What is a Moc?
For more than a decade, this question has puzzled many fans and observers of Chattanooga Athletics.
The UTC Athletics Department changed logos in 1997, moving away from Native American imagery to a package of logos using railroad images, the nickname “Mocs,” and the Scrappy mascot. The new package emphasized UTC’s connection to Chattanooga and the city’s railroad heritage and incorporated the Tennessee state bird.
The term “Moc” is short for “Mockingbird.” Mockingbirds are fiercely territorial creatures which protect their homes with courage, determination and skill. Those attributes reflect the intellect, spirit and character of UTC student-athletes and alumni. A Moc is a champion on the playing surface, in the classroom and, most importantly, in life.
Named after legendary football coach A.C. “Scrappy” Moore, Scrappy, the Chattanooga mascot, is a fixture for the Mocs. A re-design in 2008 puts Scrappy in the image of the State Bird of Tennessee, a Mockingbird. The mockingbird is known as a fierce protector of its nest and environment. It is sometimes seen swooping down on a dog, cat or predator that may be venturing too close to the bird’s protected territory. Once described by “Late Night” host Jimmy Fallon as “a sledge-hammer wielding mockingbird with a heart of Blue & Gold,” Scrappy symbolizes that competitive passion.
Faced with politically sensitive issues and in need of a stronger core identity to help establish a strong brand as Chattanooga’s Team, the athletics department embarked on a comprehensive identity program in 1996. A new direction for the athletics identity was determined, moving away from the politically incorrect Native American Indian imagery.
Several identities have been used in the past. With the old nickname “Moccasins,” a snake was used in the 1920s and an Indian was used until the year of major change in 1996. A moccasin shoe was even used in the 1980s.
In 1996, it was decided to adopt the State Bird of Tennessee, the Mockingbird, as the core of the new identity, while incorporating the strong regional imagery of Chattanooga’s vast railroad history. The mascot “Scrappy” was born and a new emphasis was placed on the athletics department’s role in the region.
The committee also recognized the need for the word “Chattanooga” to have a great emphasis in the logo. The nickname “Moccasins” was shortened to simply “Mocs.” Thus established, Chattanooga could rebuild its athletics programs and initiatives around this new identity.
And rebuild it did. Quickly establishing the identity program in February 1997, combined with tremendous success in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, UTC had positioned itself to reach for the next level.
From 1997 to 2007, the primary logo was the mascot, Scrappy, riding a train. The secondary logo features the front of a train with the word Mocs built into the logo. This logo is affectionately called the “Cowcatcher logo,” referring to the front lower grill of the train that helped push objects from the train tracks.
In August 2007, officials at Chattanooga updated the school’s marks. A new C logo, the “Power C” as it has become known to fans and alums, was created as the primary mark and is emblazoned on the side of the football team’s helmets. The secondary marks were updated with a more modern look, and a new font, unique to the school, is now used on the text areas of the logos and marks.
In September 2008, Scrappy was re-branded to better match the image of a mockingbird and reflect the rich tradition of our state, our city and our University. New marks of the head as well as a full body were released. The program has also been taking special efforts to stay true to its color palette—which includes navy blue and old gold.