Obie the Tiger

1939 - "Pep" Paulson as the first Obie the Tiger

In 1938, new Massillon football coach Paul Brown had the idea to have a costumed mascot who could fire up the crowd on a Friday night. New band director George "Red" Bird took Brown's idea a step further and used his Hollywood entertainment connections to purchase a real tiger skin and have it made into a costume that a student could wear. With an "O" for orange, and "B" for black (the school colors), 'Obie the Tiger' was born.

The first Obie was Paul "Pep" Paulson, who was struggling on on the football team when Brown asked him to see Bird about the role of the band mascot.  Paulson threw himself into the role, with his sideline/halftime performances influenced by comedic acts that Bird had witnessed during his time on the vaudeville circuit.  Paulson portrayed Obie for two years and returned on many occasions to reprise his role or to lend support to the new Obie.

Through the years the costume has been replaced as it has worn out. It has evolved from a real tiger skin (obtained from tigers that died of natural causes) to synthetic parts, and in 2019 to the first fully synthetic Obie custom built to look like a wild tiger.

Obie has become a fixture at halftime shows, band shows, parades, and community events. Over 60 students have donned the Obie costume, each one bringing a mixture of tradition and new personality to the mascot!


Obie Through the Years

2019 Ben McArthur
2018 Michaela Paul
2017 Madison Alt
2016 Molly Gresh
2015 Stephanie Hodge
2014 Stephanie Hodge
2013 Justin Wilson
2012 Justin Wilson
2011 Alex Constable
2010

Danae Garrettson
Alex Constable

2009 Levi Hawk
2008 Alyssa Thornberry
2007 Maurissa Garrettson
2006 Tria Byard
2005 Samantha Garlock
2004 Emily Barker
2003 Vickie Palmer
2002 Maggie Larke
2001 Rachel Coffey
2000 Sean Toth
1999 Sean Toth
1998 Christa Lancaster
1997 Don Haring
1996 Jason Harris
1995 Bob McVay
1994 Ryan Rogers
1993 Ryan Rogers
1992 Brett Chovan
1991 Brett Chovan
1990 Brian Weller
1989 Chris Hoffner
1988 Ben Smith
1987 Dan Jones
1986 Dan Jones
1985 Ken Kendrick
1984 Ken Kendrick
1983 Ken Kendrick
1982 Mike Giltz
1981 Jeff Brownlee
1980 David Crews
1979 Jimmie Stewart
1978 Fred Alexander
1977 Tom Ickes
1976 Tom Ickes
1975 Kent Henderson
1974

Cheryl Harris

First female to portray Obie.

1973 Bob Geise
1972 Richard Fink
1971 Richard Fink
1970 Richard Fink
1969 Greg Gillins
1968 Jim Harper
1967 Steve Miller
1966 Steve Miller
1965 Dennis Ford
1964 John McQueen
1963 Ed Voshall
1962 Robert Laase
1961 Mike Norton
1960 Mike Norton
1959 Jerry Fowler
1958 Jerry Fowler
1957 Larry Malone
1956 Bob Willgohs
1955 Bob Fowler
1954 Lee Bailey
1953 Dick Siegmund
1952 Dick Siegmund
1951 Dick Snyder
1950 Dick Snyder
1949 Bob Heintzelman
1948 Bob Heintzelman
1947 Gary Harper
1946 Jack Paramore
1945

Jack Paramore

1944

Maurice "Doc" Luckner
William Luttrell
Harley Ware (Obiedia)

Luckner died of a heart attack just before the season started. Luttrell filled in as Obie even though he had just graduated.

Obiedia was the "child" of Obie used throughout that season, a "junior mascot" of sorts.

1943 Vernon Hunsinger
1942 Bill Weisgarber
1941 Jim Stuhldreher
1940 Bob Farkas
1939 Paul "Pep" Paulson
1938 Paul "Pep" Paulson
 
2019 - Ben McArthur
2017 - Madison Alt
1949 - Rienna Holmes (majorette) with Bob Heintzelman (Obie) in the "Scottish Fantasy" show