TU's Captain Cane Gets A Superhero Makeover

Thursday, September 24th 2009, 8:22 pm
By: News On 6

By Tara Vreeland, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- The University of Tulsa's storm-themed mascot has been a tradition since 1977. Now it's a new year, a new football season, and a new look for the Golden Hurricane's superhero.

Static electricity from a storm is the force behind Captain Cane's transformation, according to TU. They say he's lost his hair but has superhuman powers.

Now the men who used to wear the mask weigh in on their beloved mascot's new look.  

The bulging blue biceps, the billowing hurricane flag cape, and the trademark vortex swirl head. It can only be the University of Tulsa's Golden Hurricane mascot - Captain Cane - who just recently unveiled a new look.

"The new mascot - it's at least great to see they have a smaller head that allows the new mascot a lot of mobility, a  lot more stunts, you can do a lot more fun things when you can see and you can move," said John Wolfkill, Captain Cane from 1993 to 1997.

But how did Captain Cane evolve into this strapping superhero? John Wolfkill was a freshman at TU in 1993. He approached the coaching staff about becoming the official mascot but wasn't thrilled about the idea on the table.

"The idea they had was the TU Weatherman and he was kind of a goofy looking character with galoshes and a raincoat an umbrella," Wolfkill said.

So the superhero idea took flight.

"It really was a pretty functional suit - except for the head," Wolfkill recalled. "The head was 6 and 1/2 pounds of fiberglass."

But Captain Cane was almost defeated a decade later.

In 2003 there was a movement to change the mascot. It went as far as going to another company and they redesigned it in terms of a monster.  

The madeover Captain Cane has had mixed reviews from fans.

"What will make me happy is if they find a student who is committed and is excited to be in the suit and will do it for the next four years," said Zach Efaw, Captain Cane from 2000 to 2004.

"That's great and to me that would make it worthwhile - and it does kind of look like Jay Leno," Efaw concluded.

 "I'm so excited that they stuck with Captain 'Cane versus going with a bulldog or something completely unrelated to what Golden Hurricane means to most alums," said Wolfkill.

Whether the mascot is loved or loathed, Captain Cane lives to fight another day.


Captain Cane will make his debut at TU's home opener at Chapman Stadium against Sam Houston State Saturday evening. The first 2,000 kids to come to the game will get a coloring book about the new mascot.