Doc Moc’s Creator Now A Moc Mom

Mar 22, 2022

by FSC Staff

Long before her daughter became a Moc, Deana Massey created a red, furry creature for Florida Southern College.

Doc Moc, a mascot of FSC’s past, was created in 1985 by the talented costume character designer from Pennsylvania.

Deana got her start at Hersheypark, an entertainment and resorts company located in Hershey, Pa.

There, she would work in the entertainment department with Lakeland natives Bob and Marji Bedgood. This connection would ultimately lead to the Bedgoods recommending her for the job of creating Doc Moc.

After leaving Hersheypark, Deana launched her own company Forsche Studio Productions (later Forsche Design Studios).

Deana’s company has created hundreds of costume characters worldwide for companies like United Media, Campbell Soup, and Hormel. She has even done some design pieces in Disney’s Lion King Show at Animal Kingdom.

When WLKF/WVFM radio stations, where the Bedgoods were employed, started working with FSC on a joint venture to create a mascot, they suggested her company.

The College wanted a mascot that could get fans on their feet at games, and Deana’s skills were the perfect fit for the job.

When presented with the opportunity to create a mascot for Florida Southern, Deana was initially told the character was a snake. She designed a green and red serpent with large fangs and tons of personality, but it lacked the mobility desired for jumping around during games. 

For that reason, the snake design was nixed and the radio stations along with the College came up with the idea for a red and furry creature, similar to that of the Chicago Bulls’ Benny the Bull mascot in the NBA.

This concept allowed Deana more freedom with her creation, as the mascot did not have to look like any existing animal. It simply needed to be big, red, and have the ability to move freely in the stands.

“The most difficult task was finding the red fur,” she said.

Fast forward 37 years and the beloved Doc Moc has retired. Mocsie, a snake with arms and legs, has taken over.

Through the decades, FSC has posted its mascots on social media. Deana said it’s funny when Doc Moc pops up on her screen.

Now a mom to Emma Massey ’23, a communications major, Deana keeps up with Florida Southern online and enjoys seeing how the mascot has transformed over the years.  

“Seeing Doc Moc in black and white, he looked rather scary,” she said. “I like the new Mocsie, he’s obviously a snake and yet has the ability to move.”

Emma, who wants to go into marketing once she graduates, said she has felt welcome from the beginning at Florida Southern.

While Emma has enjoyed her time making friends and experiencing engaged learning at FSC, the connection her mom has to the College is unique to her. 

“It makes going to the college more special,” she said.