Arkansas State Red Wolves Mascot History

    Arkansas State adopted the Red Wolves as it official mascot in 2008 after 77 years with another nickname. What prompted the change?

    Mascots are one of the many rich layers in the grand tapestry of college football, with each program offering a glimpse into the personality of its region’s inhabitants through an original symbol of pride.

    Some mascots have been attached to its team since the beginning of the program, but others have morphed throughout the years as times change and ignorance fades away. For Arkansas State, that time came in 2008 when the program did away with its old mascot for a new one — the Red Wolves.

    Who (or What) Is the Red Wolves Mascot?

    The Red Wolf (Canis rufus) is an extremely endangered wolf breed located in the southeastern region of the US, with an estimated 15-17 left in the wild as of 2023.

    Unfortunately, Arkansas State’s Red Wolves representatives, Howl and Scarlet, don’t count towards the Red Wolf population numbers. The duo is the costumed version of the school’s Red Wolf, used to motivate Arkansas State fans and bring joy to the children of the community in Jonesboro since 2008.

    Why Is the Red Wolf the Mascot?

    Arkansas State’s first football season was in 1911, but it didn’t adopt a mascot until 1931 when it chose the Indians as a nickname. However, a few unofficial names, such as the Aggies, the Farmers, the Warriors, and the Gorillas, were used in the years in between.

    The Indians were the official mascot of the school for the next 77 years before the NCAA changed guidelines in 2005. The new policy forced Arkansas State and 17 other programs to change mascots due to cultural insensitivity to Native Americans.

    Initial reluctance by many around the school has subsided substantially since the inception of the school’s new symbol in 2008.

    “I’ll tell you I didn’t like it,” former Arkansas Governor and Arkansas State alum Mike Bebe said to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in 2020. “I didn’t like that they were forced to change. So your initial reaction is to resent the change. But in a matter of months, I realized it was a needed change and a good change that actually advanced the program.

    MORE: 2024 Sun Belt Head Coach Rankings

    “They’ve done more in marketing with Red Wolves and the Red Wolves logo in the years since 2008 than they ever did with Indians in the previous decades.”

    The Red Wolves were chosen to represent the school by the panel, also considering the A’s, Black Wolves, Diamonds, Express, Mallards, Mustangs, Red Dragons, Ridge Riders, Ridge Riders, Red Storm, Thunderbirds, and Express Train before the panel voted on Red Wolves.

    Miss any action from the top college QB Rankings during the 2023 football season? Want to track all the movement with the college football transfer portal? College Football Network has you covered with that and more!

    College Football Transfer Portal Tracker

    Never miss a beat with the CFN-exclusive College Football Transfer Portal Tracker, listing the student-athletes entering and exiting the transfer portal.

    Related Articles