case western reserve university



Team Colors, Mascots, Names


This summary was compiled by the staff of the Archives from sources in the Archives.

Western Reserve University
Team Colors (1896-1971) scarlet red and white
1883 - 1921 no nickname or mascot
Spring 1921 - Spring 1928 Pioneers
The student newspaper, The Reserve Weekly, ran a contest to choose a nickname during academic year 1920-1921. "Jaguars" was tried out in the paper for several weeks. Other suggested names were Tornadoes, Northern Blizzards, Catamounts, Thunderbolts, Greyhounds, Lynx, Wild Cats, Marathons, Warriors, Wampuns, and Martians. There is no known image of the mascot.
Fall 1928 - Spring 1971 Red Cats
The Reserve Weekly sponsored a contest to find a new nickname since Marietta College claimed prior right to the nickname "Pioneers." R. C. Weiss, Adelbert senior, the first of five to submit Red Cats, won the cup offered for the winning entry. Over 100 names were submitted. The Plain Dealer, a Cleveland newspaper, was already referring to WRU as the Red Cats. Judges in the contest were: Myron M. Perlich (representing The Reserve Weekly), Coach Gordon C. Locke, Coach Robert M. Grueninger, Athletic Director Frank A. Yocum, and Paul Motz.
Early version of the WRU Red Cat,, 136
WRU Red Cat, 1936
Later version of the WRU Red Cat, 1968
WRU Red Cat, 1968

Case Institute of Technology
Team Colors (1890-1971) seal brown and white
1889-Fall 1918 no nickname or mascot
Fall 1918 - Fall 1939 Scientists
The first documented use of Scientists was in a 1918 football program. It appeared frequently in print until about 1935. From 1935 to 1939 it was used only sporadically. The last recorded use of Scientists was in the student newspaper, The Case Tech, in 1939. There is no known image of the mascot.
Fall 1930 - Spring 1971 Rough Riders
The Rough Riders were named after Ray A. Ride, football coach (1930-1950) and athletic director (1932-1954). The term was first used in The Case Tech in the 10/23/1930 edition and appeared frequently until 1935. After 1935, Rough Riders became the predominant nickname, and the only one in use after 1939. The Rough Rider mascot was designed by Johnny Whitcomb, graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University.
Rough Rider
Case Rough Rider, 1970

Case Western Reserve University
Team Colors (1969 - 2004+) blue and gray
Fall 1970 - 2004+ Spartans
The Captain's Council, captains of the athletic teams, and the student newspaper, The Observer, sponsored a contest to name the merged Case and WRU teams. There was no response to the contest. According to The Observer, the members of the football team picked the name. According to University historian Clarence "Red" Cramer and Athletic Director Edward W. Lewis, the Captain's Council selected the name.

Early version of the CWRU Spartan, 1983CWRU Spartan, 1983
Later version of the CWRU Spartan, 2001CWRU Spartan, 2001
2006 version of CWRU SpartanCWRU Spartan, 2006


2KE 1:1 Minutes, WRU Board of Trustees Executive Committee, 1/16/1896
2KD 1:2 Minutes, WRU Board of Trustees, 6/16/1931
21TF 2:1 Program, WRU vs. Case, 11/25/1897
21TF 2:1 Program, WRU vs. Case, 11/24/1898
7PD 6:6 Letter, Gertrude R. Schill to United States Bureau of Standards, 11/7/1930
4PN1 The Reserve Weekly, Vol. XVIII, #15-21 (1/20/1921-3/17/1921)
4PN1 "Red Cats chosen as nickname for university teams," The Reserve Weekly, Vol. XXVI, Number 2 (10/2/1928): 1
4PH 1:3 Sidney Andorn, ed. Official Handbook, Western Reserve University, 1928-1929. Vol. 39 (?): 25
20PY Differential, 1897, p. 8
Quikref. Report, Pinches, Mary F., "Case firsts, 1880-1976"
20T 8:1, 8:2 Newsclippings, 1932-1938
20PN1 The Case Tech, Volumes I, XVI, XVII, XXII-XXXVIII, 1903-1904, 1917-1919, 1923-1939
20TF 1:2 Program, Case vs. Wooster, 10/31/1931
20JA 2:3 Charles F. Chapman, "Across the Editor's Desk,"Case Alumnus, Vol. XVII, Number 5 (February 1938): 7
2ND Minutes, CWRU Board of Trustees, 7/5/1967
20PN1 William F. Schneerer, "Letter to the editor," The Case Tech, Volume 63, Number 7 (10/27/1967): 2
4T 1:1 C. H. Cramer, Note for the file, 8/13/1974
4PN3 Karl Eser, "Sports editorial," The Observer, Volume 2, Number 1 (9/4/1970): 8
21TF 2:1 Program, Case vs. Reserve, Thanksgiving 1918
21TF 2:3 Program, John Carroll vs. Reserve, 11/7/1936
21TF 5:4 Brochure, 1968 Football Brochure
20T 8:4 Sports Schedule, 1970-1971
4TF 1:4 Brochure, Case Reserve Football - Winners Again!
4T 1:1 Fall Sports Schedules, 1997