It’s one of the ways to say “Go Cougs!” without saying “Go Cougs!”

It’s also a means of supporting students through scholarships, recognizing fellow Washington State University alumni and fans on the road, and showing Cougar pride.

More than 23,000 crimson Cougar license plates travel Washington roadways—more than double any other university in the state. (Take that, Huskies.)

One of the best things about that high number—besides outdoing the Dawgs—is $28 from each WSU license plate supports student scholarships. Last year, that meant more than $640,000.

To celebrate, Washington State Magazine asked holders of Coug license plates to share the stories behind and photos of their crimson rides. Here’s what they shared.



Residence hall homage

Realized STIMSON was available in 2020! Best residence hall on campus. When I was there we continually won homecoming week each year. Met a great group of friends who hang out as much as possible. Was a sponsor for two years and head sponsor for a year. We even have a fantasy football league called “Fred’s Crew,” named after Fred Stimson, with every team member connected to Stimson in some way. WSU and Stimson Hall literally changed my life. I wouldn’t be who I am today without having gone to WSU or lived in Stimson. I learned so ,uch, grew into who I was meant to be, and gained a ton of experience that helps me in my job as a high school counselor. Our colors were blue and yellow at Stimson, and once I realized I could get this plate, it made sense why we bought a blue car. (We usually go for the red or silver/gray when buying a car.) It’s like the universe wanted me to get a blue car and this plate! This car has been across the country with these plates and people have asked me what the plate means. Go Cougs!!!

Shawn Waldo Wallace (’07 Math)


Ode to Butch

My WSU plate says it all: Butch90. I was Butch in 1990 and, better yet, the only female Butch. I have had other Cougs stop me for a picture with me and the license place together. And even when I brought my Jeep to Arizona for a few months, that Cougar head symbol everyone knows. Go Cougs!

Tami (Turek) Zapata (’93 Biol.)


Mom and me

My mom, Kathryn Sherwood Hudson (’74 Socio.), and I have WSU1403 and WSU1404. I have only ever had my WSU1403 plate since I started driving in 1995! I think our story is pretty cool. I am a third generation Coug. My mom was born in Pullman while my grandpa attended WSU and then my parents met while at WSU. My mom told me that she would pay for any school except for UW. A true Coug through and through.

Tracy Lund (’03 Biol.)


Tush time

My last name is Antush. All my friends call me Tush. So naturally when the WSU plates became available, I had to order Tush. The RV plates, from Alaska, read Go Cougs and were given to me by my sister Cathy, a WSU graduate, too. Perfect for the RV. The yacht was purchased in 2021. My phone number is (206) Wet-Tush, which is now the boat phone number. So we designed the logo in crimson and gray with a wavy “wet” to represent the sea.

Stephen Antush (’85 Busi.)


Fight, fight, fight

All true Cougs know the Fight Song starts with “Fight, fight, fight,” so we went with FIGHT3X. My wife Heather’s idea. If you see it and you know, you know. Go Cougs.

John Scukanec (’96 Crim. Just.) and Heather (McMahon) Scukanec (’96 Soc. Sci.)



My custom Coug plate is COUG1ST, which represents the idea behind the organization CougsFirst! Thinking Cougs first and supporting fellow Cougs whenever possible!

Corissa Cruzen (’21 Mktg.)


Two is better than one

As Coug alumni, my wife and former Alpha Phi president, Jen Brazas, and I have proudly displayed our loyalties since the inception of the WSU specialty plate. Shortly after receiving my master’s degree, I took a position in Western Kentucky and, during my three years there, my vehicle displayed WAZZU1. I received many curious questions from my many new Southern neighbors and friends about how to pronounce the phrase and the origin of its inspiration. I never missed the opportunity to share the story and my loyalty to WSU. Upon return to Washington and the availability of the first WSU branded plates, I proudly licensed my vehicle as such!

In 2012, with the debut of the all-crimson plate, I quickly registered and emblazoned the state-issued “6515” on my vehicle for many years. Several years ago, I upgraded to a personalized WSU plate and was amazed to find out that “GoCoug” was not yet taken. Inspired by my early commitment of WAZZU1, I registered my Ford Explorer as “GoCoug1” (now displayed on a KIA Telluride). Upon acquiring a collector vehicle—a 1984 Jeep CJ7—I seized the opportunity to expand the Coug arsenal. It is now known in the family as “GoCoug2.”

Adding to the Coug plate legacy, our son, Zack, WSU Phi Delt president and junior in construction engineering, will be the incoming Interfraternity Council president. Don’t tell, but Santa Butch is bringing him a unique Christmas gift this year: a Coug specialty plate!

Thank you for the opportunity to share our story and loyalty to WSU, further bolstered by the most iconic and best-selling specialty plate in Washington state! Go Cougs (1 & 2)!

Peter Mayer (’91 Rec. & Leis. Stud., ’93 MS Phys. Ed.) and Jen Brazas (’94 Busi.)


Once a Coug, always a Coug

When the Cougar plates were first introduced, my wife and my neighbor’s wife got us Cougar plates for Christmas. Six consecutive numbered plates. Over the years we have lost a couple numbers via selling of cars and not renewing them in time to keep them. A few years ago I got a new car and, since we had lost some of the numbers, decided to go full custom. I tried to get my wife to change to ONCEA, but she did not want to give up her original plate. My current plate ALWAYZA.

Doug Lawrenson (’82 Busi.)


Number one

We have two vehicles with WSU plates in our family. After graduating in 1996 from WSU-Vancouver, I got the original white WSU plates. The white plates have been on a variety of vehicles over the years and are currently on my rapid red (crimson-colored) Ford Bronco. They looked better than the crimson WSU plates, which we also have. We even did a test run on which color of plates would go on the Bronco. So the crimson WSU plates are on our Ford F350. I went to the local auditor’s office the day the crimson plates were released and the employee was so excited to see what number I got. After it processed, she said, “You got number one.” It’s L001WSU. I was informed that apparently it was the first crimson Coug plate in Cowlitz County that was issued. Not sure if it’s true, but it’s a good story.

Becky Rakoz (’96 Soc. Sci.)


Have a WSU license plate? Share it with us for the chance to be added to this round-up of cool Cougar license plate stories.