Chattanooga, TN-Ooga Booga, Chattanooga! Kick ‘em in the butt Big Shoe!
That was a cheer that resonated with Mocs fans for years at Chamberlain Field, Maclellan Gym and the early days of McKenzie Arena. In this period of unprecedented transition at UTC, the Mocs athletics department is returning to its roots - or its feet - and bringing back the Shoe mascot.
A popular figure on campus in the early 1980’s, the Shoe was retired to a display case in the University Center for years, but will be front and center for the Mocs next fall.
Just like Batman had Robin and Starsky needed Hutch, Scrappy also needs a sidekick. Our sledge-hammer wielding mocking bird with a heart of blue and gold now has his own SoCon-fighting partner. Together they will make UTC home events even more intimidating for opposing teams trying to steal a win in the Scenic City.
“One of the most frequent questions I have been asked by fans, supporters and alumni since I took over is ‘When are you bringing back the Shoe,’ stated Interim Director of Athletics Laura Herron. “This mascot was extremely popular during its heyday and I think it needs to be resurrected.”
The push to ‘Bring Back the Shoe’ started with a grass-roots campaign on social media platforms and hundreds of emails to athletics department personnel. Once everyone remembered that the original costume was in the UC, all it took was a few repaired seams and a gallon of Febreze to get the Shoe ready for action.
“I definitely prefer a nice pump when I have to dress up, but nothing really beats a comfortable slipper,” added Herron. “I think the branding and merchandising opportunities are limitless with our new mascot.”