by Travis Normand
John Antonio, 83, the designer of Clemson’s Tiger Paw logo, died Thursday, May 30 in Greenville after a long bout with cancer.
The native of Greenville, SC designed the logo in the spring of 1970 and it was introduced at six separate press conferences around the state of South Carolina, Charlotte and Atlanta, by Head Football Coach Hootie Ingram, Head Basketball Coach Tates Locke, All-ACC running back Ray Yauger and University Vice President Wright Bryan, on July 21, 1970.
For more: See the official press release from Clemson University, HERE.
See John Antonio’s Wikipedia page, HERE.
Clemson was apparently the first American football team to use a tiger paw logo on its helmet.* Click HERE to listen to the June 5th, 2013 ESPNU College Football Podcast about how and why John Antonio developed the tiger paw logo.
*Note: Other teams (such as the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League) had used animal paw print logos prior to John Antonio’s design at Clemson. One listener of the ESPNU College Football Podcast wrote in to the June 19, 2013 show and said that the BC Lions had paw print logos as early as the 1962-63 season. For this reason, Clemson is credited as the first American football team to use such a logo.