The Hawk (Saint Joseph's University mascot)

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The Hawk
The Hawk at Saint Joseph's University.jpg
University Saint Joseph’s University
Conference A-10
Description Full-Body Costume
First seen January 4, 1956

The Hawk is the mascot of Saint Joseph’s University. The Hawk represents the University’s motto, “The Hawk Will Never Die” by flapping its wings non-stop (even during halftime) throughout every basketball game. The Hawk, who has been flapping his wings since 1956, is one of the most decorated mascots in college sports, having been called the best college mascot by ESPN College Basketball Magazine, Sports Illustrated, and The Sporting News.

History of The Hawk[edit]

One of the most famous mascots in college sports, the Saint Joseph's Hawk has been flapping its wings for 57 years.The Hawk, which celebrated its golden anniversary in 2005-06, is best known for staying in constant motion by flapping its wings throughout every basketball game and representing the Saint Joseph's motto, "The Hawk Will Never Die."[1]

In 2014, the Hawk Mascot was named as the "Best College Basketball Tradition" by NCAA.com.[1]

Jim Brennan originated the idea for a hawk as mascot during the 1954-55 season. Brennan, an ex-Marine and SJU cheerleader, at first wanted to secure an actual hawk, but later switched to the costume idea. The student government raised the 120 dollars needed to buy the initial costume, which Brennan donned for three years. He made his debut as the Hawk on January 4, 1956, a 69-56 win over La Salle at the Palestra. Since then, and including this season, a total of 34 SJU students, have donned the costume. The Hawk has not missed a men's basketball game since that first season.[1]

There have been two women to serve as the mascot - Sara Brennan in 2000-01 and Brienne Ryan in 2009-10.[1]

In addition to the constant flapping, the Hawk is also recognized by its "flying" in figure eights around the court during timeouts. The constant motion, coupled with the scrappy play of the University's athletic teams, helped to spawn the school's familiar slogan "The Hawk Will Never Die!" A few years ago, ESPN used a "flap-o-meter" on the national telecast of a Saint Joseph's game to estimate that the Hawk flaps its wings 3,500 times during a regulation game.[1]

The Hawk is unique because it is one of the few mascots in the nation that travels to every game, and the student who holds the position gains a full scholarship. The student, who is selected through an interview process during the previous spring semester, also serves as a team manager for the men's basketball team and travels with the squad.[1]

The most decorated mascot in the country, The Hawk has garnered numerous accolades in its 50-year history. The Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, Sports Illustrated for Kids, Street & Smith's Basketball Yearbook and ESPN College Basketball magazine have selected it as the nation's top mascot. Eastern Basketball tabbed The Hawk as the Atlantic 10 Conference's best mascot, while The Hawk won a "Best of Philly" award from Philadelphia Magazine in 2003-04. More recently, The Hawk was named as a nominee for induction into the 2008 Mascot Hall of Fame.[1]

Saint Joseph's athletic teams have been recognized with the nickname "Hawks" since 1929. At that time, the school's yearbook editor, Charlie Dunn, initiated a contest among the student body for a symbol. More than 100 submissions were narrowed to two, with "Hawks" winning out over "Grenadiers" (World War I soldiers who specialized in tossing grenades) by a slim margin in the final vote. John Gallagher '31, a catcher on the Saint Joseph's baseball team, submitted the winning suggestion. He won a sweater with a special Saint Joseph's monogram for selecting the winning name. According to the student annual, the name was appropriate because it typified "the fighting spirit of our crimson and gray athletes and it is suggestive of the aerial attack which has made our football team famous." Ironically, football was discontinued at Saint Joseph's following the 1939 season.[1]

But it has been the connection with the storied tradition of the Saint Joseph's men's and women's basketball programs that has given The Hawk mascot its prominence on the national level, making it one of the most recognized mascots in college athletics.[1]

The role of mascot is annually awarded to a student, who is given a full scholarship for serving as the Hawk. He or she travels with the basketball team to all of its away games.[1]

Hawk Selection[edit]

Hawk selection has become an annual application and interview process in which a current student is selected to represent the school. Since 1992, the student awarded the role of mascot has been recipient of an endowed scholarship and is considered a full member of the basketball team.[1]

List of Students who have served as the Hawk
Season Student
1955 to 1956 Jim Brennan
1956 to 1957 Jim Brennan
1957 to 1958 Jim Brennan
1958 to 1959 Pierce Markley
1959 to 1960 Pierce Markley
1960 to 1961 Pierce Markley
1961 to 1962 Al Pastino
1962 to 1963 Al Pastino
1963 to 1964 Al Pastino
1964 to 1965 Charlie Wieners
1965 to 1966 Charlie Wieners
1966 to 1967 Chuck Elsesser
1967 to 1968 Chuck Elsesser
1968 to 1969 Bill Berner
1969 to 1970 Bill Berner
1970 to 1971 John Donnelly
1971 to 1972 John Donnelly
1972 to 1973 Joe Cassidy
1973 to 1974 Joe Cassidy
1974 to 1975 Joe Boyle
1975 to 1976 Joe Boyle
1976 to 1977 Joe Boyle
1977 to 1978 Joe Boyle & Ron Manion
1978 to 1979 Kevin Quirk
1979 to 1980 Kevin Quirk
1980 to 1981 Kevin Quirk & Randy Kiernan
1981 to 1982 Randy Kiernan
1982 to 1983 Dennis Sheehan
1983 to 1984 Dennis Sheehan
1984 to 1985 Dennis Sheehan
1985 to 1986 Jim Boyle, Jr.
1986 to 1987 Frank Simone
1987 to 1988 Frank Simone
1988 to 1989 Jim Scarano
1989 to 1990 Jim Scarano
1990 to 1991 Tony Duldulao
1991 to 1992 Chuck Sack
1992 to 1993 Chuck Sack
1993 to 1994 Dan Gallagher
1994 to 1995 Brian Kearns
1995 to 1996 Brian Kearns
1996 to 1997 Glenn "Trip" Whitaker
1997 to 1998 Bobby Gallagher
1998 to 1999 Pat McGrory
1999 to 2000 Joey "G" Gawarzewski
2000 to 2001 Sarah Brennan
2001 to 2002 Steve Klarich
2002 to 2003 Steve Klarich
2003 to 2004 Chris Bertolino
2004 to 2005 Mike Tecce
2005 to 2006 Andrew Moral
2006 to 2007 Jim Miller
2007 to 2008 Jim Miller
2008 to 2009 Tim Klarich
2009 to 2010 Brienne Ryan
2010 to 2011 Tim Higgins
2011 to 2012 Joey Mreczko
2012 to Present Ian Klinger


Awards[edit]

  • Sports Illustrated Mascot of the 20th Century [2]
  • Sporting News Mascot of the Year 2001 [3]
  • Street & Smith's Best Mascot
  • ESPN College Basketball Magazine Best Mascot
  • "Best of Philly" award from Philadelphia Magazine in 2003-04
  • Eastern Basketball Atlantic 10 Conference's best mascot
  • The Hawk was nominated for induction into the Mascot Hall of Fame in 2008.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

See also[edit]