A lot more goes into being a mascot than what is shown on your screen. The same is true for our student-athletes.

As they don their Butler-branded jersey and step onto the big stage, it can be easy to forget that beneath those moisture-wicking uniforms are students; students who are striving to become the best versions of themselves while balancing the rigors of training as a D-1 athlete.

I am one lucky dog who spends extra time on and off the court with these students. I get to know their personalities, their interests, and what drives them. From the stories passed down from Blues I through III, it is those things, not necessarily what happens on the court or field, that makes a Butler Bulldog. While breaking records and scoring game wins are great, it’s when you combine those with off-the-court accolades that I think you get a better picture of who these student-athletes are.

Some of my fondest memories are the times I shared a row of seats with one of our players on the bus, or breaking into a hotel conference-room-turned-studyroom to give them a much-needed study break, or waving to them from the Bluemobile as I passed them on their way to class.

When the bittersweet day arrives for these students to graduate, it’ll be those memories that live between my floppy ears.