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Our 2019 Mascot Madness Champion is…

Columbia-Greene Community College mascot Rip Van Winkle with SUNY Mascot Madness trophy

The 2019 edition of SUNY Mascot Madness started with 34 mascots from across SUNY, ready to battle it out to win the coveted title of New York’s favorite college mascot. Now, three weeks and tens of thousands of votes later, we have a new, first-time champion to carry the trophy. So a big congratulations is being given to Rip Van Winkle of Columbia-Greene Community College for being the 2019 SUNY Mascot Madness Champion!

Our final round saw nearly 6,000 votes cast on the poll and an additional 775 on social media between the two competitors. That made the totals 3,481 for Rip to 3,161 for Walter, a difference of less than 10%.

In total, the 2019 tournament saw more than 65,000 votes cast throughout the 6 rounds. The passion of our fans and the spirit of our mascots even caught the eyes of local media in New York State, when ABC affiliate WTEN visited 3 mascots in training when they were preparing for the start of the tournament. We got an inside look at how hard these SUNY mascots work to best represent their schools and the SUNY spirit throughout New York.

Let’s remember that like these mascots, Rip Van Winkle began improving his competitive strength last year when he was narrowly defeated in the finals by Geneseo’s Victor E. Knight. It looks like that first run through the finals gave him the experience he needed to step it up again and come out on top.

A look back

This year was indeed a year of the underdog, as we saw new SUNY schools making runs deep into the tournament and ultimately competing for the championship. Both finalists were seeded high in their brackets.
So how did we get here? Let’s take a look back through the tournament to recap.

Rip Van Winkle becomes the 5th mascot to capture the SUNY Mascot Madness Champion, and the first from a community college. This truly shows us that it doesn’t matter the size of the campus or the number of students enrolled, the spirit of the SUNY community is strong all across New York State. Go SUNY!

Past Champions

2013 – Hugo Hawk
2014 – Baxter Bearcat
2015 – Baxter Bearcat
2016 – Victor E. Knight
2017 – Oakie the Acorn
2018 – Victor E. Knight
2019 – Rip Van Winkle


Mascot Madness 2019 on social media

Our mascots, schools, and fans all did their part on social media to generate excitement throughout the competition. These are just a few of the examples.

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    Written by Taras Kufel

    Taras Kufel is the Manager of Digital Engagement at the State University of New York.

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