There are many unique mascots in college sports nowadays. There are the UC Irvine Anteaters, Concordia College Cobbers and the Evergreen State College Geoducks. However, the best mascot in all of college sports is the University of California, Santa Cruz Banana Slug.
The Banana Slug became the official mascot for UCSC in 1986. However, Santa Cruz had another mascot before the Banana Slug became the official one. In 1980, UCSC wanted more participation in the sports world, as they wanted to start playing other universities. UCSC was added to Division III of the NCAA in five sports. Since they joined the NCAA, they needed something to represent their school so the chancellor at the time, Robert Sinsheimer, selected the Sea Lion as the new mascot.
The majority of the students who attended UCSC at the time did not favor the decision to have a Sea Lion as the mascot. The Sea Lion only lasted as the mascot for five years until the students finally persuaded
Chancellor Sinsheimer to make the Banana Slug the official mascot for UCSC.
The Banana Slug just celebrated its 25th anniversary of being the official mascot in 2011. ESPN named it one of the 10 best college mascots. Reader's Digest has named it the best mascot overall. The National Directory of College Athletics named the UCSC Banana Slug as the best college sports mascot and the list of awards just keeps going.
UCSC's mascot is unique because most universities have a mascot that resembles something fierce and strong while the Banana Slug is just a small yellow shell-less animal that is nowhere near being fierce and strong. With all the pride that UCSC students show with it being their mascot, that factors into it being the best mascot in all of college sports as well.