Last spring Stetson Athletics initiated a “Mascot Challenge” to design a new mascot for Hatters Athletics. That effort will culminate on Friday night, Jan. 20, when the new Stetson Athletics mascot makes its grand debut.
The new mascot – whose design is being kept secret – will make its first public appearance at halftime of the men’s basketball game between Stetson and Florida Gulf Coast at the Edmunds Center. The game is scheduled for a 7 p.m. start. Tickets for the game are available through the Athletics Ticket office for as little as $8 each.
The first 2,000 fans through the door on Friday night will receive a free commemorative bandana to mark the debut appearance of the new mascot.
The competition to create a new mascot for Stetson Athletics received more than 70 submissions from students, alumni, faculty and staff. That group of submissions was narrowed to five finalists, which led to the final design of the new mascot.
Over the past 50 years the Stetson mascot has taken on a number of different incarnations – from a 10-gallon hat with big eyes and curled eyelashes to a leprechaun-looking Mad Hatter to a pot-bellied statue that stood on the Hat Rack Patio. The most recent version – a Mad Hatter with crazy “Doc Brown” hair and giant teeth – scared children and stopped making public appearances about 10 years ago.
In addition to the design of the new mascot, tryouts were held in December to find the students who will serve as the mascot. Three were chosen from more than two dozen candidates and will serve as the mascot at various athletic, university and community events throughout the year.
Friday’s game between the Hatters and Eagles of Florida Gulf Coast will be televised live regionally by CSS (Comcast-Charter Sports Southeast) and a replay will be available on the Brighthouse Sports Network beginning at 9:30 p.m.
In addition to the CSS broadcast, the entire game, including the halftime presentation of the new mascot, will be available via Hattervision online for free.
Outside the CSS broadcast footprint the game will be available on ESPN3.com.