The official WSU mascot can trace its origins to an October 25, 1919 football upset over the heavily favored California Bears.
The Bears not only lost to WSU, they were shut out 14-0 on their own homefield in Berkeley.
After the game, a San Francisco Bay-area sportswriter says the visitors “played like cougars!”
Back in Pullman, a jubilant student body picks up on the idea, and three days later votes to select “Cougars” as the mascot for WSU’s athletic teams.
Find more Cougar history at https://timeline.wsu.edu/