Campus: California Maritime Academy -- March 17, 2004

The Cal Maritime "Keelhauler" Turns 30

Makeover marks the milestone

The athletic department of The California Maritime Academy, a campus of The California State University, is celebrating a major milestone this year — its Keelhauler mascot is celebrating its 30th birthday. To mark the occasion, interim athletic director Pat Hollister and members of the Cal Maritime’s athletic department today unveiled a new Keelhauler mascot to the students immediately following morning formation.

Originally voted in by the students, Cal Maritime’s Keelhauler has been the official mascot of the academy’s athletic department since 1974. To mark its 30th birthday, the campus athletic committee, which consists of students, faculty, and staff, worked with a professional designer to give the logo a new look.

After being unanimously selected by the athletic committee, it was officially declared the athletic department’s new logo by President Bill Eisenhardt. The new Keelhauler will appear on everything from team jackets and warm-ups to gym banners and decals.

“An athletic mascot plays an important role in terms of campus pride on many campuses, and our campus is no exception,” said Pat Hollister, interim athletic director at Cal Maritime. “We have one of the most unique mascots in the nation, and we take pride in that. The athletic department is very pleased with the revamped Keelhauler logo and we look forward to displaying it proudly on team uniforms, athletic gear, and in our gymnasium.”

What is a Keelhauler?

Keelhauling was a form of corporal punishment that was formerly practiced as a punishment in the Dutch and English navies. It was used as a way to punish members of the crew who were found guilty of a serious breach of the ship’s code of conduct. Keelhauling involved tying the hands of a crewmember to a rope, throwing him overboard and dragging him under the keel of the ship up to the other side. While the Keelhauler lives on at Cal Maritime, the practice of Keelhauling was formally abolished in 1853.

As one might imagine, Cal Maritime’s Keelhauler is one of the most unique mascots in intercollegiate athletics. In fact, in years past, it has earned the distinction among national and regional media outlets as being one of the top 25 nicknames in intercollegiate athletics.

Contact: Jennifer Whitty,707-654-1720

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