The four-legged Rowdy while on campus for Homecoming Week 2016
Homecoming Week 2016 kicked-off with Rowdy's 2nd birthday celebration on campus.


The newest addition to the Maverick family

What is two years old, 600 pounds and new to the Maverick family? A rusty-brown Corriente steer aptly named Rowdy, CMU’s new four-legged mascot.

“We wanted to get a live mascot in hopes of boosting school spirit and starting some traditions,” said Josh Dillinger, Associated Student Government (ASG) president. “When you look at the larger schools they have a live mascot and it has become a major part of that community, and we recognized that as a younger institution we have the opportunity to start these traditions; someone just had to do it.”

Rowdy along with his wranglers, Dillinger and fellow CMU students Ben Linzey, Aden Cesmat and Eric Nimtz, led the Colorado Mesa football team onto the field at the October 1 home game against CSU-Pueblo, but the journey to Rowdy’s inaugural run begins a few months earlier.

The idea of having a four-legged Rowdy started during Dillinger and Linzey’s campaign for ASG president and vice-president. Once voted into office this past May the two set to work turning the idea into reality.

“This task was headed by our Chief of Staff Aden Cesmat,” said Linzey. “Aden worked with Tom Benton, director of the Maverick Innovation Center, to see what outlets and community members were viable to work with towards making the ‘real Rowdy’ a reality.” 

Benton’s friend and CMU alumni Charles Burenheide, a local banker, rancher and member of the local Cattlemen’s Association, fit the bill. He spent the next few weeks searching for the perfect Rowdy when he came across the one and half year old, rusty-brown steer.  The young steer was donated to the cause along with a trailer, food and an enclosure for Rowdy during CMU events. Burenheide donated his time not only to train Rowdy and the wranglers, but to care for Rowdy on his personal property in Loma. 

Dillinger and Linzey hope to continue running Rowdy at football games and other CMU events.

“We want to make the position of ‘Rowdy Wrangler’ prestigious,” said Dillinger. “We also want to create a scholarship opportunity for future wranglers.”

Future Wrangler scholarship recipients will care for Rowdy, run with him at games and share him with the CMU and Grand Valley community.  In return for their dedication and work, wranglers will receive a scholarship (the specifics of which have not been determined).

The real-life Rowdy has the potential to more than double in size and can live for around 10 years.

“We envision Rowdy becoming an icon and crowd favorite for years to come,” said Linzey. “His presence simply expands on the opportunities CMU offers for its student’s body, both financially and professionally, and adds to the already prestigious athletic department and programs we have here at CMU.”

Rowdy’s next appearance will be this Saturday (Oct. 22) at the homecoming football game against Adams State.

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Dana Nunn, Director of Media Relations

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