Lynnette Wukie was named as the newest Notre Dame mascot, becoming the first-ever female to serve as the leprechaun, according to the university. The university started using the leprechaun mascot in 1965 but they have all been men. Notre Dame uses three different people to don the leprechaun mascot so that every sport can be represented by a mascot.
Wukie also becomes the third-ever African-American to earn the gig.
Wukie will be joined by Samuel Jackson and Conol Fagan for the 2019-20 academic calendar. Fagan made history as the first native Irishman to be named the leprechaun. The native of Northern Ireland was the mascot last season and will continue his role as the leprechaun until he retires.
Wukie and Jackson are the second and third African Americans to be selected as the leprechaun. Notre Dame alum Mike Brown broke the color barrier for the Fighting Irish mascot in 1999. Wukie will be a junior in the 2019-20 athletic year as will Jackson.
In her application video, Wukie said, “Who says the Fighting Irish can’t fight like a girl?” The video obviously worked as she was named as one of the university’s three mascots. Notre Dame is excited to have Wukie as a mascot for the upcoming academic year.
“We’re so excited to welcome Sam, Conol and Lynnette as next year’s leprechauns,” head cheerleading coach Delayna Herndon said. “Each bring their own strengths and personalities to the role, and I’m excited to see them represent Notre Dame on the sidelines next season. As such a visible representative of Notre Dame, the leprechaun is a role model to fans across the country, and we hope this group can inspire people of all backgrounds to see themselves as a vital part of the Notre Dame family.”
Wukie will be a presence on the Notre Dame sideline when she cheers them on as the first female leprechaun.