Student needed to bear the weight of Billy


Molly Dotson

Billy the Panther dances during “First Night” in OBrien Field Sunday Aug. 21.

Analicia Haynes, Managing Editor



Eastern athletics is looking for a student to bear the weight of Billy the Panther on their shoulders for the 2016 to 2017 school year.

Trevor Bittenbender, a graduate assistant in marketing and promotions at Lantz, is holding interviews for the next mascot and said they are looking for someone who is not only outgoing, but can attend as many games as possible to pump up the fans.

Bittenbender, who was the mascot for an internship he took at Northwestern University last year, said when someone puts on the uniform they have to be as happy and energetic as possible.

“It was definitely a rewarding experience,” Bittenbender said. “I respect people who do it a little bit more.”

Bittenbender said he loved being the mascot and learned that the best thing for students who are interested in working in the sports industry is to start from the bottom and work their way up.

Bittenbender said that might mean putting on the costume and showing pride for your schools teams.

“No one knows who you are and if you’re shy you can do whatever you want,” Bittenbender said. “You’re branching out of your element and people love outgoing people so when I was the mascot at Northwestern it really opened my eyes.”

Bittenbender said he will be interviewing students all week and encouraged students to call and schedule an interview.

“It’s an eye opening experience and it’s really not that bad,” Bittenbender said, “It’s a lot of fun.”

By the end of the week, Bittenbender said they would like to have at least three candidates for the position.

Then, by the middle of next week, the decision will be finalized.

“We need someone as soon as possible because of all the games (football and volleyball) that are approaching,” Bittenbender said.

The judges are looking for people who are experienced mascots whether it was in high school or in a junior or community college.
Bittenbender said the main goal is being able to show up to as many events and get fans excited and pumped.

Students interested in auditioning for Billy the Panther can call Eastern’s marketing department at 581-7151.

Analicia Haynes can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]