Joe Bruin was created for the UCLA sports team in 1924.
In 1924, students chose a more threatening name grizzly bear. In 1926 the name was changed to the "Bruins" and UC Berkeley called its mascot the Bears. UCLA used live bears as mascots, which entertained the home crowd at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The bears were given various names, but "Joe Bruin" endured over time. Costumed student mascots have represented Joe Bruin since the mid-1960s. The design for the costume bear changed again in 1996 from a smiling bruin to the current one.
Joe Bruin has been on the final team for the Capital One Bowl National Mascot of the Year team four times: 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2010. The contest began in 2002.