CLU’s Mascot Tradition Deserves Praise

When I say California Lutheran University, there are many images that come to mind. However, school spirit isn’t necessarily one of them because of general confusion as to why there are two mascots. The current mascot situation at Cal Lutheran deserves some attention.

Debby Day, the assistant athletic director and head softball coach at Cal Lutheran, said that there is a story behind the decision to have two mascots. One that she said she is proud of.

When the university was founded in 1959 they established the mascot as the Cal Lutheran Kingsmen. All the sports teams took this name, because there were only men’s teams, according to Day.

When women’s sports became more normalized. “They tried to come up with something they thought was equitable, and that became the Regals,” Day said.

But what about now? In 2016 sports for men and women alike are established and respected factors in a growing university. Is the solution to unite under one mascot? Would having one mascot boost student spirit and pride in athletics? Not necessarily.

According to, a site that gives ratings to college campuses based on statisitics and student polls, 47 percent of students said that varsity sports are a big part of campus life. Although not a staggeringly high number, it is impressive when compared to other universities in Cal Lutheran’s division such as La Verne, 36%, and University of Redlands, 38%. These universities only have one mascot, yet sports are not valued and celebrated as much as they are at Cal Lutheran. So does the mascot matter? These statistics show that they may not.

Having two mascots can be confusing at times, especially when the reasoning behind the gender split isn’t well communicated to the student body. Day said that this is a problem she sees on campus.

“Girls who are athletes here identify themselves as Regals but our girls who aren’t athletes here, I don’t know if they identify as Regals,” Day said.

She explained that she sees female students attend football games with Kingsmen attire, and she wishes that they identified more with what the Regals represent.

“We as coaches, on the female side especially, really push what a Regal is and what it stands for,” Day said.

Regals are supposed to be dedicated, focused, hard working and team players Day said. An article on about whether or not mascots increase school spirt suggests that while they do engage the student body, the main reason for mascots is to embody a certain symbol of pride in the school and a certain spirit.

According to the article mascots, “add to school history, tradition and pride. While there is a specific meaning behind being a Kingsmen or a Regal, and a meaning behind what it means to be a Cal Lutheran student, only the latter is well known by the student body.

So the issue with the mascot situation isn’t that there are two, but that the significance behind the mascots is not well expressed.

“It’s unique and I love the history of it, it’s not like someone just looked out the window saw a coyote and said okay we are going to be the coyotes,” Day said.“I think it goes with the traditions at this school and the climate and the culture that this school has been about.”

Day said that there is nowhere else that has these mascots and that uniqueness is something that she wishes could be better understood and accepted by all students, not just the athletes on campus.

“I would like everyone to walk out of here identifying with the principles of what Kingsmen are and what Regals are,” Day said.

It is important to know where your school came from and how it has evolved since. It makes it easier to take pride in it. Being a Kingsmen or Regal is definitely something to take pride in, because it is unique and represents what it means to be a Cal Lutheran student.

Having two mascots is a challenge now, but it wouldn’t be if it was better explained. Students would take more pride in Cal Lutheran if they knew where we came from.

Alli Barton
Staff Writer