When the first athletics teams took the field in the 1930s, they adopted the bulldog as the University’s mascot. Since then, the bulldog remains a symbol of UNC Asheville, embodying the strong and determined spirits of the students the University places not just on the field, but in the classroom, as well.
UNC Asheville began the live-mascot tradition in 1948 with Puck I, named after the character from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. After Puck came Puck II, Chug-a-lug, and Winston. By the end of the 1980s, however, the tradition of the live mascot had fallen out of use.
Now the University welcomes it newest live mascot, Rocky I.
Rocky I originally found his way to UNC Asheville from Alabama. Born on Sept. 12, 2006, Rocky was transferred from a canine rescue organization in Georgia, where UNC Asheville Mathematics lecturer Ed Johnson found him on the Web. Johnson (’96) and wife Alexis (’97) share caretaking responsibilities of Rocky, who is known almost as much for his drool as his school spirit. He made his official debut at the Homecoming 2009 men’s basketball game during halftime.
Rocky I is a Victorian bulldog. A relatively new breed, they were established to recapture the energy and athleticism of the bulldogs of the 18th and 19th centuries. They are taller than the typical English bulldog and have large heads and short, smooth coats. Victorian bulldogs are highly sought-after pets because of their friendly and affectionate personalities.
Rocky I loves attending UNC Asheville athletic events and interacting with everyone he meets on campus. When not busy rooting for the Bulldogs, Rocky I enjoys lazing around the Quad and seeing all the sights and sounds of campus.
Birthday: Sep. 12, 2006
Weight: 85 lbs
Caretakers: Alexis and Ed Johnson
Favorite Activities: Meeting people, playing in the yard with my friend Savannah the border collie.
Dislikes: Unannounced visitors
Hangouts: The Quad, the Justice Center
Rocky The Mascot
Rocky is the fearless mascot of UNC Asheville Athletics. He enjoys chewing on Eagles, Pathers and Catamounts.
In 2007, Rocky got a facelift and a make-over to look like the fierce bulldog we all know.
When he's not stomping around at games or strutting around campus, Rocky spends his time visiting campus events like Rocky-palooza and parent's weekend. He also visits elemernary schools to meet and greet future bulldogs.
Rocky invites young fans to join him on the arena floor during the game. At every home basketball game this season, several lucky boys and girls join Rocky while wearing special mini-mascot costumes. Rocky's pups help him rile up the fans and toss t-shirts into the stands.
Rocky has a reading program called "Rocky's Readers," so that he can encourage pups to exercise their brains.
If you're interested in having Rocky come to a birthday party or special event, contact Erin Spence at 828.250.8357 or firstname.lastname@example.org.