There may be no state school mascot more native to the state it represents than the Florida Gator. But in 1908 Florida didn’t have an official mascot when Austin Miller, a law student at the University of Virginia but a Gainesville native, received a visit from his father. Austin’s father, Phillips Miller, had come up to visit and had decided to order some pennants and banners for sale in his store in Gainesville. They were shown samples of pennants featuring the Yale bulldog, the Princeton tiger, and other school emblems. When the manager asked for Florida’s emblem, the Millers realized that Florida didn’t have one, and the alligator occurred to Austin because the alligator was native to Florida and he thought that no other school claimed the alligator as its symbol. The pennants sold, the name stayed, and in 1911, the team officially adopted the name and became the Florida Gators.
93 Days until college football kicks off!
Our countdown started Tuesday with the history of different school mascots:
Friday – Demon Deacons
Saturday – Eagles
Monday – Falcons
Image from Gatorzone.com