Penguins Golf History & Tradition

The Penguin Mascot


Dwight Dike Beed

The Penguin has a long history at the University and surrounding communities. Fans have an extreme emotional attachment to the figure, which has been used for decades to symbolize the community, Youngstown State athletics and school spirit. YSU is unique among the nation's 4-year institutions, being the only one to have a penguin as a mascot.

There are a couple of versions of how the penguin became the, then Youngstown College, mascot. However, they both seem to stem from the same basketball game on January 30, 1933. By one account, the basketball team went out on the court at West Liberty State, wearing their black and white road uniforms. They began their warm-up with windmills, an exercise that has arms parallel to the ground, and stomping their feet. The radio announcer said that they look like penguins. Another account says that players in one of the cars came up with the name on the ride to the game. The "Penguin" nickname was unanimously accepted by the student body. The name was introduced after the first game with Slippery Rock in the Dec. 15, 1933 issue of the "Jambar" (the student paper); eventually being picked up by the local papers and radio.

There have been several live penguin mascots on campus, beginning with "Pete". By the 1970´s, "Pete Penguin" became a student in a costume, chosen by try-out.Pete Penguin




Pete can be seen at any YSU sporting event, as well as many events around town. Pete does travel with the teams. To the left is Pete playing at the children´s tailgate lot prior to a game.




Our Thanks would like to thank Youngstown State University and the Sports Information Department for their assistance.

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