The Man In The Mountaineer Suit, Michael Garcia


You’re on campus and you see a man walk by in buckskins carrying a rifle…. What!? You’ve run into our Mountaineer Mascot, Michael Garcia! Michael is a first year grad student studying for his masters in public administration and he is from Fairmont, West Virginia. This is his second year carrying on the mascot tradition, truly becoming a part of who he is on West Virginia University’s campus. Whether you hear him screaming “Let’s Go Mountaineers” at a football game or you see him casually walking to class, Michael will always stop to say hello. Meet Michael! (and yes, his beard is real!)

Q: When did your journey begin as you decided to become the Mountaineer?

A:  My journey began with my parents giving made every opportunity to try anything I wanted. I never felt like something was out of reach.  As a sophomore, I decided that I wanted to be the Mountaineer and by the time I was a senior, I reached that goal.

Q: What drove you to try out for the Mountaineer position?

A:  I was driven to be the Mountaineer because I felt that I had energy top bring to the position and a vision for the Mountaineer as a genuine figure in the community as well as during athletic events.

Q: You’re a huge icon for the state of West Virginia. How does it feel?

A: It feels like a lot of pressure to be an icon for West Virginia.  There is so much good in this state that I am trying to represent and I never want to fall short of that.

Q: What do you feel like it means to be a Mountaineer?

A: To me, the Mountaineer means becoming a better, more value oriented person every day. Its not enough to just be content with how far I have come. I am not truly a Mountaineer unless I continue improving on myself.

Q: Lastly, what is your favorite part about being the Mountaineer? How has it shaped your present day life?

A:  My favorite part about being the Mountaineer is the people I've met. It has changed my life into something I never expected. I feel empowered to lead by example and make the most of my time here at WVU. I intend to make the most of my time left as the Mountaineer and I am not thinking past my last day in the buckskins.