KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — There will be a new top dog on Rocky Top when the fall semester begins.
The University of Tennessee athletic department put out a video on its social media pages marking the end of Smokey X’s career and the beginning of Smokey XI’s time as the official mascot of the Volunteers.
Smokey X, made his debut in 2013 during the football season. The bluetick coonhound is one of the many from the Hudson family line that has looked over and cared for the mascots.
Smokey X saw the Vols go 57-54 on the football field and over saw three coaching changes during his tenure. He was also present at the state Capitol Building in 2019 for a bill that officially recognized the bluetick coonhound as the official dog breed of the state of Tennessee.
Smokey XI will begin his reign Sept. 3 against Ball State.