Wolfie, Stony Brook’s beloved mascot, celebrated his 20th birthday during halftime of the men’s basketball game on Saturday, Feb. 7 by treating everyone in attendance to a variety of desserts.
Wolfie, surrounded by Stony Brook cheerleaders, trotted around the court in his golden birthday crown and red cape while the marching band played “Happy Birthday.”
The lobby was packed with fans who were eager for cupcakes and pudding before the marching band finished playing.
As for his birthday wishes, Andrea Lebedinski, coordinator for Annual Giving and Branding of the Athletics Department and administrator of Wolfie, said Wolfie wants the men’s basketball team to reach The NCAA Tournament. Lebedinski added that Wolfie also wanted success for all sports teams.
Wolfie would also like to be a part of Capital One’s Mascot challenge, the March Madness for mascots, Lebedinski said in an email.
Wolfie took over as Stony Brook’s official mascot in the summer of 1995. Before that, Stony Brook was known as the Patriots.
Although Wolfie cannot buy a drink yet, he has had quite a workload. According to Lebedinski, Wolfie averages nearly 500 events a year—sometimes five in one day.
To keep up with the public’s demand for Wolfie appearances, Lebedinski leads a 14-student “Wolfie Mascot Team.”
This group is charged with booking and scheduling appearances for Wolfie.
The result is a “brand” that made Wolfie a local favorite and a growing national figure.
Lebedinski emphasized the importance of the Wolfie brand to the school and the community.
Locally, Wolfie was named Three Village Sportsman of the Year and a finalist for Long Island Press’ Best Mascot contest from 2011 to 2013.
Nationally, Wolfie made four consecutive appearances in New York City’s Columbus Day Parade and has accompanied Stony Brook sports teams to various states across America. He was also featured in ESPN’s College Game Day commercial back in 2011.
Now, Wolfie is ready to take over the social media scene. SBU’s mascot has flocks of followers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
Seawolves can watch Wolfie break out some dance moves to “Smooth Criminal,” or watch him demonstrate the Stony Brook Spirit on his YouTube page.
There are seven students who play Wolfie. According to Lebedinski, these students do not only have the opportunity of playing the beloved mascot, but having the position also looks great on a resume and is a great conversation starter.
But, the job also comes with great responsibilities once an applicant completes the tryout process. The student must abide by the “Mascot 10 Commandments,” a list of do’s and don’ts as Wolfie.
The first rule for being Wolfie: absolutely no speaking. The individual who played Wolfie during the men’s basketball was not able to comment on this story.
As for Wolfie’s 21st birthday next year, Lebedinski said there are some big plans in mind. Currently, Lebedinski cannot disclose what is in the works for Wolfie’s next birthday celebration.