Frequently Asked Questions

Are you changing the name from Bradley Braves?

No.  Bradley Athletics teams have been known as the Braves since the 1930s when coach and athletic director A.J. Robertson (baseball, basketball and football coach, as well as AD, from 1920-48) determined too many schools used the Indians nickname and wanted something more distinctive.  The Braves nickname is not changing. 

You are the Bradley Braves, why not have a Native American mascot?

At the collegiate level, the NCAA has spent extensive time reviewing the Native American nicknames and symbolism at schools across the country.  Some schools have been permitted to use their name and symbolism due to sanctioning by the related tribe (e.g. Florida State Seminoles).  In Bradley's case, we have no tribe that can appropriately sanction the use of imagery or nickname since the term "Braves" is non-specific to a particular tribe. However, the NCAA has thoroughly reviewed Bradley's longstanding use of the term "Braves" and they do not consider the term as hostile or abusive when there is no Native American imagery associated with the term.  Bradley has operated in this manner since the early 1990's.

How long had Bradley been without a mascot prior to the introduction of Kaboom!?

In 1992 the school removed all Native American imagery in reference to its athletics teams while introducing a bobcat mascot.  The bobcat never gained popular acceptance and disappeared from the sidelines before being officially removed as mascot in 2000.  Bradley University went without a mascot until the introduction of Kaboom! Feb. 22, 2014

If there hasn’t been a mascot for years…why do you need one now?

The most recent University Strategic Plan calls for an increase in University and student spirit.  In addition, there has been significant student interest in a mascot for years with annual calls from student leadership and the student government for a mascot.  Finally, during the athletic department's re-branding campaign in 2012, research showed all constituent groups (students, faculty, staff, and alumni) desired a mascot to represent the campus-wide community.

Why did you choose a gargoyle?

Gargoyles have had a presence on the Bradley University campus from the school's beginning as part of the architecture of the school's signature building, Bradley Hall.  Four new gargoyles were added in 2011 when the Hayden-Clark Alumni Center was completed.  Kaboom! is modeled after The Thinker, a gargoyle which sits atop the Hayden-Clark Alumni Center on campus

How did you chose the mascot?

We spent two years on this project.  We involved alumni, students, faculty, staff, and community members before making a decision that a gargoyle was the best representation for Bradley. 

The mascot and the nickname “Braves” don’t have anything in common

There are many universities with mascots that are not in direct correlation to their nickname (e.g. Navy, Alabama, Stanford, North Carolina are just a few examples) and each of these institutions has had no difficulty maintaining the traditions of both the name and the mascot.

How did you come up with the name Kaboom!

Hall of Fame Voice of the Bradley Braves, Dave Snell popularized the term "kaboom" with his call of slam dunks for more than 1,000 radio broadcasts over the last 34 years.

Kaboom! seems very tied to men’s basketball

We hope the term Kaboom! will be used beyond basketball to all athletics: a home run, a volleyball kill, a hole in one, a running record and more.  We hope that those who know this will extend the meaning of its success beyond athletic programs and across campus. And to those who have yet to join the Bradley family, the name is a blank slate that can take on its own unique meaning as they become more connected with our great community.

Who designed Kaboom!

The University worked with the Joe Bosack Graphic Design Company and Street Characters, Inc. to develop Kaboom!.

Where can we see Kaboom!

In addition to appearances at Bradley Athletics home events and Bradley University campus activities, Kaboom! is available for public appearances throughout the Peoria area.  Visit to learn more.

Where can I purchase Kaboom! merchandise?

Merchandise featuring Kaboom! is available at the Bradley Bookstore and the team store in the Renaissance Coliseum.