Drawn to scales: New Gator unveiled

New year, new Gator.

SF State unveiled its new mascot mark today, a redrawing of the University's Gator mascot in conjunction with a number of changes bringing new momentum to the Athletics Department.

An image of the new SF State Gator mascot mark"It's not uncommon for universities to refresh their mascots from time to time, and we felt now was the time to update SF State's," said Athletic Director Charles Guthrie. "The new mascot mark has a modern look and will give us consistency across campus in representing the Gator. I'm very excited to unveil it for the campus community."

The new mascot mark is among a number of changes in the Athletics Department, including Guthrie, who took over as athletic director July 1. The University recently announced the hiring of three new coaches, and over the summer completed a renovation of athletic facilities that saw the floor and bleachers of the gymnasium replaced and the men's and women's locker rooms modernized.

"There is a fantastic new energy in the Athletics Department, and I am very excited about the new direction in which our sports programs are headed," said President Les Wong. "The new mascot design reflects that new energy, builds on our recent momentum and serves as a reminder that the Gators are a force to be reckoned with."

Despite the fact that alligators are not found in San Francisco outside the zoo, the Gator has a long association with SF State that dates back to 1931, when the student newspaper sponsored a contest to select a mascot for the University. One reader suggested the "Gater" because "it is strong and we hope our teams have strength. It is well-built and steadfast, steadily moving toward its goal."

The mascot -- and its intentional misspelling intended to evoke the city's famous landmark -- won the contest, though the spelling eventually reverted to the current "Gators."

To learn more about SF State athletics, visit http://www.sfstategators.com.

-- Jonathan Morales