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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Behind the mask: Wilbur the Wildcat

Nathanial Stenchever

University of Arizona mascot Wilbur Wildcat prepares to run the Arizona flag onto the field before a football game on Oct. 1 at Arizona Stadium. The Arizona football team would win their Pac-12 Conference game against the University of Colorado Boulder 43-20. 

The Daily Wildcat got the chance to interview the University of Arizona’s beloved mascots, Wilbur and Wilma. Get to know the mystery man behind Wilbur the Wildcat, his rigorous schedule and what the position means to him in this Q&A.

Daily Wildcat: What is your favorite memory so far while being Wilbur?

Wilbur: I have a lot of favorite memories, but I think traveling and meeting the mascots from different schools is my favorite. You have friends from all over the country who you get to see and meet.

DW: What was the tryout process like? Have you done anything like this prior?

Wilbur: The tryout process was really interesting. Basically, you have to submit a form all about yourself and why you want to do the job, and after that, you have to do an interview, which can be very stressful. Then, of course, after that process you have to do a tryout as well, which requires you to do certain physical things, like running with the flag, a certain amount of pushups and things of that sort. I’d never really done anything like that before. I’d done sports in the past in high school, but the interview/ audition process was definitely very interesting to me.

DW: How do you manage responsibilities?

Wilbur: I kind of don’t — I’m just kidding. I think I’m pretty good at my time management. I’d say that this is something that I really enjoy doing, so I’m willing to put a lot of time into it. I still hang out with my friends most of the time. A lot of school work that I do is just in between all those things, which means the minute that I have a break, I have to be working on all of that. I think, at this point, I have gotten pretty good at managing my time.

DW: What does your schedule look like?

Wilbur: My weekly schedule is usually workouts during the week, classes and other commitments. I usually get done with my day around 3 o’clock, but there are usually events throughout the week. Usually, there’s an event at a certain part of campus. For example, Sands Club Thursdays happen every Thursday before the home football game, which is a restaurant in the football stadium, and then there’s Bear Down Fridays. Finally, on game days, I have to be there pretty early because of all the pre-game activities we have to do. If there’s a game that weekend, I have a pretty busy schedule.

DW: What would Wilbur’s theme song be?

Wilbur: [The Pride of Arizona marching band] plays this song called “Born To Be Wild.” I think that it fits Wilbur’s character because he’s a Wildcat and I just get really pumped to that song.

DW: Why did you decide to be Wilbur?

Wilbur: Honestly, it was so appealing to me because nobody knows that it’s you. It’s almost like putting your superhero cape on and being a superhero for the day. It’s a really good story to have in the future for my kids and grandkids. I have always idolized Wilbur; Wilma and he are the image for the school; they’re symbols and icons and I thought it would be such an honor.

This mascot feature is from a two-part package. Read Wilma’s feature at:

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