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NH Mascots: Wild E. Cat and Gnarlz
Nickname: Wildcats ('Cats)
Why is the UNH mascot a Wildcat?
The Wildcat was voted in as the official college mascot in February 4, 1926.
The Durham Bulls - a name given to the varsity hockey team by the media was a close runner up, but the Wildcat won it in the final count. Huskies, eagles and even a unicorn were among the entrants; but when the votes were tallied on February 4, 1926,
The N. H. Club went on record in The New Hampshire prior to the election as favoring the wildcat for these reasons.
1. The wildcat is small and aggressive -- like New Hampshire.
2. The actions of the wildcat are more symbolic of a New Hampshire team on the field than those of the sluggish bull.
3. The actual mascot, if a wildcat, could be more easily transported from place to place than a bull.
Wildcats are said to be the most vicious of all animals in North America. When matured, wildcats are said to be eight times stronger than a human of the same weight. Thus, a wildcat image perceives that the speed, litheness, cunning and resourcefulness of the wildcat were attributed to be found in the UNH athletic teams.
LIVE MASCOTS AT UNH
The first live mascot of the University was "Mazie," a cat who was captured by a farmer in Meredith, New Hampshire. Maizie made her first appearance at the 1927 Homecoming game, and died in 1929.
Bozo or Skippy 1932-1933
The second wildcat, originally named Bozo, was purchased from Benson's Animal Farm in 1932. The students agreed to rename the cat for the first player to score a touchdown for NH. That honor went to Robert Haphey '35 and the cat was called by his nickname, "Skippy". Skippy disappeared in the spring of 1933 and the students never discovered what happened to him.
Butch I 1934
The third wildcat was purchased in 1934, and was to be named for the first New Hampshire player to score in the historical football game against Maine. Charles scored the first touchdown, but Henry kicked the first field goal; neither name was chosen and the cat was named "Butch Watson." Butch Watson lived behind the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity house in a cage and was the only mascot to be stolen by a rival school. Butch Watson was stolen in 1939, a week before a football game against Harvard and just after the Wildcats beat Tufts. There were no claims of responsibility, but the cat was found in a garage in Woburn, Massachusetts with "HARVARD 60, N.H. 0," written on the top of the cage.
Butch Watson II
Butch Watson II was the fourth mascot and was purchased in 1940, but lived only a week.
Owned by a local resident of Rochester, NH, the wildcat was on display by a hand held leash at all home games and was reported to be house broken by its owner Jackson Chick. Fudge was only caged during meals and at night when sleeping according to Mr. Chick.
UNH's FIRST COSTUMED MASCOT
The first official Wildcat costume made its debut at a Dartmouth football game in the fall of 1968. The appearance of the mascot was a complete surprise to almost everyone, including the players and cheerleaders. The idea of a mascot was conjured by the Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity during a discussion of service projects for the University and Andy Mooradian, UNH athletic director, responded enthusiastically. The fraternity guaranteed to fill the costume for all the football, basketball and hockey games. Bob St. Cyr, a senior zoology major from Manchester, wore the costume for all football games. According the St. Cyr, the purpose of the mascot is to "keep up the spirit of the team, cheerleaders, and fans."
THE INTRODUCTION OF WILD E. CAT
In 2000, the athletic department created a new wildcat logo to represent the varsity teams. At this same time they also commissioned a friendlier mascot, called Wild E. Cat, for use with the children's programs. A 6-foot wildcat costume was then designed from the logo. This costume was used until 2010 when a new Wild E. Cat made his first appearance.
In 2010 a new Wild E. Cat was unveiled. UNH's Associate Athletic Director of Marketing & Communications, Amber Radzevich, described the new Wild. E Cat as "more athletic looking so our Wildcat can appear to be a bit more competitive, yet still have that kid-friendly appeal.” The new makeover compliments Gnarlz's look, and the two Wildcats make a great team at UNH Athletic events.
THERE'S A NEW 'CAT IN TOWN: GNARLZ
In 2008 a more athletic, muscular looking character was created. The name Gnarlz - pronounced "Narlz" - was selected from more than 50 suggestions received by the athletic department via a web poll. The new 'Cat made its first appearance during the September 20, 2008 football game. Gnarlz is intended to be a more "student-friendly" mascot.
See below for a story about Gnarlz's
A New Cat in Town
By Jody Record, UNH Media Relations
September 24, 2008
Meet Gnarlz, UNH's newest mascot.
The cool cat made his first appearance during Saturday's football game against Albany along with the university's mainstay mascot, Wild E. Cat. Gnarlz has a more athletic physique than Wild E. and will help pump-up UNH students and fans at many Wildcat events this fall.
The idea of adding another team mascot grew from the number of appearance requests that Wild E. Cat receives each year. At first, the intent was to use the same costume design. But further discussions led to creating a more student-friendly look.
Several designs were considered before settling on an athletic, muscular looking character. A grant from the Parents' Association funded the new costume. The name Gnarlz - pronounced "narlz" -- was selected from the more than 50 suggestions received by the athletic department in a Web poll conducted in August.
"Gnarlz is a great addition to UNH because he brings a more athletic and competitive appearance to our events," says Amber Radzevich, assistant athletic director for marketing and communication. "He has been very well received across campus. It's clear that the students are proud of the new look and think he represents what Wildcat pride is all about."