Introducing Tech XXII

February 19, 2018


News Editor | bjy001@latech.edu


Tech XXII is an English bulldog puppy who will take the place of Tech XXI. – Photo by Madison Wooley



As a student at Louisiana Tech, chances are one has heard the legend of the bulldog and how Tech got its fateful mascot. The story of five students being saved from a fire by a stray bulldog in 1899 has been recited by orientation leaders and tour guides for years.


However, the university did not receive its first live mascot until 1930, according to the Louisiana Tech mascot handbook. Tech I was given to the football team as a gift by two Bossier City freshmen by the names of T.J. and Henry Matthews. Ever since then, it has been tradition for the university to have a live mascot bearing the name of the first.


This January, Louisiana Tech introduced us to the newest holder of the Tech name, Tech XXII. Tech XXII is an English bulldog puppy, as is tradition, who was brought in to replace his father, Tech XXI following the elder dog’s early retirement due to development of breathing problems.


Louisiana Tech President Les Guice said that the live bulldog mascot is a way for the school to connect with the student body on a personal level as well as create lasting ties and loyalty to the school.


“We are fortunate that someone in the past decided that Tech’s mascot would be a bulldog,” Guice said. “It is the type of mascot that can be brought into public venues, and to which people can really relate. It is always fun to see how both children and adults love to connect with the Tech bulldog mascots.”


Guice said that the bulldog has a personal connection to his own life that goes as far back as his time as a student a Tech.


“I can remember bulldogs going back into my time as an undergraduate at Louisiana Tech,” he said. “When my children were young, we lived in the community where the bulldog mascot was being housed. My boys would frequently go to the neighbors and ask to play with the Bulldog. Those types of interactions create special memories of and bonds to Louisiana Tech which may last a lifetime.”
Student Government Association president Ben Rice said the new tradition of a line of related bulldogs is exciting and interesting.


“When Tech XXI retired, we didn’t have a dog lined up because we didn’t expect Tech XXI to be retiring so soon,” Rice said. “I wasn’t included in this, but a couple people decided that we needed the next dog to come from Tech XXI and to keep a lineage going. We thought that would be a good tradition to start.”


Rice said the process of replacing Tech XXI was long and arduous due to the criteria required for the bulldog to be housed and cared for by both the university and the United States Department of Agriculture.


“The first step was to have a puppy from Tech XXI and let him grow so they could verify that he wasn’t going to have the same breathing issues,” Rice said. “That was a huge process. Then the USDA has to come inspect the house that he is living at. There is a lot more to this than finding a puppy and say ‘This is Tech XXII,’ especially since we to keep the same lineage. It was definitely a long process, a lot longer I think many of us wanted it to be, but we are glad he is here.”


Tech XXII is currently undergoing training for obedience and handling the job of mascot. But Rice said students can expect to see more of him by next fall once he finishes training.


Wes Cavin, director of student activities and student programs, works with the vet club to help coordinate the care for Tech at the events the dog is required to be at. He said he does not know when the students will be chosen for the club but knows that they will take the best care of the mascot possible.


“They will be led by Dr. William Green, who I have come to have a tremendous respect for and who has greatly helped me to navigate all of the tasks associated with having a live mascot on campus,” Cavin said. “Their knowledge and education will help us to ensure that Tech is being provided the best care possible whenever he is serving on the field or at various events. They haven’t officially assembled at this time as Tech is attending school to learn how to be the best mascot he can be.”


Until that point, Cavin says the pup is doing just fine and enjoying his life of leisure around campus.


“Well, Tech is kind of a celebrity and as such he lives kind of a celebrity lifestyle,” he said. “He exercises daily, he eats healthy, hangs out in the air conditioning watching sports to learn the games and sometimes he may help with some engineering homework until he’s called on to sign autographs, take photos and kiss babies. Occasionally, we may bring him out to scare off a hilltopper or two or some owls, eagles, and maybe some panthers.”


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