This page was created by Christine Liebson.  The last update was by Julia Teran.

Case Western Reserve University Archives

University Team Colors, Mascots, Names

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

Western Reserve University

Western Reserve University Red Cat 3
Team Colors
1896-1971: scarlet red and white

Team Names
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 College 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. Lock, Coach Robert M. Grueninger, Athletic Director Frank A. Yocum, and Paul Motz.

Western Reserve University Red Cat 2
Case Institute of Technology

Case Institute of Technology Rough Rider 1
Team Colors
1890-1971: seal brown and white

Team Names
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.

Case Western Reserve University

Case Western Reserve University SpartanCase Western Reserve University Spartan 2
Case Western Reserve University Spartan 1
Team Colors
1969-2019+: blue and gray

Team Name
Fall 1970-2019+: 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 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 Captains Council selected the name.


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

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