With March Madness approaching, the nation is buzzing about college sports teams. There are some common college mascots, like tigers and bears. However there are some that are very unique—like one-of-a-kind unique.
If you’re moving for college, or moving to a college town, you might be interested in the schools around you. As we learn about schools all over the country, here are the top 10 most unusual college mascots we have encountered. Be prepared, there some weird mascots out there. Be sure you are comfortable cheering on the mascot, like “Go Salukis!” (the mascot of Southern Illinois University in Carbondale) before moving there for college.
Top 10 Most Unusual College Mascots
Webster University – Gorloks
This golden fur-covered mythical creature was designed by students in a contest and is named after the two streets that intersect on campus, Gore and Lockwood Avenues.
Scottsdale Community College – Fighting Artichokes
When it comes to weird college mascots, this one takes the cake. The story goes that when the students were asked to name their mascots, they decided to show their contempt with the school overfunding the athletic department. The three choices they voted on? The Rutabagas, the Scoundrels and the Artichokes. And Artichokes won. Now at games, students yell “Go Chokes!”
Campbell University – Gaylord the Camel
Campbell used to be the hornets. In 1900, after a fire destroyed buildings on campus, someone tried to perk up school founder James Archibald Campbell by saying, “Your name’s Campbell; then get a hump on you! We’ve got work to do!” This statement was misheard as “Your name’s camel” and it stuck! Students loving cheering on the Fighting Camels at games.
Rhode Island College – Anchormen
For me, Anchormen brings to mind a mustached Ron Burgundy, but these Anchormen are just sailors. They are named after Rhode Island’s nickname of the Ocean State. This is truly one of the most unusual college mascots.
Western Kentucky University – Big Red
This fuzzy red blob looks more like a character from Sesame Street than a college mascot. Big Red was created in honor of the nickname of students. Students are called Hilltoppers because the school resides on a hill. Big Red’s head looks like a big, red hill.
Evergreen State College – Geoducks
Pronounced “gooey duck,” this mascot is not a waterfowl, but a mollusk! Their mascot was chosen for this unique animal, much like a giant snail, that is native to the Pacific Northwest.
Trinity College – Trolls
There are three anecdotes for why Trinity College sports the Troll mascot. One is that the students combined Trinity College Students to form Trolls. Another is that the president scoured the dictionary for a noun beginning with “tr” go to with Trinity and found trolls. The third says that there have been troll sightings under a bridge near to campus. Either way, today the troll is a friendly-looking blue troll.
University of California: Santa Cruz – Sammy the Banana Slug
When the time came to choose a mascot, students wanted their mascot to project their low-key approach to athletics where everyone can play. They chose the banana slug, a small insect that lives on the floor of the redwood forests. This may be a crazy college mascot, but it gives this university a distinct identity.
University of Arkansas: Monticello – Boll Weevils
The boll weevil is a teeny tiny bug. However, when they travel in hoards, they can easily destroy entire cotton fields (like those surrounding this south Arkansas school). In 1925, when school President Frank Horsfall gave the school its mascot, he said the boll weevil was “the only thing tough enough to truly lick the South.” So UAM adopted this little bug to be their mascot.
Mary Baldwin College – Gladys the Fighting Squirrel
The squirrel was the centerpiece of school founder Mary Julia Baldwin’s family crest. The image wedged its way into school history and today the squirrel symbolizes industriousness and preparation for the future for the school. Gladys shows up to lots of school events, bushy tail and all!
Does your school have an unusual mascot? Share it with us! We would love to hear from you. Just leave a comment below.