What It’s Like to be Nigel the Nighthawk


Photo by Amanda Mazzei

Nigel the Nighthawk could be sitting next to you in class right now.

The University of North Georgia mascot is a constant at many on-campus events, which requires more than one person who wears the suit.

One of the current Nigels said he heard about the mascot position from a friend who worked at UNG. He said the tryout was a 5-minute skit with props that he had to perform.

Nigel had never been a mascot before taking on the identity. He did, however, have plenty of experience with performing in front of large crowds throughout his entire life, which has helped him “a lot with this wonderful position.”

Nigel said the ‘Nigel Experience’ has “many different types of events with a lot of different interactions. Though one thing still remains the same, the fans. The fans are always so welcoming and wonderful to interact with and they are what makes the position so rewarding.”

Photo by Amanda Mazzei

Nigel says his favorite part of the job is the feeling of confidence that he experiences while he’s performing. When the costume is on, Nigel says he is able to forget about a lot of the stressors in his life, and, in those moments, he is able to relax and be the best he can be. Nigel says he enjoys all sports and especially loves interacting with UNG fans at each event.

The Nigel staff members are given a schedule based on their availabilities. Because there are multiple people who are Nigels, the suit requires regular maintenance. Maintenance generally consists of dry cleaning to allow the suits to stay in good condition. Just in case, there are also multiple suits distributed throughout each campus.

At events, Nigel plays many roles, some of which include: performing at halftime shows, supporting UNG events, being a physical embodiment of UNG’s spirit, and several other roles.

Nigel wanted to note that he is trying to become a professional mascot after college.

He said, “You can always expect to see me giving my all at events!”

Photo by Amanda Mazzei

Click here to see events where Nigel will be.