The First 1st Dog of Tennessee
The University of Tennessee's first mascot was "SMOKEY I" born on Christmas Eve, 1946.
What a Christmas present for the VOL NATION.
He was officially known as "PR Brooks Blue Smokey" & he was to serve in the 1953 & 1954 football campaigns.
Tom Mattingly writes that SMOKEY I was a "novelty" on campus from Day One.
The "Orange & White" said in an article published on November 5, 1953...
"Smokey has always loved audiences, & he's really been eating up the attention he's been getting."
Unfortunately, SMOKEY I manged to escape the garage where he was being kept off of Rutledge Pike & was hit & killed by a passing car.
It was on Friday night, January 28, 1955.
SMOKEY I was 9 years old.
His owner, Reverend Bill Brooks, although grief-stricken, said:
"Smokey has 4 sons who will make good mascots."
"Smokey: The True Stories behind the University of Tennessee's Beloved Mascot", by Thomas J. Mattingly & Earl C. Hudson, The University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, 2012.