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The rise of Rowdy

Rowdy Raider | Photograph by Soham Parikh | The Wright State Guardian

Rowdy Raider | Photograph by Soham Parikh | The Wright State Guardian

Wright State University’s mascot, Rowdy Raider, the familiar gray wolf, hasn’t always been the fierce figure he is today.

According to the WSU Raiders’ webpage, when the mascot of Rowdy was first introduced in 1986, the character was a Viking with red hair and a horned helmet.

Ten years later, the university decided to move toward a more gender-neutral mascot, introducing the wolf. This version of Rowdy was brown and more cartoon-like. The WSU Raiders’ webpage states that it was 2007 when WSU upgraded Rowdy to the familiar wolf he is today.

Rowdy has become a staple at sporting events on campus and can also be booked for outside acts.

The Athletics department has dedicated a Twitter page to Rowdy, where game updates are tweeted. The account is not officially linked to the university.

“The big thing is that Rowdy has to be playful. The key part is to be fun and outgoing but we do not want to reveal the identity,” said Marketing Program Manager Collton Daugherty. “Rowdy has to keep the mask on at all times and cannot talk. If these rules aren’t followed, they’re done.”

Rowdy has a fact sheet on the WSU Raiders’ webpage listing height, weight and some of his favorites to give more insight on his personality.

In the coming weeks, the Athletics Department will begin seeking out new candidates to become Rowdy.

“We’ll have a few people who are currently Rowdy be the judges. There will be a face-to-face interview as well as performing acts with two different songs,” said Daugherty.

There are currently four students rotating with the role of Rowdy at games and outside appearances. Only those in Athletics know who is under the mask.