Home of the Gaels


Moraga, Home of the Gaels.

Saint Mary’s College—the home of the Gaels. You may have seen us shooting hoops on ESPN  or splashed across the newspaper—winning top tournaments and national rankings. But, what is a Gael? What’s the mascot, and what does it all mean?

We are happy to explain: A Gael is a fierce thing within, a force to be reckoned with—you might even say, a Gael Force.

Students cheering in the stands

What is a Gael?

A Gael is traditionally an Irish warrior, representing the power of passion and hard work, two qualities that run deep within each member of our student body. The ever-ready Gael (energy-packed, smiling, cheering, you could even say “gael-ing,”) embodies the spirit that makes Saint Mary’s community vibrant and fun—dedicated to our community and the larger world.

Gael Force

The most enthusiastic student cheering squad in the country, encouraging students to make the UCU Pavilion one of the loudest college sports venues in the country

Gideon the SMC mascot running across the basketball court holding a flag

History of the Gael Mascot

Legend has it that in the 1920s famous sports writer Grantland Rice named Saint Mary's “the Gaels” because there were so many Irish guys on the squad. In time, students affectionately began to call him Gideon.

What Does It Mean to Be a Gael?

The text Gaels Beat #1 Gonzaga to go a perfect 16-0 at home over a crowd cheering

Game Day in Moraga - Gaels Take Spirit to a New Level

Energy reaches a whole new decibel at Saint Mary’s. Ask the ESPN commentators at the recent WCC men’s basketball game where the Gaels took down No. 1 ranked Gonzaga 67 to 57. The pavilion roared as students took over the court and the announcers took cover. Check out the game day at Saint Mary’s.

Saint Mary's Testimonials

"Being a Gael is being a part of an intimate community that allows me to engage and grow as a student. Saint Marys has gifted me the opportunity to participate with communities of fantastic students that help me feel the deep communal spirit of SMC. There's always a new way to engage and expand with individuals who genuinely care and support me."

Kulia Osborne ’22, Anthropology Major, Communications Minor

Go Gaels

Saint Mary's College of California