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A Big Head to Fill

After six years, Jon "Jersey" Goldman takes off the Hey Reb! suit.
Athletics  |  Jun 27, 2013  |  By UNLV News Center
Jon "Jersey" Goldman relaxes during a break in a photo shoot in a suite at the Palms Hotel, Aug. 31, 2010. (Aaron Mayes / UNLV Photo Services)

Six years ago, Jon "Jersey" Goldman first donned the Hey Reb! suit and transformed our beloved mascot into a crowd-surfing, fireworks-shooting main attraction at events. In May, the communications major swapped the Hey Reb! costume for a graduation cap -- leaving some big shoes for whoever becomes the next Hey Reb!

True to the mascot rulebook, Goldman was always in full costume in public. This image was caught at the end of a long photo shoot for the annual UNLV cheer and dance team calendar.

Goldman, who also works in sports marketing and as an on-air radio host, hopes to extend his mascot career to professional leagues next. "This is tough, I gotta admit," he said about leaving Hey Reb! behind. "I'm a first-generation student. I hope I've shown my three little sisters -- they're 14, 13, and 7 -- that college is a way to a career that you love."

One of his best adventures as Hey Reb! was repelling down the 20-story Rio Hotel for Special Olympics (check it out on YouTube). But the power of that famous 'stache struck him after he'd missed a basketball game and another person filled in. "This one dad says, 'We missed you last week.' He told me his son cried because Hey Reb! didn't come give him a high five. Without ever seeing my face, (the dad) could tell I wasn't in the suit. That's when I knew I'd done exactly what I wanted to do with this job -- I had turned Hey Reb! into a real personality."