Home Sports NCAA Basketball

The Evolution of Friar Dom: Among America’s Creepiest Mascots


Friar Dom has gone through a lot of changes over the years.

Initially Friar Dom wasn’t even a thing.  In the beginning the Friar teams were represented by a dog, of all things.  A beautiful dalmation with the name “Friar of What-Ho”.  Now what does “What-Ho” mean you ask?  Well, going by urban dictionary will give you something I can’t print here and there are some people who say it is derived from an old Norse greeting.

For a more thorough examination of “What-Ho” and its meaning, I will refer you to this detailed article in The Independent, but to get you acquainted with the fact that “What Ho” is a thing people actually say, here is House M.D’s Hugh Laurie saying “What-Ho” a couple hundred times.

On to the next question: why a dog?  Well it goes back to the Dominican roots of the school and how Dominicans were referred to as “watchdogs of the Lord” so what better representation of that idea than an actual, you know, dog?  The dog was cared for by the Dominican brothers who ran the school and would be taken for walks around campus, quickly becoming a favorite of not just sports fans but all students around campus.  But then, as all things must, Friar of What-Ho died.

With the passing of Friar of What-Ho in 1937 a new dog assumed the leash of destiny. They would call him “Friar Boy” and he would would be brought to all of Providence College’s major sporting events.  He was cared for by the Friars Club and the Order of Preachers and kept at the top of Smith Hill in Providence.  There would be four generations of Friar Boys who would lead the Friars onto the court and then, with the passing of Friar Boy IV in 1963, it was decided that a new representation of the Friar would be established.

And thus was born this walking nightmare.


“I will haunt your dreams.”

It went by the name Friar Dom and its beady black eyes were pools in which your nightmares could swim. Children’s tears were its fuel and it would quickly rise up the ranks of America’s Creepiest Mascots.


“There is no escape. There is only Dom.”

Friar Dom would go through changes over the years but the inherent nightmarishness would always remain intact.  Whether hitting half court shots or taking a tumble on the ice, Friar Dom maintained its expression of constant panic – its mouth agape – seeing some unseen horror that we can only assume would rob us of our very souls were we unfortunate enough to gaze upon it.

And then, on January 2nd, during a victory over Saint John’s, the newest incarnation of the Friar mascot appeared in Providence and a fanbase took notice.

What do you think?  Is Friar Dom destined to be creepy no matter how many changes it goes through?  Is there any way for the horror to end?  And would you mind seeing a lovable dalmation at every Friars basketball game?  If there’s a vote, that’s what I’m going for.  At the very least bring the dog back (for good) to protect the children from the mascot that has become every child’s, including my own’s, worst nightmare.