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From Bobby the Bobcat to APSU Gov, incoming mascot ready to ‘write my story’ at Austin Peay State University

Austin Peay State University - APSUClarksville, TN – There’s a new Austin Peay State University (APSU) Gov mascot in town! AJ, also known as Bobby the Bobcat from Greenbrier High School, recently accepted an APSU Gov mascot scholarship that is the first of its kind.

“When I was awarded the scholarship, it was a very satisfying moment,” Crowder said. “I knew that my hard work during the last six years was going to pay off for college.

Crowder has high hopes and goals for the APSU Gov and spreading that Peay spirit. National cheer competitions and an extensive wardrobe for the Gov are in the works.
 
“I am so excited to spread love and positive messages across the entire university,” Crowder said. “It’s all about the people and bringing them joy and happiness. Let’s Go Peay!”
 
For six years, Crowder was better known as Bobby the Bobcat. Crowder was always known for his school spirit and was often seen decked out in school spirit at school functions. One day, Crowder was called into the principal’s office and was given a giant box. In the box was the Bobby the Bobcat costume.
 
“I took that idea, and I ran with it,” Crowder said. “I got some ideas from YouTube and learned what to do and what not to do. I went to not only school events, but also community events. I just wanted to create a positive impact on our community.”

AJ Crowder posing with the Austin Peay State University Gov. (APSU)
AJ Crowder posing with the Austin Peay State University Gov. (APSU)

The pandemic couldn’t stop Bobby or Crowder. During a time when joy was hard to find, Crowder dressed up as Bobby and would attend birthday parties. Here, he still managed to spread joy, even at six feet apart.

Crowder’s work as Bobby earned him many accolades including the 2019 Varsity Brands School Spirit Award, the 2020 Main Street Preps Person of the Year Award and the 2021 Mascot Training Camp Champion and most recently the 2022 Best Mascot Fan Favorite in Middle Tennessee.


After Austin Peay State University, Crowder’s goal is to become a professional mascot for a sports organization or team.

“This opportunity would allow me to impact a much larger group of people tremendously,” Crowder said.

AJ Crowder will try to spread love and positive messages as the Gov. (APSU)
AJ Crowder will try to spread love and positive messages as the Gov. (APSU)

Crowder’s love for bringing people together has had a huge impact on his career as a mascot. First and foremost, he wants to spread happiness one dance and handshake at a time.

“That’s why I am super excited about starting here at Austin Peay State University as the Gov. When I was looking at colleges, I knew I wanted to make an impact like I did in Greenbrier,” Crowder said.


“I saw Austin Peay State University as my book of blank pages and knew I could write my story at APSU,” stated Crowder.

  • Major: Business Marketing and Management
  • Graduation Year: 2026
  • Hometown: Greenbrier, Tennessee
  • Campus Involvement: Mascot, Cheerleading Team
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