Reggie Redbird

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Reggie Redbird is the mascot for Illinois State University located in Normal, Illinois. Reggie is present at all home football games, women's' volleyball matches, men's basketball games, women's' basketball games, and appears at various other athletic events. Reggie also does numerous of appearances at schools and events within the Twin Cities,the state of Illinois, and the country.

Reggie Redbird is a student bedecked in costume. Reggie was named in 1980 after a contest among Junior Redbird Club Members. The suit is donated by Rick Percy, general manager of Clemens and Associates Insurance and a longtime member of The Redbird Club.[1]

Reggie Redbird.
Reggie Redbird statue on the Illinois State campus

History[edit]

The nickname "Redbirds" for the sports teams (replacing "Teachers") was adopted by the then Illinois State Normal University in 1923 by the athletic director Clifford E. "Pop" Horton, with an assist from The Daily Pantagraph sports editor Fred Young.

Horton liked "Cardinals" because the school colors, established in 1895-96, were cardinal and white, and the University teams were known by that nickname for a short period of time. Young recommended the change to "Redbirds" to avoid confusion in the headlines with the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team.

The most famous Reggie Redbird is undoubtedly Bob Rose from Birds, Illinois. During his year as Reggie Redbird in 1978, Rose famously entered a football game against Western Illinois and scored the winning touchdown to clinch the conference championship. He is a hero to be remembered for generations to come. Rose is also known for creating Reggie's famous Peck, Peck & Rumble (PPR) touchdown dance.

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