7 Best College Mascots with Interesting Designs

College mascots play an influential role in shaping the culture of a school. Most colleges and universities across the United States have their own mascot representatives. While college mascots may not be as famous as the major league sports mascots, they do still have legions of fans who love them for their cheerful and funny antics.

Many of the best college mascots represent fierce animals, such as tigers, bears, and bulldogs. However, some schools have chosen unusual, unique, or unexpected creatures that help them build team spirit. These school mascots often have interesting designs in their costumes, which are worth highlighting for their creativity.

Let’s learn more about seven of the best college mascots with interesting designs.

1. Big Red (Western Kentucky University mascot)

When it comes to the most unique college mascots, Big Red is certainly unusual and best described as a red flurry blob. Big Red is the beloved college mascot of the sports teams at Western Kentucky University (WKU), the Hilltoppers and the Lady Toppers. With the letters “WKU” emblazoned on the centre, the college mascot wears its school’s name proudly and loudly.

The distinctive shape of the mascot costume, along with the eye-catching cherry red colour, helps Big Red stand out in any setting. With its animated expression, this character often draws cheer and laughter, especially when it starts wobbling its body in a humorous dance.

A student reportedly designed Big Red in 1979, inspired by the red towels that fans waved to support their favourite teams. Big Red was inducted in the Mascot Hall of Fame in 2007 and has been honoured in many mascot competitions.

2. Sammy the Slug (University of California mascot)

The UC Santa Cruz Banana Slugs represent the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC). The college mascot of these athletic teams is Sammy the Slug. A banana slug is a yellow and slimy mollusc that lives on the forest floor. Sammy the Slug might not be slimy, but he is yellow and perpetually cheerful.

Visually, Sammy the Slug draws your eyes to the two yellow antennae ears sticking out on each side of its head. You will also notice the wide toothy grin plastered on its face, giving this college mascot a friendly and approachable vibe.

This unique and beloved banana slug became the official mascot of UCSC in 1986, even though a Sea Lion mascot was first proposed. The students voted overwhelmingly in favour of a banana slug. Many students from other universities must think this was a weird yet interesting choice for a college mascot!

3. Otto the Orange (Syracuse University mascot)

Otto the Orange is a jolly college mascot at Syracuse University. This guy is a big orange that wears a blue baseball cap, paired with long blue gloves and pants. The complementary colours of orange and blue give this college mascot costume a snappy, catchy appearance. It also has blue eyes, a big stubby nose, and an even bigger smile. Even though the logo version of Otto the Orange shows a fierce grin, the mascot appearing at different sporting events has a friendly smile.

The Syracuse University used to have a Native American mascot that was retired in 1978. A gladiator mascot replaced it, but the students did not like it. They did, however, fall in love with Otto the Orange, who remains their official mascot since 1995. Known to be an enthusiastic fan of college sports and the colour orange, fans can follow Otto’s adventures on different social media platforms.

4. The Gorlok (Webster University mascot)

The Webster University officially adopted The Gorlok as its mascot in 1988. If you aren’t acquainted with this college mascot, the first question on your mind might be: what is a Gorlock? This strange mythical creature is a hybrid of various animals, including the paws of a cheetah, the horns of a buffalo, and the face of a Saint Bernard. The mascot also has light blue eyes coupled with wispy whiskers.

This mascot design is interesting because you may assume The Gorlok resembles a traditional animal when you first look at it. Upon closer inspection, some of the unfamiliar and peculiar details will surely intrigue you about its origins.

The college mascot was designed by students and some of the university staff for a school contest. The name Gorlok combines the names of two intersecting streets, Gore and Lockwood avenues. The first mascot costume of the Gorlok was covered in blue fur, but the newest version wears a dark blue uniform over its bright golden fur.

5. Demon Deacon (Wake Forest University mascot)

The Demon Deacon has been the mascot of Wake Forest University since 1941. This humanoid college mascot has a dignified appearance, marked by his black and gold top hat, his tuxedo, and his bow tie. He also has frizzled white hair and a pensive expression. Despite his distinguished look, the Demon Deacon may surprise you when he launches into the stadium field riding a motorcycle.

The face of the mascot’s costume was designed as an homage to “Doc” Murphrey, a former student who was known as the biggest fan of the school’s football team. Fans admired Murphrey for his ability to rally his troops, and they celebrated him with this unique school mascot idea.

6. The Fighting Okra (Delta State University mascot)

The official mascot of Delta State University is a Statesman. However, they also have an unofficial mascot, known as The Fighting Okra. This college mascot design is the green pod of an okra plant. According to some, the college mascot idea was inspired by a stubborn okra plant growing on the school’s baseball field.

Everything about this mascot’s appearance may seem amusingly bizarre. The Fighting Okra has boxing gloves, thick bushy eyebrows, and an angry snarl on its face. Despite its oddity, the Delta State University student body has fully embraced the creative mascot design. Due to its popularity, the students chose this college mascot as their unofficial one in the mid-1990s.

7. Artie the Artichoke (Scottsdale Community College mascot)

The sports teams of Scottsdale Community College are known as Fighting Artichokes, and their mascot is Artie the Artichoke. Unlike the angry Fighting Okra, Artie is a super friendly mascot with cartoony eyes and a cheeky smile. The mascot costume is shaped like an actual artichoke with green layers that overlap one another, resembling the leaves.

In case you think an artichoke is an unusual choice for a college mascot, just wait until you hear what the alternative was. Artie the Artichoke became the school’s mascot in 1972, when he won the election against other mascot candidates…including a rutabaga!

These college mascots are just some examples of innovative designs, but let your creativity run wild when you’re considering costume design. Whether you are looking for a traditional college mascot or something a little more comical, Hogtown Mascots can help! Contact our team and learn more about ordering a custom mascot for your college.