Prior to every game, each coach and student-athlete touches the Battle Bird. The sculpture symbolizes pride in and dedication to the University's ideals, mission and tradition, while the gesture reflects the bond between all Redbird student-athletes, past and present.
The bronze sculpture was unveiled in 2000. Each year, Redbird fans bid for the right to be that season’s honorary "Keeper of the Bird." The first was Laverne "Speed" Chagnon, a Redbird tennis standout in the late 1940s and early 1950s.