If you’re a friend or alumnus of UTSA, you’re no doubt aware that the university mascot is a roadrunner, known today as Rowdy. The mascot’s birth and development at UTSA has been an interesting one. Top Shelf readers might be aware of this post, which gave an overview of the intense election process preceding the 1977 announcement of the roadrunner as UTSA’s official mascot.
Below is a look back at images of the mascot, as spotted in the negatives and contact sheets of the Office of University Communications Photograph collection (UA 16.01.01). Photographers captured images of the mascot dancing at pep rallies, stoking the crowd at basketball games, and posing for promotional material for UTSA. Captions for the photos below were provided from details on the negative sleeves or contact sheets from this collection. This pictographic timeline spans the years 1981 to 1999. Click on images to enlarge.
1981: The Roadrunner is revealed. Readers of the Sombrilla might have caught this interview of alumnus Antonio Gonzalez III, in which he describes his “hatching” as UTSA’s first mascot.
1982: Seen here posing for a Fiesta UTSA promotion. This “hitchhiking” title comes from a pose seen on this cover of the Quarterly.
1984: The Roadrunner and friend walk the court at halftime during a game against Lamar University.
1987: This series of shots captures the beginning of a new look for the mascot, which took place during a game against the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
1987: Spotted here dancing at a pep rally, with a throwback look to the cartoon element that some say helped the Roadrunner win the election back in 1977 (see page 10 of this Sombrilla edition).
1992: A studio shot of Rowdy during an appointment with Communications photographers, showing off a tough new look.
1999: A colorful Rowdy fuels the crowd during a game against Lamar University.