Jamestown Community College unveiled a new Jayhawk logo this week. It was the third version of the Jayhawk, but in the early years that is not what JCC sports teams had as a mascot.
JCC opened in 1950 as the first community college in New York and when athletics were established, their nickname was chosen to associate with something in the area.
The early JCC teams were called the Muskies. It was an obvious choice because that is the fish associated with Chautauqua Lake, considered a world-class muskellunge fishery.
However, by the early 1970s the name was changed from fish to fowl.
It was mainly JCC wrestling coach Bruce Turner who sought the name change. He didn't feel it was right for his wrestlers to be called Muskies. Also, after a grueling match in the old bandbox JCC gym in the Collegiate Center, musky could have referred to the odor.
At a coaches meeting, a new nickname was discussed and it was decided to let the students submit suggestions. One of the suggestions was Jayhawks, the coaches liked it and the nickname Muskies became history.
There has been plenty of winning history with the name Jayhawks and the first major season of success was in 1975-76. There were five JCC teams - men's basketball, women's basketball, wrestling, bowling and golf - and all five had winning records. And a couple had something more.
The men's and women's basketball teams not only won NJCAA Region 3 titles, but both also advanced to the NJCAA national tournament. It was the first time one college had both its men's and women's teams compete in the nationals in the same year.
It was the second straight regional title for the men's team coached by Nick Creola, but its first trip to the nationals in Hutchinson, Kan. The previous season, JCC had to play in and lost an inter-regional game to advance to the nationals. In 1975-76, there was no inter-regional game and the regional title meant a berth in the nationals.
When JCC arrived in Hutchinson with the name Jayhawks, it became a popular team for the locals to root for. JCC also made an impression with its play.
One sportswriter who had covered the tournament for years noted that usually the Region 3 champion would lose two straight games and be eliminated before some fans knew they were there.
The Jayhawks changed that trend. They lost their opening game on a shot at the buzzer, had to play the next day and won, and then they were eliminated with a four-point loss.
But before the men's team was in Hutchinson, Kan., the women's team was in the same state competing in the national tournament at Overland Park. That capped an amazing season, only the second in the program's history.
The Lady Jayhawks were 6-9 in their inaugural season under coach Jack Titus. In 1975-76, they had a perfect 17-0 regular season and that record moved to 20-0 after winning the Region 3 title.
At the nationals, JCC moved to 22-0, but then had to play two games in one day and lost both to finish with a 22-2 record.
The men's team later made three consecutive trips to the nationals in 1981, 1982 and 1983 under the original Jayhawk logo.
Then, when looking at teams that must qualify to compete at nationals, there was a hiatus in JCC squads reaching the nationals until the women's volleyball team, coached by Kathy Stedman, made five straight appearances from 1995 to 1999.
Also in 1999, the men's basketball team, coached by Mike Cordovano, played in the NJCAA Division II national tournament.
Stedman's 1999 volleyball team made its trip to the nationals in the fall, so that was the last national appearance for the original Jayhawk logo.
The second Jayhawk logo was introduced in January of 2000 and it made quite an impact in June. That is when the JCC golf team played host to the NJCAA Division III national tournament at Chautauqua Golf Club for the first time. But not only did the Jayhawks compete in the nationals, they also won for the first and only national championship for the college.
Since then, because JCC had always participated as the host team, the second Jayhawk logo has been present at the NJCAA Division III National Golf Tournament every year.
The second Jayhawk logo made its first non-golf appearance at a national tournament in 2004 when the JCC baseball team competed in the NJCAA Division III Tournament.
The next year JCC had another team at the nationals when the women's volleyball squad, coached by Brenda Gernatt, participated in the NJCAA Division III Tournament in 2005 and the squad did it again last fall when coached by Ashley Lund.
How many national tournament appearances are on tap for the new Jayhawk? It will get its first chance next month with the golf team at the nationals and who knows how many more chances are in the future.