Next Mountaineer Mascot Waiting for the Call - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

  • Who do you think should be WVU's next Mountaineer mascot?

  • Thank you for participating in our poll. Here are the results so far:

    Daniel Carlson
    20%
    91 votes
    B. Jay Hatfield
    10%
    45 votes
    Jonathan Kimble
    65%
    299 votes
    Taylor RIchmond
    5%
    24 votes

Next Mountaineer Mascot Waiting for the Call

Posted:
Right to left: Daniel Carlson, Taylor RIchmond, B. Jay Hatfield, Jonathan Kimble Right to left: Daniel Carlson, Taylor RIchmond, B. Jay Hatfield, Jonathan Kimble
MORGANTOWN -

All there is left to do now is wait.

For four West Virginia University students, there is just one more day remaining before they find out if they'll be able to put their beards to good use or if they may want to go back to a clean-shaven look.

Tuesday night at the WVU Coliseum, the university will announce its next Mountaineer mascot.

Daniel Carlson, B. Jay Hatfield, Jonathan Kimble and Taylor Richmond are the candidates vying for the position that current Mountaineer Brock Burwell has occupied for the previous two seasons.

One of those four will hear his name called during the second half of WVU's game against DePaul and march out to midcourt to accept the honor of representing his school as its 62nd official mascot.

"I'm applying to be the Mountaineer to chase my dream," Hatfield, a Madison, W.Va. native, said after being named a finalist. "I've had this dream since I was young and my dad brought me to my first game. I wanted to play football and in my spare time be the Mountaineer."

Hatfield realized somewhere along the way that suiting up as both a football player and the team's mascot may be too tough a task to pull off. His skills as an athlete may not have allowed him to follow through on the football plan, but his desire to represent WVU never wavered.

"To me, it's actually about giving back," says Carlson, who hails from Winchester, Va. "To inspire others to live an example and to live with integrity. Service before self. Just to be excellent at everything, so for me, that's what it is. Giving back, being an example, encouraging others. That's why I want to be the Mountaineer."

Carlson is a member of the Air National Guard and says he has been given permission to sport a full beard if he should be named the Mountaineer so long as he keeps up with his other duties.

He hopes to share the message with his fellow students that "You are never down and never out. There is always a hand that will reach down and pull you up."

"Transitioning to the Big 12 is such a great opportunity to change people's perceptions about the state, school and people that make West Virginia so great," says Kimble, a Franklin, W.Va. native and the current alternate Mountaineer. "We have a clean slate for fan behavior and all of these things that we might've had a negative image with and I think all my experience I'm the best to change that and lead the way by how West Virginia is redefined in the upcoming years."

Kimble references his experiences growing up in a state that has completely shaped who he is as a person and maintains that those aspects of his character will make him the perfect representative for its flagship university.

His name may not be familiar like Burwell's has become, but Kimble has been seen publicly plenty of times this past year, whether on an ESPN broadcast of a Pittsburgh and South Florida football game that he sported a WVU sweatshirt to or starting a "Let's Go Mountaineers" chant at West Virginia's win over the Panthers from just behind Pitt's student section.

He even provided ESPN's Erin Andrews with the coonskin cap that she put on in a live hit on SportsCenter while in town for the football game against LSU.

"West Virginia has done so much for me. The campus, the school, the state, everyone. I really want to be able to give back," says Richmond, from Beckley, W.Va. "My determination and dedication and my passion for cheering… I am always at the games now front row cheering my heart out that we will win the games. Football, basketball, soccer, I am always there to show how much I love this school."

Before Kimble, Richmond served as Burwell's alternate for a season. He traveled with the women's basketball team to Hartford for the Big East tournament and can remember the feeling of being counted on to get the Mountaineers supporters energized to cheer on their team away from home.

Having had the opportunity to view Burwell do the job he covets, Richmond believes he has observed what it takes to be a great Mountaineer.

"[Burwell] is the kind of guy who can stare in the camera and give you that look that intimidates your soul but then turns around and picks up a three-year-old little girl and takes a picture," says Richmond. "The transition from grizzly bear to teddy bear and being able to do that is just one of the great things about being the Mountaineer."

Whichever of these candidates receives the honor Tuesday will do his best to take on the position that Burwell has held for two seasons and continue the tradition of the Mountaineer to the best of his ability.

They each have impressive resumes and a real love for their school, but only one will become its most recognizable ambassador for the coming year.

Check out each candidate in the video below.

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