Cocky and Sir Big Spur together in 1980. Sir Big Spur has a tall, stiffer build, while Cocky — his “son” — was made to be less intimidating. This was done by making him much softer, featuring a red coat, cartoonish yellow beak and a round build.
Cocky on the football field in the 1980s. At first, many students were not on board with the mascot’s new, friendlier look.
Cocky often performed with the cheerleaders. His soft and fun demeanor, though disliked by many at first, quickly grew on students with each appearance in the 1980s.
Cocky on the baseball field in the 1980s holding a toy baseball bat. He took on a goofy personality that kept the crowd entertained.
Cocky on the top of a cheer pyramid in 1982. John Routh, the man in the suit at the time, went on to become a mascot at the University of Miami.
Cocky wears a top hat and suit as he cheers in front of the marching band on the football field. This moment was captured in 1985 and shows off one of many specialty outfits for Cocky.
Jamie Hamilton and Cocky point from side to side as “GAME” ... ”COCK” swells in the stadium. While this moment was taken in 1985, traditions like this are still seen now in 2022.
The mascots of South Carolina and Clemson keep fans fired up for the game. Whether it’s 1990 or present day, one thing has always been the same: the Clemson-Carolina rivalry is between players and mascots alike.
Cocky joins the Carolina Band in the stands at a football game in 1994. Though many students often see Cocky on the field at football games, his shenanigans aren't limited to the sidelines.
Cocky and his parents pose on the football field in 1994, displaying the Family Weekend tradition that is still seen today. The only difference is Cocky’s number, as today his jersey — and the supportive buttons his parents wear — read “MY SON IS #01."
Cocky and his girlfriend walk the sidelines during USC’s Homecoming game against Vanderbilt in 2005. Though Cocky is most known for wearing his jersey, it's common to see Cocky dressed up for special events beside a friend or family member.
Zackary Gray, 6, poses in a Cocky costume with the actual Cocky mascot. This shows a stark contrast from Cocky’s initial audience reaction, as Carolina fans now fully embrace the iconic big, red bird.
Cocky is known for his grand football entrance. Set to "2001: A Space Odyssey," Cocky fights out of a “magic box” accompanied by flames, fireworks and fierce cheers from the Carolina crowd. This moment in particular was captured before the Gamecocks took on Missouri on Sept. 22, 2012.
Cocky on the field of Williams-Brice Stadium in 2013. While the Carolina community knows Cocky well, very few people know his true identity until the students wear the suit’s gloves and feet when they walk across the stage at graduation.
Cocky greeting fans at the Gamecock Walk before the start of the game between the Gamecocks and the Georgia Bulldogs on Sept. 17, 2022. His feathers stand up on the top of his head, notably different from the full head of hair seen on his original suit in the 1980s.
Freshman Sarah Hamner serves during a singles match against Clemson on Sunday, Feb. 20, 2022. The Gamecocks won both matches of the doubleheader, beating Clemson 4-2, and Charleston Southern 6-1.
Sophomore guard Jacobi Wright prepares to make a free throw on Oct. 26, 2022. The men's basketball team hosted Garnet & Black Madness in preparation of the upcoming season.
Redshirt junior forward Benjamin Bosmans-Verdonk battles in the post on Oct. 26, 2022. The Gamecocks men's basketball team hosted Garnet & Black Madness at Colonial Life Arena.
Redshirt junior forward Benjamin Bosmans-Verdonk dunks a lob pass on Oct. 26, 2022. The Gamecocks men's basketball team hosted Garnet & Black Madness at Colonial Life Arena.
Freshman guard Zachary Davis shoots a three-pointer during the three-point shot contest on Oct. 26, 2022. The men's basketball team held a three-point contest during Garnet & Black Madness in preparation of its upcoming season.
Freshman guard Zachary Davis brings the ball up court on Oct. 26, 2022. The Gamecocks competed against each other in a scrimmage game during the Garnet & Black Madness event.
Freshman forward Daniel Hankins-Sanford runs back down the court to play defense after making a three-pointer during an intrateam scrimmage on Oct. 26, 2022. The men's basketball team hosted the Garnet & Black Madness event.
Graduate student forward Hayden Brown smiles as he steps on the court after being introduced to the small crowd on Oct. 26, 2022. The Gamecocks men's basketball team hosted the Garnet & Black Madness event, including a scrimmage, dunk contest and three-point contest.