Smokey the bluetick coonhound is the official and much loved mascot for the University of Tennessee.
He was selected in 1953, during a contest to select a live mascot for the school. Announcements for the contest read, “This can't be an ordinary hound. He must be a 'Houn' Dog' in the best sense of the word."
At halftime of the Mississippi State game, the contenders were brought onto the field. The last dog announced was Brooks’ Blue Smokey, who barked when his name was called. The students burst into applause, which only made Smokey howl louder. Tennessee had its mascot.
The first Smokey was owned by Rev. Bill Brooks. His family and extended family have cared for and provided ten Smokies for UT.
Smokey has had some interesting adventures over the years. Smokey II was dognapped by Kentucky students in 1955 and later survived a confrontation with the Baylor Bear at the 1957 Sugar Bowl.
Smokey VI, who suffered heat exhaustion in the 140-degree temperatures at the 1991 UCLA game, was listed on the Vols injury report until he returned later in the season. He was on the sidelines for three SEC championships.
Smokey, University of Tennessee's mascot
Smokey X at the Orange and White Game.
Nov 30, 2013; Lexington, KY, USA; Tennessee Volunteers mascot Smokey before the game against the Kentucky Wildcats at Commonwealth Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports
Here's another shot of Smokey X when he was eight weeks old!