia: Despite the “Cyclones” nickname, a cardinal was chosen due to its visibility and color, and Cy is known for his spirited performances.

Florida Atlantic Owls - Owlsley the Owl

First Appearance: 2006

Trivia: Named after the university's owl mascot, Owlsley promotes school spirit and is a nod to the university's focus on environmental science.

Iowa Hawkeyes - Herky the Hawk

First Appearance: 1948

Trivia: Herky's name comes from the Greek hero Hercules, symbolizing strength and endurance, and is a central figure at Iowa sporting events.

Ohio Bobcats - Rufus the Bobcat

First Appearance: 1960

Trivia: Rufus is named after the bobcat species native to Ohio, known for his playful nature and involvement in university traditions.

Weber State Wildcats - Waldo the Wildcat

First Appearance: 1954

Trivia: Waldo is known for his energetic antics at games and embodies the fierce and competitive spirit of Weber State.

Utah State Aggies - Big Blue

First Appearance: 1987

Trivia: Big Blue is a blue bull and was chosen to represent the agricultural roots of Utah State University.

Clemson Tigers - The Tiger and The Cub

First Appearance: The Tiger (1954), The Cub (1993)

Trivia: The Tiger is known for doing push-ups equal to the number of points Clemson scores, and The Cub, introduced later, represents the future of Clemson athletics.

Georgia Southern Eagles - Gus the Eagle

First Appearance: 1980

Trivia: Named after the GSU acronym, Gus is a bald eagle, symbolizing freedom and spirit, central to Georgia Southern’s identity.

Kansas Jayhawks - Big Jay and Baby Jay

First Appearance: Big Jay (1965), Baby Jay (1971)

Trivia: The Jayhawk is a mythical bird, and both mascots represent different aspects of the Jayhawk spirit – Big Jay for strength and Baby Jay for youthfulness.

Boise State Broncos - Buster Bronco

First Appearance: 1974

Trivia: Buster Bronco, a brown bronco, embodies the tough, western spirit of Boise State and is a fan favorite at games.

Miami Ohio Redhawks - Swoop the RedHawk

First Appearance: 1997

Trivia: Swoop is a red hawk, emphasizing the fierce and competitive nature of Miami University’s teams.

Missouri State Bears - Boomer the Bear

First Appearance: 1980

Trivia: Boomer represents the strength and tenacity of the bear, central to Missouri State’s identity.

Oregon Ducks - The Duck

First Appearance: 1940s

Trivia: Modeled after Disney's Donald Duck due to a handshake agreement, The Duck is a beloved and quirky mascot known for his antics.

Mississippi State Bulldogs - Bully the Bulldog

First Appearance: 1935

Trivia: Bully is both a live and costumed mascot, with the live mascot attending games and the costumed version performing at events.

Kansas State Wildcats - Willie the Wildcat

First Appearance: 1947

Trivia: Willie is known for his signature “K-S-U” chant and has undergone various design changes over the years.

Memphis Tigers - TOM the Tiger

First Appearance: 1972

Trivia: TOM stands for “Tigers Of Memphis” and has been a live tiger mascot until recently when the tradition was retired for ethical reasons.

Western Michigan Broncos - Buster Bronco

First Appearance: 1988

Trivia: Buster Bronco is an energetic horse mascot that embodies the spirit and determination of Western Michigan University.

Montana State Bobcats - Champ

First Appearance: 1977

Trivia: Champ is known for his enthusiastic support at games and represents the strength and agility of the bobcat.

Eastern Michigan Eagles - Swoop

First Appearance: 1994

Trivia: Swoop is an American bald eagle, representing freedom and spirit, central to Eastern Michigan’s identity.

Vanderbilt Commodores - Mr. Commodore

First Appearance: 1960

Trivia: Mr. Commodore, also known as “Mr. C,” is a nod to the naval history of the university’s namesake, Cornelius Vanderbilt.

Southern Utah Thunderbirds - Thor the Thunderbird

First Appearance: 2010

Trivia: Thor represents the mythical thunderbird, symbolizing power and protection in Native American culture.

Idaho State Bengals - Benny the Bengal

First Appearance: 1962

Trivia: Benny is known for his vibrant energy and involvement in university and community events.

Wyoming Cowboys - Pistol Pete

First Appearance: 1917

Trivia: Pistol Pete is based on a real-life cowboy and lawman, Frank Eaton, and is a symbol of the rugged western heritage of Wyoming.

North Dakota State Bisons - Thundar

First Appearance: 1991

Trivia: Thundar embodies the power and majesty of the bison, central to North Dakota State’s athletic spirit.

Eastern Washington Eagles - Swoop

First Appearance: 1995

Trivia: Swoop, a bald eagle, represents the strength and freedom associated with Eastern Washington University.

Utah Tech Trailblazers - Brooks the Bison

First Appearance: 2022

Trivia: Brooks the Bison is named after the university’s trailblazing spirit and reflects the heritage of the American West.

TCU Horned Frogs - SuperFrog

First Appearance: 1979

Trivia: SuperFrog is based on the Texas horned lizard, and the name was chosen through a student competition. SuperFrog is known for his unique look and high-energy antics at games.

Dayton Flyers - Rudy Flyer

First Appearance: 1980

Trivia: Rudy Flyer embodies the aviation heritage of Dayton, Ohio, home of the Wright brothers, and often appears with aviation-themed gear.

South Dakota State Jackrabbits - Jack the Jackrabbit

First Appearance: 1971

Trivia: Jack is known for his agility and speed, representing the university’s mascot since the early 20th century, and is a key figure at SDSU events.

Central Missouri Mules - Mo the Mule

First Appearance: 1920s

Trivia: Mo the Mule represents strength and determination, reflecting the university’s agricultural heritage and the importance of mules in Missouri’s history.

Wayland Baptist Pioneers - Pioneer Pete

First Appearance: 1940s

Trivia: Pioneer Pete represents the pioneering spirit of the university’s founders and is a staple at athletic events.

Richmond Spiders - WebstUR

First Appearance: 2000

Trivia: WebstUR is named through a student contest and represents the unique and somewhat intimidating nature of spiders, promoting school spirit at Richmond.

Illinois Fighting Illini - Chief Illiniwek:

History and Retirement

Chief Illiniwek was the official mascot of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, representing the spirit of the university's athletic teams, the Fighting Illini. Introduced in 1926, the mascot performed at sports events in a portrayal inspired by Native American dance and regalia.

However, Chief Illiniwek was retired in 2007 due to increasing controversy and criticism over cultural appropriation and the misrepresentation of Native American traditions.

Central Michigan Chippewas - Chief Osceola:

History and Retirement

The Central Michigan Chippewas' former mascot was an Indian chief named "Chief Osceola," introduced in 1942. The mascot was a prominent figure at sports events, symbolizing the strength and pride of the university's athletic teams. However, due to growing sensitivity and the movement to eliminate Native American stereotypes, Central Michigan University retired Chief Osceola in 1989. This decision was made to honor and respect Native American cultures and to ensure the mascot did not perpetuate cultural inaccuracies or offend the Native American community.


Finally our friends at BYU-Idaho do not have a mascot for college sporting events. Unlike many universities, BYU-Idaho focuses on a variety of extracurricular activities and educational programs rather than competitive sports, as it transitioned to a four-year university with a broader educational mission that de-emphasizes intercollegiate athletics. From 1919 to 2000 The BYU-Idaho Ricks Viking mascot represented the athletic teams of Ricks College (now BYU-Idaho). The Viking mascot symbolized strength, bravery, and the pioneering spirit of the college's students and athletes. The Viking was a prominent figure at sports events and various campus activities, embodying school pride and community spirit.

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