NCSU: A primer on NC State mascots

Nice piece available by clicking here. It includes a slideshow that will be interesting to you.

One photo you won’t see, unfortunately, is of a robotic wolf that Ira Helms Jr. ’48 built when he was a mechanical engineering student at NC State. With size 16 shoes, it stood 7 feet tall and had a 120-inch chest. It debuted in 1946 with the cheerleaders during the football season opener against Wake Forest. Helms sat inside the contraption and controlled its movements, leading students to call his creation “Hell,” “The Wolf Monster,” “The Trojan Horse,” and “Helms’ Monster.” “With a body similar to Frankenstein’s monster and the ferocious head of a wolf,” Technician wrote on Oct. 18, 1946, “it is expected to create a sensation in the game and spur the team on to another victory.” Helms said he got too hot inside his creation, so the cheerleaders and band members operated it the rest of the season. It was considered a good luck charm as the team finished the regular season 8-2 and earned the school its first bowl bid (a 34-13 loss to Oklahoma in the Gator Bowl). Though the mechanical wolf was retired after the season, it helped solidify the Wolfpack name.

NC State magazine spoke to Helms about his creation in 2004. Read his first-person account of it….

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5 Responses to NCSU: A primer on NC State mascots

  1. packof81 12/24/2010 at 10:54 AM #

    Mr. Wuf has got to be one of the coolest logos and mascots. I didn’t know Harrelson disliked the name Wolfpack, which at one point was unique. Ahem.

    Logo and Mascot have never been problems for us. :-)

  2. NCStatePride 12/24/2010 at 4:09 PM #

    The mechanical wolf can be viewed at the following URL: http://images.google.com/m/search?site=images&aq=f&oq=&aqi=-k0d0t0&fkt=195&fsdt=10911&q=+Ira+Helms+jr+mascot#i=0

    Merry Christmas, StateFansNation!

  3. GoldenChain 12/25/2010 at 4:56 PM #

    I thought the Wuf’s with the hard snout were the best. I can’t stand the current costume, reminds me of bad PJs that have been slept in.

  4. 93Pack 01/13/2011 at 11:06 AM #

    Here is a picture that was in an old Technician article:

    http://www.technicianonline.com/sports/a-wolf-by-any-other-name-1.1046392

  5. wolfbuff 01/13/2011 at 12:53 PM #

    “I didn’t know Harrelson disliked the name Wolfpack”
    Another reason to tear down that building!

    Maybe we should get that guy who built barrel monster to build us barrel wolf. How cool would that be?

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