With the number of submissions surpassing 600 and the deadline fast approaching, the mascot search at William & Mary got a bit of national exposure Tuesday.
William & Mary Athletic Director Terry Driscoll, who is chair of the College’s mascot search committee, appeared Tuesday morning on ESPN2’s “First Take” show. Driscoll spoke with hosts Jay Crawford and former Tribe football coach Lou Holtz on the status of the search and the wide range of ideas submitted so far by alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends of the College.
William & Mary’s mascot search began last semester when William & Mary President Taylor Reveley announced the formation of a mascot search committee, which would be chaired by Terry Driscoll. The committee, which includes alumni, students, faculty and staff, will help determine a new mascot but the “Tribe” nickname will remain. The committee started taking submissions April 1 and since that time more than 600 entries have been received, including birds and animals, people and historical characters and mythical creatures. And yes, a few fruits and vegetables have been suggested as mascots. The national media have picked up on the process and some suggested ideas.
"It's important for us to have an open and inclusive process and today's technology allows us to do that," said Driscoll, referring to the different outreach efforts such as mascot web sites on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter and a blog linked off the official mascot web page. So far, ideas have come in from 35 states and the District of Columbia and mascot’s web page has received visitors from 83 countries and more than 15,000 unique visitors.
More than 50 percent of the submissions so far are from alumni and 25 percent of the ideas are from current students. The deadline to submit an idea is June 30. The committee will then narrow those submissions to several ideas and work with a design firm to explore creative options. The goal is for the committee to recommend a group of finalists to the president in late fall/early spring.
Holtz, who was head coach of the Tribe from 1969-71 before going on to coach, among others, Notre Dame University and the NFL's New York Jets, offered up a few of his own suggestions for a mascot during the ESPN show. Holtz said William & Mary could build off its history and have a "King & Queen" mascot. Holtz added he greatly enjoyed his time in Williamsburg.
"It's a marvelous school. The Sunken Garden. Wren Building. Nothing like it," Holtz said.