Notre Dame Gets First Black Mascot
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — It’s hard to miss the vivid color of Michael Brown’s uniform as the leprechaun mascot for the University of Notre Dame. But these days it is the color of Brown’s skin that has captured the attention of many longtime Fighting Irish fans.
The sophomore business major from Milwaukee is the first African American chosen to serve as the Notre Dame mascot.
“It’s big to me, because no other African American has done it before,” Brown said before last month’s debut at the Blue-Gold varsity football scrimmage.
Brown was chosen after an intense one-day tryout process that included an interview before a panel, a motivational speech, and a mock pep rally. At the end of the day, Brown, who had played high school football, was surprised to be selected from the field of nine candidates.
“I was just in shock. It hit me when I walked back to the car. I said, ‘Wow, I’m the leprechaun,'” he says.
The varsity leprechaun’s duties include leading pep rallies and firing up crowds at varsity football and men’s basketball games.
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