Behind The Green And Gold: Being Bruiser

WACO (May 2, 2013) -- You see him at most Baylor athletic events. But there's more to being Bruiser than you think.

"It's not as easy as putting a suit on because you have to take your normal everyday mannerisms and then amplify them by a thousand," said Baylor Director of Spirit and Athletic Tradition Rachel Levetzow. "When you think you're doing something big, it's actually not as big s you think it's going to be."

Being "Bruiser" takes a team effort, a group of students that play the character.

"You know, Bruiser, the biggest character he has is his bigger than life personality. And I think all of the mascots on our team do a great job of that," said Levetzow. "I think the biggest thing is that, yeah, we do want to try and make them look all exactly alike so across the board every single Bruiser looks like Bruiser."
"My character in high school was a girl cougar and so the hardest part was turning all my actions into boy mannerisms and that was just really tough because I'm not used to acting like a boy," said Baylor mascot Kelsey Taylor.
"I know in the beginning the walk was the most awkward thing to do because you want to practice it outside of the suit first and you just look at yourself in the mirror and you're looking really goofy and you have to take it seriously," said Baylor mascot Mark Murphy. "You have to mentally think about you being someone else."

Being someone else also requires what amounts to a mascot training camp.

"It's a lot of practicing during the summer. We bring them in for seven days during the summer where three days are here in Waco and we work on the personality of Bruiser, the walk of Bruiser, Bruiser's stance, even as far as Bruiser's signature and how he signs his name," said Levetzow. "And then we take them to San Marcus for UCAUDA College Mascot Camp."

After all the training, the team takes to heart what it means to represent Baylor as its mascot.

"You (represent) a huge community here in Waco, and I love doing that," said Baylor mascot Scott Beckwith. "I know a lot of people here in Waco and it's something I love being able to represent as a character, if you will, for the whole city."