A day in the life: Tyler Murray, former Clemson mascot
Tyler Murray, alumnus of Clemson University played college mascot before graduating in 2021. The 22-year-old donned the suit for the first time in March 2018, after a trial process.
Murray, from Wake Forest, North Carolina, told the Journal how he became Clemson’s tiger, what a normal work day looks like, and the biggest misconception about being a mascot.
How did you become the mascot of Clemson Tiger?
“I had the opportunity in a very ‘unique’ way. One of my main traits is that I can’t hear a good song or a good beat without dancing to it. In December 2017, I attended one of the men’s basketball games with my friends and at half time of the game the Tiger was doing a hip-hop dance with the Rally Cats dance team.
One of my friends I went with leaned over and said, ‘Dude, you’d be so good at this. You should be the Tiger. I was interested, but didn’t even know where to start until my friend told me he had the current mascot number after he caught him donning the costume in the bathroom. during his first year orientation.
I texted the mascot and also contacted the coach to discuss the opportunity. For the essay, I had an interview and created and performed a two minute skit for the judges. I also did push-ups. I never wanted to be the Tiger until this incredibly appropriate opportunity landed in my lap.
What was a normal day like playing Clemson Tiger like and did you do anything specific to get into character?
“Being the Tiger is one of the funniest things you can do, especially for soccer games. The craziest thing is that the change in personality occurs as soon as the head lights up. The walk, energy level and arrogance change, and there is nothing I can do to stop it.
What’s cool is that the Tiger character is the big man on campus. He’s everyone’s friend. He’s the man for women and he’s the best at everything he does.
Being the Tiger on game day is like being a celebrity. Everyone wants to take pictures, get autographs, and have their toddlers hold you for no reason. “
What’s the biggest misconception about being the mascot?
“I think the biggest misconception would be how hard it really is to do. People don’t understand the amount of work we put in.
Besides Clemson sporting events, we also attend weddings, birthdays, charity events etc. People see the mascot just as a cool character, but don’t realize how hard these games are on our bodies or how many more appearances we make outside of football.
How did you avoid overheating in the costume?
“Very obviously nothing. I have to take water breaks if necessary to prevent overheating, but you just have to power up and do your best to do it for as long as you can. At the Texas A&M game in 2019 i lost 16 pounds in the suit, which is a record i have thankfully never broken again, and i hope no tiger ever will either.