Blaze was introduced on January 6, 1996 during a basketball game at the UAB Arena. The concept of using a green and gold dragon to represent the "Blazers" team name was developed as part of the re-branding of UAB's athletic teams during the move to NCAA Division 1-A.
Previous Blazer mascots included a furry pink dragon (1978), Beauregard T. Rooster (1979 - 1990), a costumed chicken which owners of the San Diego Chicken's trade mark claimed to be infringing on their rights, and Blaze the Viking (1993), a short-lived costumed warrior.
The Blaze costume weighs 35 pounds, including a 10-pound head. Students are selected by audition to be "Blaze handlers" at sporting events and public appearances. During football games, a different handler appears in each quarter. Four handlers each year are eligible for cheerleading scholarships, a stipend and travel expenses.
 Blaze handlers
 See also
- "Blaze (Mascot)." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 9 Oct 2007, 15:21 UTC. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 23 Oct 2007 .
- Gillett, Caperton (August 2011) "How to Train Your Dragon: Getting Inside the Head of UAB's Mascot" UAB Magazine.