History of the Cougar Paw
In the early years of Champlain College – Lennoxville, students were given the opportunity to vote for a school mascot. Bruce Porter, a former Champlain student submitted the winning choice, our current mascot to date, the Cougar.
In 1974, the Cougar colours, white and royal blue, were first debuted on the football helmet.
“Slazenger” style cats were placed on the side of the helmets and were then established as the school logo. Although many were happy with the logo, the placement caused a small controversy. The cats were facing the same direction causing them to appear as though they were chasing after each other. After the 1975 season it was time to look for a new and improved logo.
Mark Winokur, a Cougar football player at the time, came up with another idea. Winokur was a big US college football fan and was watching the NCAA All-Star game when he noticed Clemson’s Paw logo.
He brought that idea to Coach Ian Breck, who contacted Clemson and asked for permission to replicate a Cougar version. Permission was granted to use a slightly tilted, royal blue version. The paw made its debut in 1976, thus a beginning of the collegiate athletics powerhouse!
Students are proud to represent their school with the paw whether it be on a sports jersey, sweatshirt or bumper sticker. To this day the paw is one of the most recognizable sports logos in the Province of Québec.
Sources: Ian Breck, Steven Bely, Sylvain Laflamme. Written by Shane McDonald.