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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


A look at Wilbur and Wilma’s wardrobe changes

Larry Hogan/Arizona Daily Wildcat Wilbur Wildcat cheers on the fans at a UA football game against Toledo earlier this month.

After donning outdated and threadbare costumes over the years that are frequently replaced, Wilbur and Wilma Wildcat received new costumes at the beginning of the semester with several significant design changes.

“We always purchase new uniforms,” said Roberta Quiroz, director of community relations and adviser for the University of Arizona spirit program. “They get ratty and torn through the years and it was just time to give Wilbur an update.”

The UA got six new suits, four heads, cooling vests, a holiday outfit for Wilbur, and an adjustable hat and bow for each mascot, respectively. Wilbur’s blue hat can also now be changed accordingly for red and white-outs, Quiroz said.

“I like the changes, I think that they are a good update, they accommodate to their needs a lot more,” cheerleader Emma Garner said.

Arizona changes the mascots’ fur every four or five years, but the head hadn’t been replaced since about 2000, Quiroz said.

Last month, many Arizona Daily Star readers were in an uproar after the Star published a story about the changes being made to the costumes.

Quiroz said some people thought the changes were drastic and some said they looked the same. The article touted a revamp of Wilbur and Wilma’s look, emphasizing their darker fur, which was one of few significant changes.

“I think some people were under the impression that we were trying to really change the look of Wilbur and Wilma, which we weren’t,” Quiroz said.

Forrest Gmitro, a cheerleading and mascot manager, said they were worried about the reaction of fans after the flak received from the photo shoot that accompanied the Star story, but since then, negative feedback has been sparce.

“We were kind of worried when it was released but it’s been only good news from there,” Gmitro said.

Garner said he’s heard comments such as, “Oh, they’ve got an overnight tan” but when the suits are in action the difference is not usually noticeable.

“I think the first picture kind of freaked people out,” Garner said. “But in person I feel like people really liked them, I didn’t hear any bad things about them.”

Quiroz said the darker color helps preserve the color of the suits.

“The fur is a little darker so that when it does get washed and worn, through the years, it doesn’t get as yellow looking or it is not as susceptible to dirt and grime because they are out there all the time,” Quiroz said. “Pretty much the changes that were made were to enhance the student, not necessarily change the look of Wilbur and Wilma.”

Gmitro, a junior, and Garner, a senior, were most excited about the mascots’ new head gear.

“The hats are really fun and with Wilma’s bow you can change the color for different events like Breast Cancer awareness and stuff like that,” Garner said “So I feel like they’re definitely more up to date and they’re going to last for a lot longer.”

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