Life at USC

Say Hi to Cocky, Your USC Mascot!

For some students, showing school pride means going to a football game, buying a shirt or joining a club. For a select and sweaty few, school pride means wearing a giant costume. If you’re new to the idea of a school mascot, here’s everything you need to know about these lovable symbols of school spirit!

What are school mascots?

School mascots are one of the ways to bring good luck and raise school spirit, especially at sporting events. They’re often an animal or other character that represents good qualities about the school, its sports team and students as a whole. Many mascots are based on local history or an animal native to the school’s area.

Who is the USC mascot?

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Go to a USC football game or a Gamecock women’s basketball game and you’ll find Cocky there. Cocky was “born” in 1980. He represents a fighting gamecock, or rooster. Cocky has won multiple awards for being the National Mascot of the Year all while helping the Gamecock athletic teams fight for victory.

What do school mascots do? 

Mascots dance, hand out prizes, do fun or silly tricks – whatever it takes to get the crowd excited. Because it’s hard to yell in the costume, mascots often use exaggerated gestures to communicate. And while mascots can’t do intricate dance moves, you might be surprised to see how much fun Cocky can have. So be sure to cheer extra loudly for some good motivation.

Who else helps cheer on the team?


In addition to mascots, you’ll often find cheerleaders, skilled dancers who perform acrobatics, getting fans cheering for the home team. And don’t forget the marching band – these talented musicians will play songs to raise your spirits. Together, mascots, cheerleaders and the marching band are a big part of the college sports experience. So cheer for Cocky, and show your school pride!


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