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Mascot History

Prior to 1920, the University of Washington had two unofficial mascots-first the Indians, and later the Vikings. Neither name seemed appropriate, so most local publications referred to the university's athletic teams as the "purple and gold." Midway through the scholastic year of 1920, the Associated Students of the University of Washington (ASUW) held general elections and voted to adopt "Sundodger" as its official mascot. The name was quickly adopted by the alumni's publication, "Washington Alumnus," which sported a smiling figure named Sunny holding an umbrella. Many people took Sundodger to be a negative reference to the city's rainy weather. In 1922, after mounting pressure from local newspapers and businesses, the university considered finding a more suitable representative for the school.


Arriving at the Husky
A committee was formed by the ASUW to take on the daunting task of naming a new mascot. Many argued that Sundodger had no particular meaning, could not be characterized and reflected an untrue climatic condition of the state. The committee considered several mascots and took another look at the previously considered Husky as a potential winner. At a basketball game in early February 1922, the Husky was officially introduced as the new mascot.

The Husky was favored because it was easy to cartoon, a fitting name for an athletic team, and is short and easy to use in newspaper headlines. In an unofficial poll the following week, the school's paper, the Daily, published that 16 of 24 students and faculty favored Husky over Sundodger. The committee believed the Husky captured the true spirit of the Northwest because Seattle was recognized as the "Gateway to the Alaskan frontier."

The UW uses the Husky breed, the Alaskan Malamute, because it is the largest and strongest of all Husky breeds.


Frosty I

Frosty I and II
In 1922, the first in the line of Husky mascots was adopted by the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. Frosty was a fox gray puppy with a sweet disposition that fans grew to like instantly. The new pup lived with his fraternity brothers and attended football games with great enthusiasm.

After a winning football season, the Husky football team went to the 1924 Rose Bowl. Frosty made his California debut in the Tournament of Roses Parade, trotting alongside the Husky Marching Band the entire nine miles. Frosty was not only sociable, he had nomadic tendencies. He often roamed the neighborhoods in and around the university campus. An understanding taxi cab company agreed to escort the social butterfly home free of charge when he was found wandering.

From 1930 to 1936, Frosty II took over the position of mascot. Then a 10- year period followed before the university adopted its third Alaskan Husky.


Wasky

Wasky

In 1946, the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity adopted a new Husky pup that had not yet been named. The Daily held a contest to find a suitable name for the new addition. The committee narrowed the field to three choices: Oskewawa, Boe-Wow-Wow and Wasky. The names were placed in a hat and a winner was drawn: Wasky. The name, submitted by student Marie L. Vanderspek, was a combination of the words Washington and Husky. Her prize for submitting the winning name was a 1947 Tyee yearbook and a pair of tickets to the Washington-Oregon game.

Wasky kept his title for six years and was followed by Wasky II in 1947. In 1954, Ski became head dog at the university.


Denali

Denali
In 1958, Denali entered the ranks as the sixth Husky mascot; he was the first mascot to be cared for by an "official" handler. The name Denali means "Great White One." Although he was tall and muscular with a masked face, Denali did not look like a Husky and did not attend a single football game during his tenure. According to Harry Cross, the official handler at that time, Denali was given to the UW by the University of Alaska student body, who chose him out of a big litter. He turned out to look like an overgrown fox terrier, not much like a Husky.


King Chinook

King Chinook

King Chinook made his first appearance as the Husky mascot at the Idaho game in 1959. Harry Cross's son, Kim, watched the dog from the sidelines. Because he was overly social, he required a large contingent of overseers to keep him corralled during exciting times.

During a game against Illinois, King Chinook got loose and ran out onto the field to make friends with the players. He bullied his way into the middle of the huddle, sniffing and licking the hands of the Illinois' players. Timeout was called while Professor Cross and his son hurried onto the field to retrieve the dog.

Sadly, in October 1968, King Chinook died after being hit by a truck.


Regent Denali

Regent Denali
In 1969, the next mascot, Regent Denali, was adopted from a puppy kennel in Carnation, Washington. This dog had a temperament all his own! He was very feisty and had little patience with people who simply did not interest him. For the first time, the university had a mascot, that while friendly, would walk away from anyone he did not deem worthy of his attention.

At the conclusion of one game, Regent was tied to the end of a bench and given a large bone to chew on as a reward for a job well done. An injured player plopped down on the bench near the dog. An eager photographer hurried over to take the player's picture, oblivious of the mascot. The photographer accidentally stepped on Regent's tail, interrupting his snack. The dog instantly turned his attention to the photographer and snapped warning nips at him.


Sundodger Denali

Sundodger Denali

Sundodger Denali was purchased by the athletic department from a kennel in Tamarack, Washington, in 1981. Ten years later, Sundodger was scheduled to appear in the Tournament of Roses Parade along with the Husky Marching Band. In order to line up for the parade on time, the band had to leave its hotel at 4:00 in the morning. So the top dog spent the night before with Husky band director Bill Bissell and his family. The band staff met the Cross family and Sundodger at a secluded back door of the band's hotel and quietly herded him up a back stairwell. Safely in the Bissells' room for the night, Sundodger enjoyed the New Year's Eve celebration. Early the next morning, after spending a comfortable night snoozing on the balcony, Sundodger joined the members of the band and cheer squad aboard the bus, wandering up and down the aisle.

A tragedy nearly occurred the next year enroute to the 1992 Rose Bowl, when airline personnel began loading the sedated Sundodger into an unpressurized cargo hold. Luckily, band staff member Ken Noreen spotted what was happening and called attention right away to the potential disaster. Sundodger was immediately moved to a pressurized hold and made the trip safely.


King Redoubt

King Redoubt
In 1992, King Redoubt became the eighth Alaskan malamute to serve as the Husky mascot. His name, Redoubt, means "bastion" or "stronghold." The most enthusiastic of the lot thus far, Redoubt tore around the Crosses' yard howling whenever members of the family donned their purple and gold game-day outfits. And during the playing of the national anthem prior to each game at the stadium, Redoubt would throw his head back and howl. After the anthem, Redoubt led the football team out of the tunnel before every home game. Accompanied by trainer Kim Cross and his children, Ryan and Karin, who acted as handlers, Redoubt wandered the sidelines during the game, greeting fans in their seats.

One of the more inauspicious moments during "the King's" reign occurred at the conclusion of the 1996 season. The band arrived in San Diego for the Holiday Bowl, but upon checking in, found out that the hotel would not allow Redoubt to stay in the Crosses' room. After Kim Cross and the band staff were discovered trying to sneak the mascot up the back staircase, Redoubt had to spent the rest of the trip at a hotel down the street.

In August 1998, King Redoubt succumbed to a heat wave and passed away the night before Seattle's Torchlight Parade.


Prince Redoubt

Prince Redoubt
With King Redoubt's sudden unexpected passing, the athletic department had less than a month to find a new dog to take over the throne. Four years earlier, King Redoubt had sired three puppies to a championship malamute, Princess Redoubt, owned by UW graduate Jim Robinson. Robinson had named a male puppy Prince Redoubt because of his stunning resemblance to his father. Prince was as mellow as King, and although not trained as a mascot, he followed in the paw prints of his father during the 1998 football season. The four-year-old mascot earned the nickname "Junior" early on and wore the name proudly as he bounded happily around the stadium howling for his team.


Spirit

Spirit

In 1999, the UW crowned yet another Alaskan malamute as the current mascot. Like many before him, Spirit is mellow, easy-going and never seems to be bothered by large crowds or adoring fans.

In January 2001, when the Husky football team played in the Rose Bowl, Spirit and the Cross family accompanied the band to Pasadena. The trainers and the dog enjoyed a business suite at the hotel where they were staying. Late one evening, Spirit heard a barrage of sirens outside the hotel. He hurried out onto the balcony to join in on the fun. Tossing his head back, Spirit sang as loud as he was able along with the sirens. Many of the hotel guests appeared on their balconies to see what all the commotion was about. Kim Cross was able to hush the dog quickly while apologizing to the onlookers. More than anything else, other guests seemed amused by Spirit's antics.

Spirit retired from game action in August 2008.


Dubs I
Dubs I, was named the University of Washington's 13th live mascot in February of 2009. He is an Alaskan Malamute from a kennel in Burlington, Washington. He was born in November of 2008 and is living with his family in Seattle.

In late September 2008, the school announced an initiative to search for an appropriate name for its live mascot that would remain an ongoing UW tradition. A contest was launched on GoHuskies.com and fans were asked to submit their favorite name for the live Husky dog.

More than 1,400 different nominations were received and a committee that consisted of campus and community representatives narrowed the field to a reasonable list of finalists, including: Admiral, Dubs, King, Koda, Legend, Reign, Spirit and Sundodger. More than 20,000 votes were received in two rounds of online voting via GoHuskies.com, with Dubs emerging victorious.

 

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