Big changes are coming to the world of athletics at CCAC.
In keeping with the idea of a single college, four separate campus mascots have been retired to make room for one single mascot, the Wild Cat.
In addition to the one mascot, CCAC’s athletics teams and departments have combined to have one athletic director oversee them all and allow any full time student join regardless of location or type of classes.
As reported previously, this is the first time in its over half-century existence that the college has a single mascot to represent all campuses and centers. The Wild Cat was chosen by a poll among the CCAC community.
The new Wild Cats logo has two designs. One version shows a deep red silhouetted side profile of the Wild Cat on the prowl. The name “Wild Cats” extends through its mid-section in black stylized lettering. The second version shows a face of the Wild Cat looking forward with white markings emphasizing its features. The sides of the mouth and nose presents as a slight smile.
In addition to having a new mascot, CCAC hired a new athletic director. Torey O’Donnell, a lifelong athlete who played basketball and soccer for Pitt, holds a master’s degree in Student Affairs and Higher Ed. “I thought it would be really interesting to get into athletics, so I worked at Butler County Community College as the Assistant Athletics Director, but I helped out with activities and events as well,” says O’Donnell. “I wanted to build a program on my own and see what that was like and have some ownership in that so that was what drew me to CCAC as they were in the midst of a transition. So this was a great chance to build a program and make it my own.”
In addition O’Donnell clarified the effect of the change in the National Junior College Athletics Association (NJCAA), changing the identification from four separate institutions to one unified college.
With the unified college came a change to the makeup and requirements for athletics teams as well.
“Because we were four separate campuses, each campus had their own separate athletics, their own mini athletics department. For eligibility purposes, you had to take at least 12 credits at that campus to participate in the sport at that campus,” O’Donnell explained.
“So if one person at North wanted to play basketball at Allegheny, they had to take 12 credits at Allegheny to play Basketball,” O’Donnell added, “We’ve changed that and made just one athletic department. So as long as you are taking 12 credits at CCAC, regardless of the campus, center, or online, you can participate in athletics.”
An additional change to the college is specific sports hosted at specific colleges, such as golf and cross country at North, Boyce having baseball and women’s volleyball, Allegheny hosting men’s and women’s basketball, and South hosting softball and men’s and women’s bowling.
After several rounds of surveys, three nominations entered the final round: Steel Knights, Wild Cats, and Coyotes.
As the votes were tallied the Wild Cat won out beating the remaining two finalists.