Chief Osceola and Renegade serve as the official symbols of the Florida State University Seminoles and are commonly referred to as mascots. Osceola and Renegade together are most notably seen at football games, whereas Osceola is seen at other sporting events.
During home football games at Florida State, Chief Osceola, portraying the famous Seminole Indian leader, Osceola, charges down the field at Bobby Bowden Field at Doak Campbell Stadium riding an appaloosa horse named Renegade, named for the unconquered renegade spirit of the Seminole people, and hurls a burning spear at midfield to begin every home game.
The original idea for Chief Osceola and Renegade was envisioned by Bill Durham, a Florida State sophomore, in 1962. His idea went nowhere until 1977 when the football team's head coach, Bobby Bowden, heard of the idea.
Durham gained the approval of the Seminole tribe of Florida and at the opening football game in 1978, against Oklahoma State University, Chief Osceola and Renegade made their first appearance. The original Renegade was donated by Tallahassee, Florida veterinarian Dr. Jerry Deloney, and since then the horses and riders have been trained by local Tallahassee businessman Bill Durham and his sons who have completely funded the tradition.
Despite the objection of certain Native Americans throughout the United States, Florida State and the Seminoles of Florida maintain a close relationship, with one of the tribes of Seminoles resolving to allow the university to continue to use its name as a symbol of the school. The authentic regalia worn by Chief Osceola and Renegade is designed by women of the Seminole tribe each year.