Skip to content

CJ McCoy: The Origin and Tradition of Ol’ Crimson. CougsFirst! Podcast Episode 14

On this episode of the CougsFirst! Podcast, we connect with CJ McCoy on the origin and continued tradition of Ol' Crimson, the WSU flag that has been waved proudly on ESPN's College GameDay broadcast for 287 consecutive games. Read on and learn more about the history of this tradition and how you can take part.

Ol' Crimson: The Origin Story

The tradition of flying Ol' Crimson during College GameDay broadcasts originated in the fall of 2003 when Tom Pounds of Albuquerque, WSU class of 1981, drove from his home in New Mexico to Austin, Texas. He stood among a sea of Texas and Oklahoma fans in his crimson gear, holding a Washington State University flag high up in the air. What started as a simple showing of school pride & spirit quickly turned into a sign of pride and unity for the Cougar Nation.

How Can I Wave Ol' Crimson?

A flag kit gets shipped from site to site. When ESPN announces the location of its next College GameDay show, coordinators Tom Pounds and CJ McCoy e-mail or call everyone on their contact lists who lives in or around that region/city. 

As one of the alums or fans responds, the flag kit is sent from the previous College GameDay site to the next.

Fun Facts

  • In 2003, a non-profit corporation was created to collect donations and distribute funds for Ol' Crimson to travel the nation.
  • The Ol’ Crimson Booster Club (OCBC) pays reasonable travel expenses for the flag wavers when they must travel long distances.
    • The OCBC also pays for all shipping costs associated with getting the flag kit from one location to the next.
  • A manual was written in 2003 to inform flag wavers what to do and how to do it during the show.
  • Many flag wavers have done multiple shows over the years.
    • The all-time leader is Craig McDonald, with 30+ shows to his credit!

We hope you enjoyed reading this article and listening to the podcast episode. If you want more content like this, please subscribe on iTunes and be sure to rate the CougsFirst! Podcast.

How to find CJ:

Like what you heard? Listen to more remarkable stories by Cougs. Click here! 


Connect with us

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | TikTok 

LinkedIn -  Business Page 

LinkedIn - Group 

YouTube | Podcast