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ĎStangs, Bruins Step Aside Unveiling Of Georgia Northwestern Mascot

"Georgia Northwestern Head Menís Basketball Coach David Stephenson, pictured front left, wraps up the very first practice from his first squad in 2007, the pilot year of the athletic program."

After two weeks of online voting between the four campuses of Georgia Northwestern Technical College, Northwest Georgiaís largest college is down to its top three candidates for a new athletic mascot.

When the Northwestern Technical College Mustangs and Coosa Valley Technical College Bruins became two of the first teams to enter the new TCSGAA, Technical College System of Georgia Athletic Association, in 2007, they had no idea that the mascots they would claim as their own would be a thing of the past just three seasons later.

After being in business for nearly 90 years, the pair of two-year colleges merged to become Georgia Northwestern Technical College just under a year ago. With all the pieces starting to fall into place for GNTC on all fronts, the administration decided to put a pressing issue to the vote of the students. "What should your new mascot be?"

"A committee put together a list of candidates that had to meet certain criteria," said Stuart Phillips, Vice President of Student Services at Georgia Northwestern. "They looked for names which were not already being used by colleges or high schools in our service area which includes Catoosa, Chattooga, Dade, Floyd, Gordon, Polk, and Walker County in Georgia. The mascot could be reflective of the region and/or the character of the college."

A list of ten finalists was compiled for the faculty and staff of Georgia Northwestern to vote on. From those finalists, the top five vote-getters from among the more than 700 employees of GNTC were then voted on by the students. After a week of online voting involving the 6,100 students of all four GNTC campuses, the the new mascot was selected.

"Right now, we are in the process of designing the artwork for the winning mascot and hope to unveil that in a ceremony in the very near future," said Stuart Phillips, Vice President of Student Services at Georgia Northwestern. The menís and womenís basketball teams of Georgia Northwestern will be the first programs to sport the new mascot on their uniforms. Their seasons begin this November.

This process continues to grow in importance with the introduction of collegiate Womenís Basketball at GNTC beginning this fall. The search for the first head coach for the program is underway. Tryouts are expected to take place at the beginning of October.

"We are extremely proud of what we offer to this region," said David Stephenson, Head Coach of GNTC Menís Basketball. "The enhancement these kinds of programs and events bring to campus life of your college is tremendous. We are looking forward to the next step."