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Contact: Tom Uribes

Nov. 30, 2001                        

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Happy Birthday, Timeout!

Fresno State mascot was founded 80 years ago this fall


California State University, Fresno and the San Joaquin is celebrating a special occasion for of one of its most cherished characters, Timeout, the university’s Bulldog mascot, who turned 80 this fall.

Or … 560 in dog years.

A special birthday observance will be observed at the Dec. 15 women’s  game in the North Gym on campus and the Dec. 20 men’s basketball  game in Selland Arena. At the Dec. 1 football finale, Red Wavers sang Happy  Birthday to the mascot during, appropriately, a timeout in the third quarter.

Now Timeout has gone hi tech with his own Web page that highlights the San  Joaquin Valley’s most loyal “pet” at – complete with photos and a Color Timeout printout for children … or artists of any age so  inclined!

The Web page — which also includes “Timeouts ‘Top Dawg’ Web sites at Fresno State”— is another delectable bone in the lovable, albeit mischievous, mascot’s long and storied career that  includes a mention in Sports Illustrated magazine at one point.  

According to university lore, late in their initial 1921 season, student body president Warren Moody and friends were continually greeted outside the main campus building by a white bulldog. The institution had been established 10 years earlier as Fresno Normal School.
The dog adopted the group and the students decided to make him the college’s mascot. In a student body meeting, student representative Arids Walker made the motion to adopt "Bulldogs" as the official nickname.

On November 21, 1921, the Morning Republican (now The Fresno Bee) first referred to Fresno State as the "Bulldogs.”

In 1981, the Bulldog mascot character we see today was created and given the name Timeout, according to Gary Johns who served as the first costumed mascot that year and created the first costume.

He said the name was taken from the Timeout Boosters Club, which sponsored the mascot that first year. After creating the costume, Johns was asked to teach students how to perform but the Timeout Club liked his portrayal so much, he was asked to continue doing it for the remainder of the year, recalls Joyce Duncan, spirit team adviser for Fresno State in the 70s and 80s. Her husband, Don, was the Timeout Club President.

Duncan was instrumental in getting the mascot established as one of the valley’s most lovable wise guys.

“He is seen everywhere!” she said. “He’s a great ambassador for the university and the community.”

Johns said his antics even earned Timeout a mention in a Sports Illustrated article as one of the best mascots in the nation following the 1981 game in El Paso.

The Timeout mascot has come to be, like most colleges rich with tradition, a strong image for the university. Today, the mascot — portrayed by students who serve as members of the university's Spirit Team along with the cheerleaders and dancers — makes many community appearances as well as the usual Fresno State athletic contests.

The Valley community is invited to join the university in wishing Timeout a Happy Birthday and thanking him for the joy and spirit he brings to the Bulldogs experience!


Timeout's proud that David Carr is the first Bulldog ever to be selected first in the NFL Draft...listen to his special song!

PHOTO CAPTION: Bulldog face painting fans Angel Langridge and Amy Padilla strike a pose with Timeout and reporter Priscilla Kwan (right) following the Sunrise Show on KSEE-TV Ch.24/NBC from the University Skyboxes at Bulldog Stadium.