SF State athletes try refined mascot logo on for size

SF+State+president+Leslie+E.+Wong+holds+up+one+of+the+new+athletic+t-shirts+in+Don+Nasser+Family+Plaza+during+the+reopening+ceremony+of+the+newly+remodeled+gymnasium+on+Thursday%2C+Sept.+11%2C+2014.

SF State president Leslie E. Wong holds up one of the new athletic t-shirts in Don Nasser Family Plaza during the reopening ceremony of the newly remodeled gymnasium on Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014.

SF State’s student athletes boasted gear with the school’s new logo for the first time last Thursday at the newly named Don Nasser Family Plaza in front of the gymnasium.

However, SF State’s athletic teams will not receive uniforms with the new logo until next year, according to the Sports Information Office.

SF State president Leslie E. Wong holds up one of the new athletic t-shirts in Don Nasser Family Plaza during the reopening ceremony of the newly remodeled gymnasium on Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014. Frank Ladra / Xpress.
SF State president Leslie E. Wong holds up one of the new athletic t-shirts in Don Nasser Family Plaza during the reopening ceremony of the newly remodeled gymnasium on Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014. Frank Ladra / Xpress.

The logo changed more than a month after SF State hired Charles Guthrie as the athletic director for the University to reinvent the gator image and breed a winning culture in athletics.

“It’s the start of what we’re trying to do to become a recognizable brand,” Guthrie said. “When we’re traveling and going through airports, we want people to know who we are.”

Guthrie made the fourth change in the logo’s 83-year history in August, which shows a more intimidating and modernized rendition of the Gator.

The change brought mostly favorable reviews from athletes and alumni.

“I like it a lot better than last year’s,” said SF State wrestler Payton Russum. “Last year’s logo was like a middle school logo.”

The gator changed from a smug cartoon gator decked out in purple SF State gear, to a simple and more realistic alligator crouching below a trademarked “SF State” inscription.

“I really like the new logo a lot and I think they got it right,” said Russ Stanley, the San Francisco Giants vice president of ticket sales, who graduated from SF State in 1988. “It’s a little more fierce than it used to be.”

Although the tougher design drew praise from many, one SF State athlete said she prefered the older one.

“I don’t see why we had to change it after so long,” said Ashley Alvarez, a member of SF State’s track team. “I think the purple is a bit too dark, it looks really burnt.”

Sporting new t-shirts, SF State athletes line up for free food in Don Nasser Family Plaza just before the reopening ceremony of the newly remodeled gymnasium on Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014. Frank Ladra / Xpress.
Sporting new t-shirts, SF State athletes line up for free food in Don Nasser Family Plaza just before the reopening ceremony of the newly remodeled gymnasium on Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014. Frank Ladra / Xpress.

The athletes swarmed the refurbished gym after the ribbon cutting ceremony to play games and see the shiny new court. SF State recently completed a $2.1 million upgrade to the gym, which President Leslie E. Wong described as decrepit and embarrassing before the renovations.

Wong said he wanted the autographs of every athlete in attendance to present to Don Nasser in honor of the plaza’s new name.