Ole Miss Changes Mascot from Bear to Landshark, Will Keep Rebels Nickname

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistOctober 7, 2017

Mississippi's Vaught-Hemingway stadium is seen during the second half of an NCAA college football game between Mississippi and Presbyterian in Oxford, Miss., Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014. No. 12 Mississippi won 48-0.  (AP Photo/Thomas Graning)
Thomas Graning/Associated Press

The University of Mississippi has announced the Landshark will replace Rebel the Bear as the school's official mascot.

Ole Miss chancellor Jeff Vitter announced the change on Twitter and said in a release the school will still keep the Rebels nickname:

According to Mississippi's athletic website, origins of the Landshark date back to 2008 after the football team posted a 9-4 record and beat Texas in the Cotton Bowl. It was the program's first winning season in five years. 

Former Rebels linebacker Tony Fein coined the term "landshark" during that 2008 season, according to the website. He died at 27 years old in 2009 as the result of a drug overdose and previously served as an Army Ranger during the war in Iraq.

Rebel the Bear has been Ole Miss' official mascot since 2010. Landshark received an overwhelming 81 percent of the vote in a student-government poll that prompted Vitter to consult with various groups before making the decision to make Landshark the new school mascot.