Notre Dame Fighting Irish Mascot: The History

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Most everyone knows that the Notre Dame Fighting Irish's mascot is The Leprechaun. You've seen him at games, leading cheers and brandishing his shillelagh.

But did you know that The Leprechaun wasn't always the mascot for the Fighting Irish? In fact, the evolution of Notre Dame's mascot is pretty cool.

Here's how it all went down:

Irish Terriers - Believe it or not, a series of Irish Terriers were used as Notre Dame's mascot for a number of years. In 1909, the Irish Terrier named Mike was used as the mascot and was in a photo with the 1909 championship team. Mike actually belonged to Notre Dame coach Frank Longman.

Tipperary Terrence - In 1924, the Notre Dame Alumni Club of Toledo gave Notre Dame head coach Knute Rockne a new Irish Terrier. The Notre Dame school paper held a contest where students could name the dog. The winning name was Tipperary Terrence -- not the name I would've picked.

Tipperary Terrence II - After Tipperary Terrence was struck by a car in 1924, the Toledo Club donated another dog to the school just before the 1924 Army game. After that, nobody really knows what happened to Terrence II. Do you? It seems to me that 1924 was not a good year for Notre Dame mascots.

Brick Top Shaun Rhu -

Before the 1930 Pennsylvania game, Charles Otis gave Notre Dame an Irish Terrier named Brick Shaun Rhu. Now, that's what I call a cool name! Brick Shaun Rhu was an odd dog. He was known for running away and walking calmly around busy streets. In 1933, he ran away for good.

Sally O' Neil - Sally O' Neil, who was actually an actress, served as Notre Dame's mascot during the 1926 USC game. Obviously, this was before the leprechaun and during the revolving door of Irish Terriers that Notre Dame used as mascots.

Clashmore Mike -

In 1935, Clashmore Mike, another Irish Terrier, was named the first official Notre Dame Fighting Irish mascot. He entertained fans with his sideline antics until he died in 1945. Clashmore Mike is probably the most well-known of all the terriers Notre Dame used.

Human Irishman -

Sometime in the 1940s, a human Irishman started showing up at pep rallies, media events, and on the sidelines on gameday. This is where the evolution of The Leprechaun started. Notre Dame was still using terriers, but this is where things started to change.

The Leprechaun -

In 1960, The Leprechaun started showing up with the cheerleaders and became a part of the sideline festivities. In 1965, The Leprechaun was named the official mascot of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, and the end of the terrier era was over.

No Name - Notre Dame's mascot doesn't have a catchy name. He is simply referred to as "The Leprechaun." That's not very original, if you ask me. Give him a name. Maybe the students could choose his name like they did back in 1924 with Tipperary Terrence. I'm just saying.

Tryouts - Notre Dame students of any height or weight can try out for the gig of The Leprechaun. During the last round of Leprechaun tryouts, the contestants must pass a battery of tests. Some of those tests include being able to do 50 push-ups, dance an Irish jig, and answer Notre Dame trivia. Man, if only I were a Notre Dame student. I'd be all over it.

Dylan Davis has been loyal to the Fighting Irish since he was old enough to hold a football. He actually bleeds blue and gold. He owns the movie "Rudy" and can quote it verbatim.



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