From Mr. Bobcat to Rufus


A history of how Rufus the Bobcat came to be

Taylor Johnston / For The Post

While the bobcat has been Ohio University’s mascot since 1925, Rufus has only been around for a little more than a decade.


Marcus Pavilonis | ILLUSTRATION

The Bobcat mascot, previously known as Mr. Bobcat, appeared in the 1960 Homecoming float competition, according to the Mahn Center for Archives & Special Collections. Thomas Schantz designed the costume and then had it made.

From 1968 through the 70s the mascot also made appearances with Bobkitten, a female bobcat, according to the Mahn Center for Archives & Special Collections.

After 21 years, the bobcat costume was redesigned and then later again in the 1990s.

In 2006, OU decided to update the look of the mascot again, this time giving a name to the university’s mascot, according to a previous Post report. Several university groups individually teamed up to come up with designs for the new campus representative.

Before the proposed update, the mascot costume was dated and starting to show its age. Also, the old mascot was not cohesive with the “Attack Cat” logo, which also appeared on merchandise at the time.

In order to choose a new name for the mascot, there was a contest that ran from the end of the Spring Quarter to the first week of the Fall Quarter, according to a previous Post report.

“The name ‘Rufus’ was chosen by respondents to an online poll posted on the Athletic Department’s Web site. Respondents voted on the names Rufus, Flash, Bob, Prowler, Gamer and Attack,” a previous Post report reads.

While many were fans of the new update to the mascot, some people were not.

“Some people, though, prefer the look of the old Bobcat because it is approachable and familiar,” a previous Post report reads.

September of 2006 was when the new and improved Rufus the Bobcat “first rolled in to Peden Stadium.”


Blake Nissen | PHOTO EDITOR

Rufus rides a motorcycle out after the team before Ohio's homecoming game against Central Michigan University on October 6, 2017. The Bobcats lost 23-26

“The result was a slimmed-down, tougher-looking Bobcat dressed in an Ohio football uniform,” a previous Post report reads. With two new costumes purchased at about $10,000 each, it was said that they “should be used for the next seven or eight years.”

Development by: Megan Knapp / Digital Production Editor

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