Notre Dame Leprechaun Logo

Notre Dame Leprechaun Logo
In addition to the primary logo with the interlocking “N” and “D,” the University of Notre Dame athletics department also has a mascot called the Fighting Irish Leprechaun. What makes it unique is that there’s a living student version of the mascot, in addition to the logo.

Meaning and History logo

Notre Dame Leprechaun logo

The first versions of the Notre Dame Leprechaun logo date back to the early 1960s. Although the mascot has gone through several modifications, he has always had his fists up, ready to fight. The current version features the Leprechaun facing forward to the right (green, yellow, and dark blue). The latest update was introduced in order to make the logo go well with the university’s official color palette.

Old mascot

logo Notre Dame Leprechaun
From the 1920s to 1966, the university’s official mascot was a live Irish terrier, while the leprechaun held the status of an unofficial mascot. There was a succession of terriers during this period. Most of them were called Mike or Clashmore Mike. During a break in a football game, the dog would be led around the stadium field by the student who was the Fighting Irish leprechaun.

Who is eligible to become the symbol?

Leprechaun symbol
The live mascot, who is typically rather attractive, has to win an annual tryout to get the status. The tryout consists of a series of mental and physical challenges as well as the final round including interviews, mock game situations, and 50 pushups.

Emblem controversy

Emblem Notre Dame Leprechaun
The emblem has been accused of a lack of political correctness and cultural sensitivity. In particular, NCAA has a rule, according to which “hostile ethnic mascots or imagery” is considered inappropriate. Because of this rule, quite a few teams have had to change their names and logos. The Leprechaun logo seems to be both hostile and ethnic portraying an entire nationality in one big aggressive stereotype.


The Notre Dame Leprechaun logo itself doesn’t contain any text, while the university’s primary wordmark is based on Adobe Garamond, which is the school’s official serif typeface.