Retired Citadel mascot, Boo IX, to be remembered by many
The Citadel lost a beloved member of the college family today. Boo IX passed away this afternoon at about 3p.m. due to natural causes.
“Boo IX was never bothered by anything. He patiently let mobs of children and adults alike pet him and fuss over him,” said Mike Groshon, assistant athletics director for facilities and caretaker of the bulldogs.
Groshon said the retired mascot had been suffering from health problems over the past few months. Boo IX, who was 12 years old, lost his co-mascot, General Thomas Curtis Metsker, in February. The two lived together most of their adult lives with Groshon on campus, serving as mentors for the newer bulldog mascots who took their places in the fall of 2013 when they officially retired.
“Boo IX was known for following the ball and trying to get it at football games. He wanted to be out on the field,” Groshon said.
Boo IX and the mascots named Boo before him were named after about Lt. Col. Thomas “The Boo” Courvoisier, who was the Commandant of Cadets at The Citadel in the 1960’s and the subject of a book titled The Boo. The book, composed of a collection of letters and short stories, was written by Citadel graduate Pat Conroy after he graduated in 1967.
Boo IX and General Thomas Curtis Metsker served the college faithfully as its mascots from 2003 – 2013. The pair formally retired at a ceremony held during one of the South Carolina Corps of Cadets military dress parades.
The Citadel’s current mascots, General Robert P. Carson (G2) and Boo X, are in good health and are taking a break while the cadets are away for winter furlough.
The Citadel began using bulldogs that belonged to alumni as the mascots starting as far back as 1928. It wasn’t until the Class of 2003 created the mascot program that the college actually owned and cared for its mascots full time. Private funds and donations provide sole support for the mascot program and cadets volunteer to work on the mascot detail.
Together, Boo IX and G2 helped raise more than $23,000 for charities such as the ASPCA and a bulldog rescue organization by participating in athletic events, parades, and community service events. (Boo V in photo on right.)
Past mascots include:
- Mascot Mike, 1928-1930
- Mascot Mike II, 1930-1934
- Mascot Duke, 1937-1939
- Mascot Sonny Sue, 1939-1946
- Mascots Suzie and Jake, 1947-1948
- Mascot Joker, 1949-1951
- Mascot Plebe, 1952-1956
- Mascot Plebe II, 1957
- Mascot Plebe III, 1958-1961
- Mascot Plebe IV, 1962-1963
- Mascot Boo, 1964-1971
- Mascot Boo II, 1972-1973
- Mascot Boo III, 1974-1975
- Mascot Boo IV, 1975
- Mascot Colonel Ruff, 1977-1985
- Mascots Colonel Ruff and Boo V, 1985-1989
- Mascots Colonel Ruff and Patrick, 1990
- Mascot Boo VI, 1991-1995
- Mascot Boo VII, 1996-2001
- Mascot Boo VIII, 2001-2003
- Mascots General and Boo IX, 2003 - 2013
- Mascots General Robert P. Carson (G2) and Boo X, 2013 – present
- To see rare photos of the college’s oldest bulldogs, click here.
*Capt. Thomas Curtis Metsker graduated from The Citadel in 1961. During the Vietnam War, he was in the battalion that led the first search and destroy mission ever to be conducted using airmobile (helicopter) warfare tactics. Metsker, who was wounded in the shoulder, was shot and killed when he gave up his seat on a helicopter to another soldier who was more seriously wounded.