Campus Corner, Marc Tracy | September 16, 2015
The most distinctive trait of the person who becomes the Notre Dame leprechaun mascot is not the ability to leap, tumble, scream, orate or mug for the camera.
The leprechaun also does not need to look like a traditional leprechaun, although the current leprechaun, the senior John Doran, is a sub-6-foot Irish-American whose fiery beard almost matches the Fighting Irish’s golden helmets. (Mike Brown, an African-American who now works for the university in development, was the leprechaun from 1999 to 2001. The cheerleading coach, Jo Minton, also said two women had auditioned in her 22 years at the university.)
Rather, what is most required of the leprechaun is unflappability. Can you stage an impromptu pep rally? Will you avoid saying the wrong thing on camera when a sideline reporter grabs you because the players are off limits? Are you O.K. with walking around, well, dressed like a leprechaun?