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TCU Magazine "Cover Story"

Related Articles:
Horned Frog defined | Baptism by Frog | Sign language

Frog of ages

by Nancy Bartosek

TCU and the horned frog first teamed up in 1896. Legend has it the unimproved field on which AddRan College's first football team practiced teemed with horned frogs. Someone intimated the players scampered about like the fierce-looking and sturdy creatures, and the players began referring to themselves as such. The name stuck. Others report a four-student committee chose the name in 1897 for their team and the first yearbook, which was to be published that year. There may be truth to both stories. Addison Clark Jr., who is credited with bringing about both the first yearbook and the first football team, was fascinated with horned frogs and likely influenced that decision. Today? The Horned Frog remains one of the most endearing college mascots, named the best in fact by ESPN at one time. And through the years, though it has changed forms many times, the horned frog remains an integral part of the TCU tradition and experience.

1897: The first known image of the Horned Frog on college literature appeared on the cover of AddRan's first year book. That traditional side-view frog was used in various fashions for decades.

 

1906: Preface to the yearbook:
I'm just a little Hroned Frog, come now to make a spiel;

I live upon the big red ants that bite you on the heel.
I came through tribulation sore into this world of jog;
Be kind dear friend do not abuse a little Horned Frog.
When trials come, for come they will, and you begin to bog,
Remember you've a friend in me, the little Hrned Frog.
Now lay me on the parlor stand, the honored place you know,
And when the conversation drops, just show me to your beaus.
I'll tell your friends of T.C.U., the college on the hill,
And hang again on "memory's walls" a picture fit to kill.

1915: Student E.R. Bentley put the Horned Frog on a shield for the first TCU seal, created that same year.

1921: The entrance to the old gym was guarded by this Horned Frog until the ballet department redecorated the building in 1973.

 

1932: Yearbook cover

1945: The TCU Daily Skiff reports that the Horned Frog image now "appears on stationary, the processional flag at graduation, on the band's bass drum and senior's class rings. It has been burned in effigy by almost every rival in the Southwest Conference."

1948: Student Association publication

1949: The Pep Cabinet calls for names for a new Horned Frog mascot costume. "The name should be short, easy to pronounce and a name everyone anywhere in the nation would associate with a Frog," reports the TCU Daily Skiff. They got two out of three: Addy the All American Frog, in honor of Addison Clark Jr., is chosen.

1954

1966

1967

1971

1972

1979: John Grace, director of sports promotions, picks a new look for the Horned Frog mascot costume and puts out a call for tryouts. He tells a TCU Daily Skiff reporter: "We don't have a name for the mascot yet, just call it Super Frog for now." Super Frog goes through various alterations over the next two decades.

1984: A cast metal sculpture of the Horned Frog finds a home in the Reed-Sadler mall.

1991: One of the first jobs for newly hired artist Gorland Mar is a cartoon representation of SuperFrog. Over the decade Mar dresses the mascot visually as Santa, Elvis and a surfer, among others.

1996: A new "overhead" Horned Frog is developed for admissions publications. In 1998 the image appears in the masthead of The TCU Magazine.

1998: A fiercer Horned Frog scowls from football helmets the same year plans for a beefed-up football program are announced.

1999: Worn costumes and a worn look prompt officials to commission a new look for SuperFrog. Designed by Mar and revised by a committee led by education placement director and all-time cheerleader Dale Young '66. The "buffer" SuperFrog is more in keeping with the stronger and more viable sports program the University is promoting.

 

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