There is Mr. and Mrs. Wuf (NCSU), PeeDee the Pirate (ECU), the Demon Deacon (WFU), Aggie the Bulldog (NC A&T), and many more famous college mascots in North Carolina. Everyone has a favorite character to represent their beloved school. But, why does a certain mascot stand for a specific college or university? Their stories are unique and are fun to know. Wow your friends at the next sporting event with these interesting facts about the Tarheel state’s college mascots.
Wake Forest University’s Demon Deacon:
Let’s start right here in our hometown of Winston-Salem with the Demon Deacon of Wake Forest. The now famous mascot is actually the third character used to symbolize the university. The Demon Deacon first appeared in 1922 after Wake Forest sports teams were known as “The Old Gold and Black” and the “Baptists.” After a defeat against what is now called Duke University, student Mayor Parker published his description of the Demon Deacon in the school newspaper. Soon, the nickname was used in press releases and newspapers throughout the United States. Nineteen years later, the Demon Deacon became the official mascot of the university after student Jack Baldwin dressed up as the character for an athletic contest. His outfit included a top hat and tails, two classic accessories of today’s mascot. According to Baldwin in a post on wakeforestsports.com, he made the Demon Deacon’s clothes represent an old Baptist Deacon and rode in on a Carolina Ram. This action started a tradition of character antics and memorable ways to arrive at events. Today, fans are able to see the Demon Deacon of Wake Forest University at sporting and school events, always riding in on his motorcycle.
North Carolina State University’s Mr. and Mrs. Wuf:
On February 28th, 1981, during halftime of a basketball game versus Wake Forest, the Demon Deacon officiated the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Wuf, the mascots of NC State. The history of the Wolfpack dates back to 1921 after a fan said some of the college’s football players were acting “as unruly as a pack of wolves.” However, before then, NC State was called “Farmers and Mechanics,” “the Red Terrors,” “the Techs,” and more. In fact, the school’s colors weren’t originally red, white, and black. Starting in the 1890s, NC State teams wore pink and blue, then brown and white. Finally, in 1895, the red and white colors were adopted. As for the wolf mascot in 1946, the first character was a Mechanical Wolfpack with a robot-like costume and moves that were remote controlled. Just a year later, the figure was replaced with actual live timber wolves, showcasing the university at sporting and school events. Over time, the image of the Wolfpack changed and began including a female wolf. Once Mr. and Mrs. Wuf were married, they sealed the deal as being the mascots of NC State, until another character, a Tamaskan dog named Tuffy was introduced.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Rameses:
UNC Tarheel lovers know there isn’t one, but two Rameses mascots. The first is a live ram, a Horned Dorset Sheep with Carolina blue horns, whose descendants have appeared at every home football game since November 8th, 1924. The idea for an animal mascot, such as the ram, began with cheerleader Vic Huggins. He ordered the inaugural live Rameses, Rameses the First, from Texas and a tradition was born. It wasn’t until the 1987-1988 basketball season when the costumed mascot was introduced. However, many students didn’t like the looks of this Rameses. The animal’s expression was pleasant and friendly, but fans wanted a facial expression that was tough, determined, and was similar to the Rameses on the UNC logo. In a January 1989 basketball game, an updated ram with a more determined image and a scowl on his face was in attendance. Almost a decade later, Rameses was changed to represent the current look of today’s mascot. Lastly, the costumed Rameses gained a brother, Rameses, Jr. (RJ) in 2015 and has the purpose of helping with community outreach and appealing to younger children.
The mascots of the colleges and universities in North Carolina are all treasured, and all have histories worth knowing. Do you know your favorite character’s story?