The UA hired J.F. "Pop" McKale in 1914 as Athletic Director and coach of all UA sports and his first football team made history. At a game against Occidental, an LA Times reporter wrote, "The Arizona men showed the fight of wildcats….." The name stuck.
In 1915 UA students met the University's first mascot – a real desert bobcat, named Rufus Arizona after the UA president Rufus vonKleinSmid. The practice of using a live animal as a mascot was discontinued in the mid-1960s. The first costumed-student mascot, "Wilbur" appeared during the 1959 football season and was an instant hit.