Faculty 2018


Photo Credit: Photo by Bryan Lathrop for PHLCV

Our Past Speakers are experienced members of the community who have stories to tell!

Robert Boudwin, Assistant Dean, "Clutch" (NBA), Creator of "Newton, Houston's Smartest Dragon"

For over two decades, Robert Boudwin was better known as Houston Rockets mascot “Clutch the Bear,” which was a character he created in 1995. In addition to performing at over 1,500 games and 6,000 appearances, he is an accomplished brand builder, marketer, coach, author of 7 children’s books, and producer of critically acclaimed school shows reaching over 1.2 million students having performed over 1,750 shows.

Robert has also inspired tens of thousands as a public speaker through his motivational “SMILES” presentation.

Boudwin was a 2006 inductee into the Mascot Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility, 2 time NBA Mascot of the Year, a Houston Chronicle Hometown Hero, and has received countless other industry and civic awards, but is most thankful for all the amazing Houstonians who have welcomed him into their hearts over the past 21 years at Rockets games and events across the city and around the world.

In 2009, his short story, “A Clutch Win,” was published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Inside Basketball. In the summer of 2016 Robert opened his own Marketing Consulting & Public Speaking Practice and recently, has just launched his own mascot Newton “Houston’s Smartest Dragon” available for “eductainment” at elementary schools across the city. Boudwin also volunteers and speaks for 9 non-profits, 5 of which he sits on the board for, but is best known for his work with organ donation awareness.

He resides in Spring with his wife Amy & 5 children including 2 sets of twins. You can contact him directly at Robert@robertboudwin.com.

Miguel Vargas, Carolina Panthers

MIGUEL VARGAS, of Santa Monica, CA, became the Director of Entertainment for the Carolina Panthers after joining the front office in 2015. Miguel has over 25 years of experience in the sports industry as a cheerleader, in-arena MC and as a mascot performer. He has spent that time working in the NFL, NBA, MLB, WNBA, NASCAR, and has a NHL Stanley Cup Championship ring with the New Jersey Devils. He has had the privilege to perform in arenas all over the country and around the world including China, Singapore, Japan, the Philippines, Italy, and Mexico.

Separate from the sports industry, Miguel has also worked events for MTV, performed in various musical theater shows, done many appearances as an extra in both TV and movies, and has even done some stunt work along the way.

Rob Wicall, "The Coyote" San Antonio Spurs (NBA), "Slapshot" Washington Capitals (NHL), "G-Whiz" Washington Wizards (NBA)

Rob Wicall has always been a competitive, energetic, athletic comedian. He was playing soccer and running competitively by age 5 and at the same time was performing for anyone who would sit and watch (mostly gushing family members). He continued sports and performing all through school.

In 1996, Rob was selected as a performer for an interactive team the San Antonio Spurs were putting together. Soon after joining the team he began doing appearances as the Spurs Coyote. About a year later, Rob was hired to be the mascot for the Washington Capitals and then also donned the Wizards’ mascot costume at the same time. But in 2000, Rob headed home to once again perform as the beloved Coyote. He kept at it until April of 2016, when he finally hung up the sweaty fur for good. During his mascot career, Rob was named Mascot of the Year by gameops.com in 2006 and won the NBA Mascot of the Year award in 2014. He also won Video of the Year in 2007, 2010, 2014, and 2015.

Part of the reason of his timing was that Rob was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis in 2013, and had been struggling to continue an extremely physically active career and maintain his health. When he did decide to retire, he took the opportunity to become a face for those who suffer quietly with arthritis, and to be a reminder that a positive mental attitude is a powerful tool. Rob is excited about starting this new chapter in his life and he takes this next step as he always has, with a smile on his face and a positive attitude, but this time, he’ll have pants on.

Rob is also very excited to spend game nights and more with his beautiful wife, and three extremely energetic boys.

Marc Taylor, "Howler" Colorado Avalanche (NHL), "Squatch" Seattle Supersonics (NBA), "Rumble" OKC Thunder (NBA)

Marc Taylor’s passion for performing as a mascot started his senior year of high school. While attending Colorado State University, that passion brought a fifth place at UCA Nationals, the first time CAM the Ram had qualified for the competition. After a brief stint with the Colorado Avalanche as Howler, Taylor was selected to portray Squatch for the Seattle SuperSonics. During his nine years as Squatch, Taylor was awarded “Stunt of the Year” three consecutive years, “Crazy for the Finals” winner three consecutive years, Gameops.com “Best Mascot” as well as “Honorable Mention”, and the “Mascot Leadership Award.”

In 2008 the team moved to OKC where Taylor created Rumble the Bison. He was awarded “Mascot of the Year” in 2009 and “On-Court Skit of the Year” in 2012. He retired from the mascot business after seven years as Rumble and received the “Lifetime Achievement Award” shortly after.

A lifelong entrepreneur, Taylor owns multiple trampoline parks and MascotToys.com, creator of the world’s best high performance mini trampolines. He currently is the Director of a non-profit fatherhood program called TRUE Dads. He loves staying active with his two children and wife of 17+ years and is always looking for the next business idea.

Chris Bruce, "Reggie" Mascot Hall of Fame, "YoUDee" Collegiate National Champion, "JJ Jumper" NCAA Mascot

The Owner/Operator/Producer of Bruce Productions has been entertaining fans for nearly 20 years performing throughout North America with his popular Sports Entertainment Act, on stage in various theatrical productions, commercials and films.

Being a true student of the art and lover of the process, Chris gravitated to learning all aspects of each of his endeavors. He has portrayed nationally famous characters like Reggie “The Purple Party Dude” and Mascot Hall of Fame Spokes Character, Hall of Fame Inducted and Collegiate National Champion under his term YoUDee “The University of Delaware Fightin’ Blue Hen” and NCAA Mascot JJ Jumper just to name a few.

Forming Bruce Productions was a natural progression in his career and allowed him to feed his passion for creating moments and experiences for all audiences.

Dave Raymond, "Phillie Phanatic" Philadelphia Phillies (MLB), Founder of the Mascot Hall of Fame.

Moving directly from college student to campy green fur-ball, Dave Raymond pioneered the field of sports mascots with his innovative inhabitation of the world-renowned Phillie Phanatic. He was the original Phanatic, and his vision and performance skill spawned a revolution in the mascot industry, leading sportscaster and baseball analyst Tim McCarver to name the Phanatic the “best mascot in baseball” in 1993.

In 2006, along with partners, David co-founded the Fun Department! The Fun Department is a team building company that specializes in low cost employee engagement for the purposes of morale, retention, health and productivity. David’s unique experience in the Power of Fun has led him to produce a one of a kind presentation that has him in demand as a keynote speaker and MC for corporate and community groups all over the country. “I studied, unknowingly, under a true master of fun! The Phillie Phanatic taught me how valuable fun is and why all of us should strive to use fun as a powerful tool to be happy and healthy at work and at home,” says David.


David has become a popular speaker for marketing, PR and the “self help” industries and has been profiled by CNN, Sports Illustrated, The New York Times, HBO, SiriusXM and NPR. You can follow him on Twitter @emperoroffun.