UToledo Mascots

The History of Rocky and Rocksy

1968-1970

Rocky the Rocket was created during the 1966-67 academic year by the Spirits and Traditions Committee, a facet of Student Government. Various enthusiastic students were selected to “suit up” for a few athletic events to spark Rocket spirit.

In the fall of 1968, Rocky was taken under the wing of Dan Seemann, then Director of Student Activities, and the first official Rocky the Rocket, Bill Navarre, was hatched. In full “Rocky” regalia, Bill displayed his super spirit at football and basketball games. His suit was made by the theatre department’s seamstress and passed down to him a wastepaper basket with a pointed, “rocket” top made of papier-mâché.

In the past, Rocky’s schedule was coordinated through the Office of Student Activities and University Athletics, but now University Marketing is Rocky’s wingman. Tryouts to wear Rocky’s suit (a newer, much improved version from the original) take place each fall for the following year. All students are encouraged to audition. A potential Rocky must be fun, committed, skilled with children, spirited, and able to communicate expertly through non-verbal methods.

Our mighty mascot can be viewed at various UToledo events, including pep rallies, home and away football games, men’s and women's basketball games, and the annual Homecoming parade. Rocky is always battling rival mascots and “rocket”-ing around venues, cheering UToledo men and women onto VICTORY! Over the years, Rocky's costume has changed many times:

1970-1980

In the early '70s, Rocky wore a tall, metal “rocket” helmet with many different jumpsuit-style outfits, including (yes, we admit it) bell-bottom pants. In 1977, an authentic spacesuit, helmet and boots were donated to UToledo by the NASA Space Center in Houston with the help of former Ohio astronaut and senator John Glenn.

Rocky proudly donned the spacesuit at football games, but because of its mass, he changed into a lightweight replica during basketball season. Both suits were used until 1980, when Rocky took on a more futuristic look in a costume designed to present a more cosmic image.

1983-2001

Another Rocky costume – plush with huge feet – was introduced in 1983, but was used only until 1986, when a version with smaller feet was unveiled. Throughout the late '80s and '90s, only minor changes were made to Rocky's costume.

In 1998, a newly-styled Rocky was introduced at the UToledo-Bowling Green State University football game. Keeping with the drama of the occasion, the “old” Rocky entered a limousine, then a “new” Rocky stepped out in a new, blue and gold “rocket man” costume, complete with a jetpack, to the roar of the mixed crowd.

2002-2010

In 2002, an inflatable Rocky the Rocket was unveiled as an addition to the “rocket man” Rocky.

Finally, in 2008, the modern Rocky the Rocket you see today was revealed during the UToledo-Florida International home football game.

2011-PRESENT

In 2011, it was determined that Rocky the Rocket needed a counterpart to help spread UToledo spirit at events both on campus and throughout the community. Rocksy the Rockette was created, and made her debut during MusicFest 2011. She has been Rocky’s sidekick ever since. People often ask about the relationship between Rocky and Rocksy. Are they dating? Secretly married? Here’s the scoop: Rocky and Rocksy are not dating, not married, and not brother and sister. They are just the best of pals who love The University of Toledo. University Marketing also supports Rocksy, as she takes part in more than 250 scheduled events each year.

Last Updated: 2/19/20