Cries of “go fish” at Lake Tahoe Community College sport’s games could be replaced by the sound of howls as officials consider changing the school’s mascot from Kokanee Salmon to the coyotes.
The pros and cons of becoming the LTCC Coyotes were discussed at a board meeting Tuesday, when staff discussed portions of the college’s new vision before bringing it back to the board at a later time for a vote.
Board member Kerry David said he would be more in favor of having something like a bear for a mascot, but a coyote is still better than what the college has currently.
“I like it a lot better than a Kokanee,” David said.
Students, staff and members of several committees provided input on what the new mascot should be through the use of campus-wide surveys and collaborative work over the past several months.
Bears and coyotes were the most popular choices. But bears were edged out of a recommendation in part because they are represented prevalently in other colleges, including those that LTCC athletes might play against.
There also were some concerns that bears, which are often seen rummaging through trash bins in Tahoe, wouldn’t evoke the same “feeling of endearment” they do elsewhere, said Jeff DeFranco, vice president of administrative services.
Coyotes, on the other hand, are unique to the area and are sometimes seen around the college, he said. They have several distinct features that can be focused on for branding purposes — such as their long faces and signature howls — but they also have characteristics that can be applied to sports and education.
“We felt the coyotes had some traits that are consistent in soccer: things like agility, aggressiveness, teamwork,” DeFranco said. “And for students, things like collaboration (and) adaptability.”
LTCC’s new soccer program could see some of the bigger benefits of the proposed vision, and President Kindred Murillo said it’s ready.
“I know of a soccer team that is (eager) to get a mascot and colors,” she said.
Green, white and blue are the colors being proposed for the school’s new vision, along with a new mission statement, vision statement and logo.
The recommendations for the mission statement, vision statement and coyote concept are expected to go before the board on June 24, the same day board members will likely vote on whether or not to issue a multi-million bond to help improve outdated facilities and potentially construct new buildings.
Before asking board members and local voters to approve the general obligation bond, however, LTCC officials wanted to finalize the facilities master plan and educational master plan with the board’s approval.
The board did not approve the two plans Tuesday because members wanted staff to incorporate the new vision into them. Once the changes are made, they are expected to go back to the board for approval at the June 24 meeting.