The famous rallying call of George Edmondson, better known as Mr. Two-Bits, will find new life Saturday when the Gators face Eastern Michigan.
"Two bits, four bits, six bits, a dollar. All for the Gators, stand up and holler," will ring through the stadium once again with a new voice.
The UAA has selected 21-year-old UF business administration senior Joshua Comiter to serve as the first student honorary Mr. Two-Bits, reprising Edmondson’s traditional role for the pregame in The Swamp.
Edmondson said even though the Gators had a rough start this season with the rain, bringing back the Two-Bits tradition will energize fans.
"It’s a great idea, as long as they can keep up the enthusiasm," he said.
Comiter was selected for the role after his video submission for the inaugural Mr. Two-Bits Challenge was chosen from a pool of 11 student submissions.
The panel of judges included UF Athletics Director Jeremy Foley, UF Student Body President Cory Yeffet and former Gators tailback Errict Rhett — the first celebrity honorary Mr. Two-Bits.
"My entire family is full of UF alumni," Comiter said. "My parents were Gators, my brothers were both Gators, my aunts and uncles were Gators and when my brother’s baby boy is born, he’s going to be a Gator, too."
Alicia Longworth, assistant athletics director for the UAA’s marketing and promotions department, said some freshmen — and even sophomores and juniors — have no idea how the tradition began.
Edmondson first led his chant in The Swamp in 1949. The Gators were losing to Citadel, a team he was there to support, and Florida fans were booing their own team.
"I started off trying to cheer up a handful of people, and it kept growing, section by section, year by year, to what it was at the end," Edmondson said.
Edmondson, who turned 92 in July, said his health makes it difficult to attend home games, but he never misses a chance to cheer the Gators on from his home in Tampa.
"At my last game," he said, "I was in the middle of the field before 90,000 people, and I got one last cheer out of them."
Comiter said his primary goal is to honor Edmondson and the rich tradition surrounding the Two-Bits cheer, which has been his favorite part of Gator football games for as long as he can remember.
"All I can think about is doing it the exact way George Edmondson did it," he said. "I don’t want to put my own twist on it. It’s so perfect the way it is."
[A version of this story ran on page 1 on 9/5/2014 under the headline "Student now Mr. Two-Bits"]
George Edmondson Jr., also known as Mr. Two-Bits, leads the stadium in his signature cheer during during Gator Growl 2008.