He wants to be Mr. Two Bits

Published 8:00 pm Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Chris Yanes is on a mission this week.


The University of Florida grad student is trying to be elected “Mr. Two Bits” for the Gators’ opening game against East Carolina, and he needs a little help from his family’s Andalusia friends.

Yanes is the eldest son of John Yanes, who recently became the CEO of Andalusia Regional Hospital. He earned a bachelor’s degree in architecture with a minor in sustainability and a minor in urban planning, and is currently pursuing a master’s in urban planning. He is a fourth generation Gator who hopes to become the family’s first “Mr. Two Bits.”

The Two Bits tradition began in 1949, when then-UF student George Edmondson Jr. was attending the opening game of Florida’s football season against The Citadel. The Gators had lost five of their last six games the previous year and were not expected to do any better. When the fans booed the players and the coach even before the opening kickoff, Edmondson decided to boost their morale by leading them in a cheer about adding up bits. The Gators won the game, and fans were so enthusiastic about Edmondson’s cheer that he returned the next Saturday to lead it again. Eventually, he began leaving his seat to wander throughout the stands, leading fans in different sections in the cheer. The tradition continued until 2008.

Since then, UF has invited different people to lead the cheer. This week, they are allowing online voting for a gentleman to lead “Two Bits” in the Swamp against East Carolina, and to lead the cheering at the Gator Growl prior to the game.

The two finalists have created videos to support their selection.

John Yanes said nothing his son has done at UF has surprised him.

“Since he was little, he was always drawing plans,” he said of his son’s choice of a career. “ And he bleeds orange and blue. This is just one more check on the list.”

In the video, Chris Yanes is standing against a backdrop that could be a wall in any of Florida’s athletic facilities. Not so, says his dad.

“That’s just his bedroom. It’s full of Gator memorabilia.”

Wednesday afternoon, Yanes was leading the polling. Votes may be cast by clicking here.