Hey Reb!

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Hey Reb!
University University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Conference Mountain West
Description UNLV Rebels Mascot[1]
First seen 1983

Hey Reb! is the mascot for the UNLV Rebels, the athletic teams of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in Paradise, Nevada, USA.[2][3][4] He performs live at all UNLV athletic events. The campus community is divided over the contention that the mascot, looking like a confederate soldier, appears to be a symbol of racism.[5] The mascot was first created in 1983 to depict the embodiment of an independent, rebel spirit at UNLV athletic events.[6][7] As race discrimination issues dominated national events, community members voiced concerns that Beauregard glorified the Confederacy and had little to do with the community's history. In the early 1970s, students voted to banish Beauregard but retained the Rebels name (rejecting alternatives such as Big Horn Rams, Nuggets, A-Bombs, and Sand Burners). Replacing Beau was a musket-toting Minuteman, but that Revolutionary War figure didn't resonate in the West either. So UNLV essentially went without an official mascot.

In 1982, Miller was a partner in a local advertising firm and headed the UNLV account. When he heard of UNLV's search for a fitting symbol, he offered to sketch some ideas. He brainstormed about the kind of character that could embody the spirit of a Rebel while representing the community's history. His inspiration came from the mountain men of the 1800s. He is always seen wearing a UNLV jersey with the number 57 on it, to commemorate the University's founding in the year 1957. In 2004, Hey Reb! was named one of 12 All-American Mascots, and was given a chance to compete for the Capital One Bowl mascot of the year as part of the Capital One Mascot Challenge,[8] finishing second in the online voting.[2] Hey Reb! has also been featured in two national commercials for ESPN's SportsCenter.[2] In 2013, Hey Reb! and Jon "Jersey" Goldman, the UNLV student who wears the costume to portray him, were featured in the Hulu documentary series Behind the Mask.[9][10][11] The series followed four mascots, and the people who portrayed them, both inside and outside of the mascot costume.[12]


  1. ^ "Why are the UNLV sports teams represented by a Confederate rebel?". Greenspun Media. Las Vegas Sun. December 23, 2008. Retrieved February 19, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c "Hey Reb!". UNLVRebels.com. Retrieved 2014-03-14. 
  3. ^ "My day with UNLV's Hey Reb". Las Vegas Weekly. March 15, 2012. Retrieved 2014-03-14. 
  4. ^ "After Six Years, Jon "Jersey" Goldman Takes Off the Hey Reb! Suit". virtual-rebel.com. July 1, 2013. Retrieved 2014-03-14. 
  5. ^ http://lasvegassun.com/news/2015/nov/17/unlv-students-jessup-hey-reb-mascot-symbol-racism/
  6. ^ "Mascot/Spirit Mark". University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Retrieved 2014-03-14. 
  7. ^ "The man behind the mustache: Hey Reb driven by passion for UNLV sports". Las Vegas Sun. November 17, 2012. Retrieved 2014-03-14. 
  8. ^ "Capital One Mascot Challenge History". CapitalOneBowl.com. Archived from the original on March 1, 2013. Retrieved 2012-11-14. [dead link]
  9. ^ ""Hey Reb" Stars in Mascot TV Series". KXNT. October 29, 2013. Retrieved 2014-03-14. 
  10. ^ "Team mascots are game for a demanding gig in 'Behind the Mask'". Daily News. October 29, 2013. Retrieved 2014-03-14. 
  11. ^ "S. Jersey native stars in 'Behind the Mask'". philly.com. October 30, 2013. Retrieved 2014-03-14. 
  12. ^ "Hulu series goes behind-the-mask of UNLV's Runnin' Rebels mascot Hey Reb". Las Vegas Sun. October 22, 2013. Retrieved 2014-03-14. 

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