MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Michael Garcia is officially the new Mountaineer Mascot for the 2014-15 academic year. Jonathan Kimble handed over the musket during a ceremony Friday.
Garcia, a junior political science student from Fairmont, W.Va., was announced as the new mascot last month and made his first appearance in buckskins during the Gold-Blue Spring football game Saturday.
“I’m trying to represent the state by getting to know the state,” Garcia said. “I want to meet the people and get to know them and represent them as the best Mountaineer that I can be.”
Garcia said it’s a dream come true to be the Mountaineer, and he’s eager to start his new job.
“I’m really looking forward to the experience,” he said. “Going to elementary schools starting on Monday to see the kids and travel a lot is what I’m looking forward to.”
Garcia said Kimble was the inspiration who made him decide to apply to be the new mascot.
Garcia and Kimble have worked closely in the last few weeks to prepare Garcia for the job.
“I’ve met a lot with Jonathan. He’s really been a great help to me,” Garcia said. “We’ve talked about almost everything that could go wrong, and I’ve met a lot of (former) Mountaineers tonight, so that’s always good, too.”
Kimble is the first Mountaineer Mascot since WVU made the move from the Big East Conference to the Big 12 Conference in 2012.
Before handing over the rifle, he fired off his last shots outside the Erickson Alumni Center and started one last “Let’s Go Mountaineers” chant…