Announced yesterday, Ole Miss will be changing its mascot from Rebel the Bear, named the mascot back in 2010 when the school retired Colonel Reb in an attempt to distance themselves from symbols of the Confederacy and Old South. The Landshark has become a symbol of determination and athletic ferocity at Ole Miss since 2008, and this past week took an overwhelming 81 percent of the vote in a student-government poll.
The origins of the Landshark date back to 2008 and are rooted in the legacy of former Rebels linebacker Tony Fein. Tony was an Army Ranger who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom before joining Ole Miss and brought the same intensity to the football field coining the Landshark in his last season with Ole Miss. In 2009 Fein passed away, and today the now Landsharks hope to continue his legacy.
“The growth of the Landshark mystique over the last seven years has been phenomenal with every athletics team embracing it, including such standouts as Marshall Henderson with basketball and Kaitlin Lee with softball, in leading their respective teams to SEC championships.”
Ole Miss Chancellor
The transition to the newly elected mascot will be effective immediately. This weekend Rebel the Bear will not be present at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium when Ole Miss plays Auburn.
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