clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Why your mascot sucks: University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee



Hop aboard, the Way Back Machine, as we go back in time to 1896, when the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee was known as Wisconsin State Normal School.

The school fielded multiple teams, as they played basketball, golf, tennis, baseball and others.

Wisconsin State Normal School, went by the “Normals,” and did not have a mascot.

Normals? What?

A little over 30 years later, the school changed names to Milwaukee State Teacher’s College in 1927 and became the Green Gulls.

Later in 1956, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee was born, when The State College merged with the University of Wisconsin Extension.

However, they were not known as the Panthers, as they are today.

In 1956, UWM became the Cardinals and used UW-Madison’s color scheme of red and white as its own.

Ten years later, UWM became the Panthers following a University Student Government referendum to change the school’s colors and mascot. The school also moved away from red and white and adopted black and yellow, as they still have today.

In 1972 Victor E. Panther was born, as the school’s anthropomorphic mascot.

Victor changed a bit heading into the 1990s, as he went from a friendly looking panther to a fierce panther and then back to being a fluffy, friendly face.

Obviously, he ate that child seconds later.


Victor E. Panther “graduated” from UWM in 2007, after a 35-year collegiate career, most likely with a degree in every major program offered by UWM.

With Victor E’s exit came Pounce, the school’s new mascot, who was introduced during October Panther Madness.

However, UWM’s Pounce was not the first Panther named Pounce in the realm of NCAA Mascots…Georgia State’s Pounce debuted in 1993.


Milwaukee had to have known, didn’t they? They should have. Try some originality, Milwaukee.

Milwaukee’s Pounce did receive a makeover in 2017, but not to the mascot seen at sporting events, the makeover was done to revamp the cartoon version of Pounce.

Here comes Trouble

In 1972, the UWM Athletics Department adopted “Trouble,” a North American Golden Panther cub, to serve as the school’s mascot at basketball games.

However, caring for a live panther proved to be both time-consuming and expensive… which I feel should have been a given and UWM should have paws’d when first deciding to adopt a wild cat and thought about what was in store.

It’s a panther, not a tabby... c’mon.

However, that is not the trouble that I am referring to. In 2017, Pounce got makeover and some students did not appreciate his buffer appearance, including one of Media Milwaukee’s writers, Teagen Harr.

Harr wrote about how the updated Pounce did not represent their UWM and argued that the new Pounce was representative of the importance placed on sports in American culture, but doesn’t represent what the school has become.

“The new characterization of Pounce could be an attempt to please the status quo, but nevertheless, isn’t an accurate representation of the new Milwaukee,” Harr wrote.

I can understand the desire for the mascot to represent the school, but the primary purpose for the mascot is for athletics… so why wouldn’t Pounce take on a more athletic build?

Unfortunately Harr’s article was written in vain, as no action was taken.

Getting to know him…

Pounce is anthropomorphic Black Panther with yellow accents throughout his body, on his paws, nails, eye brows, ears and whiskers.

Of all of the panther costumes, I have to say Pounce is up there. There is a fair amount of detail put into his whiskers and his paws/claws. It is impressive.

Pounce’s height is unknown, and his weight is “purr-sonal!”

Pounce’s favorites are all cat related. His favorite movie is The Aristocats… you would think it would be Black Panther… I mean, it’s kind of obvious that it should be Black Panther… I mean, The Aristocats is a solid Disney cartoon, but it’s no Black Panther.

Pounce’s bio also says that he is allergic to dogs... which I get if you’re a cat, but you’re a panther, have some self respect, a dog should be the last thing you’re worried about...


Dammit... is Pounce cool?