Herky the Hawk Recruitment FAQ

How would a prospective student get considered for the position of Herky the Hawk?

Prospective applicants should complete these few steps to be considered:

STEP 1: Complete a recruitment questionnaire. We will review these submissions as they are received. We will send a confirmation email when we receive your submission.

STEP 2: Meet us at an Information Meeting/Information Zoom.

STEP 3: Participate in clinics to further develop your mascot skills.

STEP 4: Follow us on social media. We post all up-to-date information regarding recruiting as well as national competitions, clinics/combines, and events that we will be attending.

What is the timeline of the recruiting process?

General Timeline (this applies to Incoming Freshmen or Current University of Iowa Students):

  • February 1st (or earlier if possible):
  • Mid-February:
    • Meet with the coaching staff at Information Meeting/Information Zoom
  • Late-February/Early March:
    • Attend clinics to develop your mascot skills
  • March:
    • Coaching Staff offers positions to prospective Mascots
    • Prospective Mascots accept spot on University of Iowa Herky the Hawk Team
    • New Team members pass required physical and academic checks
    • New Team Members meeting/virtual Team Meeting – date TBD
    • All Iowa Spirit Squads Team Members Virtual Team Meeting – date TBD
Can Incoming Freshmen participate in the Recruiting process?

Yes. Incoming Freshmen can participate in the Recruiting process. You should make sure they have been accepted to the University of Iowa by February 1st. Plan on attending an Information Zoom and coming to campus for Clinics.

What are the application deadlines for the University of Iowa?

Information on the application process for the school can be found here:
Incoming Freshmen

Transfer Students

What skills are you looking for in a prospective mascot?

We look for well-rounded individuals. Great mascots are athletic, creative, quick thinkers, independent and able to follow directions. We search for those who are able to conduct themselves professionally (our mascots frequently engage in conversations with many alumni, university employees, donors, and fans) and have strong academic success! Our team culture and family atmosphere are vital to the team’s success; therefore, a team-oriented individual is also important.

Physical skills include being athletic. Most importantly being able to work in the suit comfortably.

What does Herky do outside of Sporting Events?

Herky attends numerous events outside of Iowa Athletic Events including:
University Events
Alumni Events
Hospital Visits
Sponsor Events
Birthday Parties
And many others…

Will all applicants receive a response?

The coaching staff will be reviewing the questionnaires and will take the necessary time to evaluate all relevant information before reaching out with next steps. All questionnaires will receive a response.

Do you have to attend clinics to be considered?

Yes. The in-person meeting will allow the coaching staff to work with you on all areas of being Herky the Hawk. Character, improvisation, prop usage, non-verbal communication and see how you respond to coaching to improve.

A major part of being a mascot is the ability to work in the suit. This includes walking in the suit, moving in the suit, being able to pick up, catch, throw items, improvisation in the suit, and the ability to convey the character of Herky the Hawk. It is also important for your safety to be comfortable in suit.

Are there academic requirements that need to be met to remain on the team?

Yes. All Iowa Spirit Squad members must meet the minimums required by the Athletic Department Academic Staff. These will be presented to you in the Recruiting process. In general, you must be a full-time (12+ semester hours at the University of Iowa) and have a 2.00 cumulative GPA.

For incoming Freshmen/Transfer Students – During the recruitment process, the coaching staff and prospective mascots will engage in conversations on how best to proceed with the admissions process. It is important to note that all applicants will need to be able to speak to their cumulative GPA, standardized test scores, and class rank. This field must be completed on the questionnaire for the application to be reviewed holistically. Proof of admission to the University of Iowa is required for the coaching staff to offer a roster spot to a prospective incoming student athlete.

What is the best way to form a relationship with the coaching staff?

We believe the more exposure the better! We strongly recommend attending an information meeting/information Zoom and asking any additional questions you may have. Attending sporting events (when allowed) where Herky is in attendance will help you to understand the character of Herky the Hawk.

Is an interview required as part of the recruitment process?

Yes, the coaching staff will reach out to prospective student athletes that we are interested in having as a part of our program for a 1:1 conversation. This will allow us to get to know you as an individual and will allow you to ask questions about the University of Iowa and our program.

Are there any items that would keep a prospective mascot from being offered a position? Or having their position taken from them?


Incoming Freshment/Transfer Students – If you did not get admitted to the University of Iowa.

If you misrepresented yourself in any way, in your skills, character or any other areas of your application process. Not passing the Athletic Department physical or academic requirements. If any team expectations, rules and regulations are broken upon acceptance of your position. If you are not able to commit time to the team and be a productive member of the team.