Kentucky Wildcats

Kentucky Wildcats Football History

HOME ~ College Football History




Wildcat Mascot

The Wildcat mascot originated during the 1976-77 academic year at UK. Gary Tanner was the original Wildcat, dancing and entertaining thousands of UK fans at Commonwealth Stadium and Rupp Arena during athletics events.

A few years later, he was joined by another Cat - walking on stilts - who made his appearance during UK's twin tower era of
Kenturcy football historyMelvin Turpin and Sam Bowie. Even today, the original mascot is joined by Scratch, who's a more child-friendly mascot and serves as the host of UK's official Kids Club.

Today, both mascots attend each football and basketball game, several academic functions and generally serve as friendly ambassadors for the University.

In January 2003, Scratch placed seventh in the Universal Cheer Association College Mascot National Championships. Just a few months later, it was announced that he was named to the Capital One All-America Mascot Team.

Wildcats Nickname

The official nickname for the University of Kentucky's athletics teams is "Wildcats." The nickname became synonymous with UK shortly after a 6-2 football victory over Illinois on Oct. 9, 1909, on the road.

Commandant Carbusier, then head of the military department at old State University, told a group of students in a chapel service following the game that the Kentucky football team had "fought like Wildcats."

Later the name Wildcats became more and more popular among UK followers as well as with members of the media. As a result, the nickname was adopted by the University.

The University of Kentucky adopted blue and white as its official colors in 1892. Originally, however, UK students had decided on blue and light yellow prior to the Kentucky-Centre College football game on December 19, 1891.

The shade of blue, which is close to a royal blue, was chosen when a student asked the question, "What color blue?" At the time, Richard C. Stoll (who lettered in football at UK in 1889-94) pulled off his necktie and held it up. The students then adopted that particular shade of blue.

A year later, UK students officially dropped the light yellow color for white.

Home Page