Skip to main content

Nicholas County native named 70th WVU Mountaineer mascot

Braden Adkins leads a cheer after being named the 70th Mountaineer mascot Saturday (March 2) at the Coliseum. (WVU Photo/Matt Sunday)

Fulfilling his passion to serve West Virginia University and his home state, Braden Adkins will don the buckskins and carry the rifle as the next Mountaineer mascot.

After a year in the alternate mascot role, Adkins, a junior economics major from Richwood, was named the 2024-25 Mountaineer mascot Saturday (March 2) during the men’s basketball game at the WVU Coliseum.

“The Mountaineer means a lot to the people of West Virginia — and to me,” Adkins said. “The experience I have gained as the alternate mascot has helped me realize that this is my passion and now I have the opportunity to fully give back to my state and University as their spokesperson.

“I have had a lot of good experiences and have met so many people over the past year, but one of the best things has been seeing the light that shines on people’s faces when they meet the Mountaineer.”

Adkins has maintained a 4.0 grade point average while also serving as a student worker in the Division of Student Life, and as a member of the Mountaineer Maniacs and WVU Pickleball Club.

“Braden possesses many of the positive traits that we look for in a Mountaineer mascot,” said Sonja Wilson, senior advisor of the Mountaineer Mascot Program. “He is outgoing with tons of school spirit, he demonstrates good leadership and time management skills, and he excels academically.

“It has been a pleasure working with Braden as the alternate mascot and now I am eager to watch him serve as the 70th Mountaineer mascot.” 

Adkins will officially accept the rifle and the responsibilities of the Mountaineer mascot from Mikel Hager, the 2023-24 mascot, during a formal “Passing of the Rifle” ceremony at 6 p.m. April 26 in the Mountainlair Gluck Theatre. Prior to the ceremony, which is open to the public, a 5 p.m. reception will be held in the Mountainlair Vandalia Lounge.

Finalist Justin Waybright, a junior from Parkersburg, will serve as the alternate Mountaineer mascot.

To make a mascot request, complete the Mountaineer Mascot Appearance Request Form. For additional information, contact Wilson at



MEDIA CONTACT: Shauna Johnson
Director of News Communications
WVU University Relations

Call 1-855-WVU-NEWS for the latest West Virginia University news and information from WVUToday.