From around 1897 to the 1960s The University of Montana-Missoula teams were represented by a live bear cub mascot. Through the years mascots had names such as Teddy, Cocoa and Chester as well as Fessy I, II, and III, in honor of famed football coach Doug Fessenden, and Jerry, in honor of coach Jerry Williams. The end of the football season was also the end of each bear's career as a mascot as it had grown beyond a manageable size. Some former mascots were released and others transferred to zoo-type facilities.
Mascots during the 1970s and 1980s did not wear the university logo and usually represented a local company or larger corporation. Those mascots included the Hamms Beer Bear, the radio station KYLT chicken, a sandwich shop's Piccolo Pete, the Domino's Pizza mascot, and Ronald McDonald. Sometime in the 1980s Grizzly Auto sponsored the mascot, "Grizzly Otto." Early costumed bear mascots such as Otto were more ferocious and aggressive and less playful and engaged with the audience.
After consultation with mascot experts, the current Monte costumed bear mascot debuted in 1993 with an engaging look and a fun, energetic personality.
This collected information on the history of The University of Montana-Missoula mascot includes Kaimin clippings, press releases, Sentinel yearbook photos and information, telephone interview notes, photographs, and a timeline. The information covers the era of live bear cub mascots and continues into later costumed bear mascots.
Restrictions on Access :
Researchers must use collection in accordance with the policies of Archives and Special Collections, the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, and The University of Montana-Missoula.Restrictions on Use :
Researchers are responsible for using in accordance with 17 U.S.C. and any other applicable statutes.Preferred Citation :
[Name of document or photograph number], The University of Montana Mascot History Collection, Archives and Special Collections, Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, The University of Montana-Missoula.
The collected materials are organized chronologically within the folders wherever possible.
Custodial History :
The collection includes materials collected by Teresa Hamann to create an exhibit about the history of the mascot and from public response to a subsequent request for information and reminiscences.Acquisition Information :
The materials were collected within the archives prior to organizing for public access.
Detailed Description of the Collection
This collection is indexed under the following headings in the online catalog. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings.