Organization Spotlight: Mercer Maniacs

Photo courtesy: Jessica Walker

With a $17,000 grant fueled toward tailgating equipment, the new student-led organization, Mercer Maniacs, plans to amp up the student body’s excitement for Mercer University Athletics.

“Mercer Maniacs is a student-led organization designed to increase and encourage the involvement of the student body in what’s great about Mercer and a lot of times that’s our athletics,” Mollie Davis, with Mercer Maniacs, said.

The grant, given by Quadworks, covers monetary expenses for tailgating events such as food, tents, posters and grills. “Most of the money spent is for the students. All of the money comes back to the students,” said Laurel Duvall, special events coordinator for Mercer Maniacs.

The organization originated as Hoffman Hooligans, which was a fan-based, student-led organization named after Mercer’s basketball coach, Bob Hoffman.

Members of Hoffman’s Hooligans regularly attended Mercer basketball games and painted their bodies with black and orange paint to cheer on their team. Last year, Hoffman’s Hooligans vigilantly supported the Mercer basketball team who was undefeated in the regular season. The Hooligans’ dedication even led them to take a bus to Knoxville, Tenn. last year to cheer on the basketball team.

This past March, Quadworks made a proposal to create a student-led organization which would eventually oversee any future Mercer athletic- and fan-based organizations.

“Mercer Maniacs is now the over arching umbrella term for what we are trying to do now. We will try to be at football games, but we will also be a lot of Mercer athletic games too,” Davis said.

The organization foresees big changes on Mercer’s horizon for athletic events. “There is a culture shift that we are trying to implement. We are trying to get the study body to be more aware of games and get them to where they are participating and having fun,” said Andrew Eck, membership, recruitment, and spirit chair for the Mercer Maniacs.

Mercer Maniacs currently has six students on their executive board. All students are invited to join the organization.

Before becoming a member, each student must attend at least three football games and get a T-shirt signed by any of the executive board members of Mercer Maniacs. Students are also guaranteed membership if they attend six Mercer basketball games, Duvall said

“We are very inclusive. Anybody who wants to be a member can be a member but we ask people to be involved because we give them perks like front row seats or priority seats on a bus,” Eck said.

Eck believes that increased student presence at athletic events will help to bring in some Mercer wins. “There is a direct correlation with student participation at events with success of the athletic teams themselves,” Eck said.

Mercer Maniacs wants people to know that not only do Mercer students work hard, but they also play hard too. “Mercer is very much an academic school and it’s really cool because we also have awesome sports too. It’s just another way to support our Mercerians. It’s important to who Mercer is,” Duvall said.