Mission Matters

The evolution of a sports icon

To understand Bucky, you have to understand how Santa Clara came to be the Broncos.

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As college sports became popular, teams in the 1880s started wearing uniforms (along with top hats, apparently.) ASCU

Baseball team, c. 1896, emblazoned with SCC. The school colors of red and white had already been chosen in 1891. ASCU

By 1909, the logo of an interlocking SC was being used on uniforms. ASCU

In Feb. 1923, The Santa Clara had a contest to decide a varsity name. Among the contenders: the "Sunspots," honoring Padre of the Rains, Jerome Ricard, S.J. ASCU

More good ones in the naming contest, including the "Broncos." Bucky should be glad he isn't an eel.  ASCU

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By Apr. 1923, the list of names had been narrowed down. Alas, "Broncos" had been left behind. ASCU

Ultimately, the judges decided to remain as the "Missionites." Today that doesn't seem a resounding call to arms. ASCU

By fall 1923, Hubert Flynn, S.J. is credited with offering a reason for the name "Broncos," saying "The bronco is a native western piece of dynamite." ASCU On Nov. 5, 1923, at a pregame bonfire, student body president Henry "Rip" Miller '24 announces that Santa Clara will henceforth be known as the "Broncos." ASCU

In the early years, the spelling of "Bronco" was variable. ASCU

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By the late 1920s, a bucking bronco was featured in The Santa Clara sports section. ASCU

Originally, the bronco-riding cowboy was named Benny, as seen in this editorial cartoon about the 1937 Sugar Bowl. ASCU

The bronco was often shown, though, without cowboy Benny. 1939 Redwood

In the 1950s, the bronco had an interlocking SC branded on its hindquarters. ASCU

In the 1960s, the bronco was still based on variations from the 1940s and 50s. Courtesy Pat (Pepin) Dougherty '65

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1978. Kim (Malley) Bellotti '79 is the first to don the horse head, becoming Benny the Bronco. 1978 Redwood

Benny always got a square meal. 1978 Redwood

In the late 1980s, Benny was looking a little rough around the edges. 1988 Redwood

Snapshot 1990: the Bronco Mascot (no longer Benny) on the gridiron. 1991 Redwood

Event nameless, the Bronco was always good for a group shot. 1993 Redwood

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With Santa Clara's 1995 entry into the NCAA tourney, Suzy (Pollack) Loftus '96 donned the head of a mothballed mascot and Bucky was born. (It's rumored the outfit had to first be washed in whiskey to remove the smell of past decades' inhabitants.) 1995 Redwood

Bucky quickly gained in popularity, no matter whether he was on the basketball court or at the baseball diamond. Charles Barry

Bucky was also a fierce tussler with other team mascots. Charles Barry

2011. Bucky has become buff. Charles Barry

Behind the scenes with Bucky the cover bronco. Charles Barry

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Spring 2012

Table of contents


Bucky Bronco Confidential

Who wears the costume today may be classified information. But here's one secret revealed: how Bucky came to be.

Why women professors?

Marking 50 years of coeducation at Santa Clara—and recognizing that it’s not just the composition of students that has changed profoundly.

Mission Matters

Here comes the sun ... and our solar decathletes

The 2013 Solar Decathlon is on! Santa Clara is competing for the third time, after third place wins in 2007 and 2009.

Bigger than all of us

Baseball Coach Dan O’Brien goes old school. He wants players—and fans—to rekindle a love affair with the game.

Opening new doors in the Philippines

Introducing Casa Bayanihan—a place to learn, work, and be changed forever.