A fixture at Marist sporting events for nearly three decades, Shooter the Red Fox continues to welcome fans young and old to campus. The idea for a mascot at Marist sporting events came in 1979 from a local energetic high school sophomore, Jim Norman. Norman took the suggestion of creating a Red Fox mascot to former athletics director and head men's basketball coach Ron Petro, who liked the idea and gave Norman the job.
Norman became the first person to portray the Red Fox, and served as the school's mascot for six years. Norman was a major part of the Marist basketball program, and via the Red Fox, helped create the current rivalry that exists today between Marist and Siena.
Shooter the Red Fox has been a part of many unforgettable moments over the past two decades. Shooter saw the Marist basketball program begin Division I play during the 1981-82 season, along with changes in conference affiliations from the ECAC, NEC and now the MAAC. During Shooter's reign at the McCann Center, there has been a 2,000-point scorer in Steve Smith '83, more than thirty 1,000-point scorers, two NBA prospects in Rik Smits '88 and Jared Jordan '07 and a countless number of magical moments.
Shooter did much more traveling with the men's basketball team in the 1980s, accompanying the players and coaches to a number of road games. Today, Shooter does not wander far from campus, unless it's for a major event. Shooter travels to the men's and women's MAAC basketball championships each year to cheer on the Red Foxes, and is a regular participant in the mascot game during the tournament.
Shooter has logged a decent number of frequent flyer miles along the way, traveling to support the women's basketball team at the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament in Arizona, California, Louisiana, North Carolina, Florida and Maryland. Shooter also accompanied the women's basketball team to the Sweet 16 in Dayton, Ohio on March 25, 2007. During Thanksgiving weekend in November of 2006, Shooter cheered on the Red Foxes at the Old Spice Classic at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla.
The appearance of Shooter has changed over the past two decades, but the support and devotion of the mascot to Marist has remained the same. Shooter has bulked up and slimmed down over the years, with the most recent change in appearance coming on January 23, 2007, during a 67-58 win over Saint Peter's, before 2,493 fans in the McCann Center.
Shooter loves seeing the smiling faces of all the fans at Marist sporting events, and will continue rooting on the Red foxes for years to come!