Ms. Adventure | North Carolina State News

Mr. and Ms. Wuf on a cart decorated with a giant Wolfpack helmet.

Ms. Wuf was born in the Age of Aquarius, the daughter of the women’s liberation movement of the 1970s. She made her first appearance in the fall of 1975, just after NC State launched three women’s varsity track and field teams.

The 50-year-old evolution of a companion represented by a student to longtime male mascot has gone from dungarees to a backless dress with crinoline, always topped with a bright red bow. The male mascot first appeared in the 1950s, when some members of the Red Coat Marching Band wore fiberglass wolf heads, often while playing an NC State bass drum in the middle of ground. His transition over the years has been equally dramatic.

The first human wolf mascot was introduced by the cheerleading squad in the early 1960s, a homemade fuzzy felt costume with a soft head.

“It looked like a rat,” says Hickory native Jim Hefner, who portrayed the male wolf from 1973 to 1976, when members of the cheerleading squad began instituting traditions cherished by students and alumni.

Mr. and Mrs. Wuf pose with Fury, a bronze sculpture at the team’s entrance to Carter-Finley Stadium.

Back then, working on a shoestring budget with assistant athletic director Frank Weedon as an adviser and John Mandrano as captain, the cheerleaders had free rein to develop signature gestures, salutes and routines.

Weedon and Hefner worked with design school professor Vincent Foote to develop a more approachable mascot with a friendlier oversized face and more elaborate costume. Hefner also requested to add a female mascot.

During the 1973–74 men’s basketball season, members of the cheerleading squad befriended their UCLA counterparts, first in a televised game in St. Louis, where Mr. Wolf’s new suit debuted, and then in the NCAA Semi-Finals. in Greensboro. The West Coast school was one of the few in the country at the time to have male and female mascots, Joe and Josephine Bruin.

When David Thompson, Tommy Burleson, Monte Towe and the Wolfpack ended the Bruins’ seven-year run as national champions by defeating the Bruins in the semifinals and Marquette for the first team championship in history from the school, this created an opportunity to expand the cheerleading squad. , especially to emulate UCLA’s dual mascots.

take the field

Junior varsity cheerleader Elizabeth Jan Seymour of Goldsboro was chosen as the first female mascot, then called Miss Wolf, a year after the national championship. She made her debut at Carter Stadium on September 6, 1975, in a football game against East Carolina, the same afternoon the cheerleaders debuted with their now hand gesture. known as “wolf hands”.

The two wolves worked in harmony for the rest of the 1970s, and Weedon wanted to make this union permanent. On February 28, 1981, the mascots exchanged wedding vows at halftime of a men’s basketball game against Wake Forest. Chancellor John Caldwell gave the bride and Wake’s Demon Deacon mascot performed the mid-term ceremony.

Depending on who you ask, it was the most famous wedding of the year, defying royal extravaganza in London with Princess Diana and Prince Charles.