Pittsburgh has another title to tout: home of the Robert Goulet Memorial Mustached American of the Year.
Adam Causgrove, 28, of Mount Washington received the honor, awarded annually by the American Mustache Institute, for earning 67 percent of 1.3 million votes cast over several weeks at www.americanmustacheinstitute.org. He was crowned Saturday in Mesa, Ariz., at the group's yearly 'Stache Bash, which he attended with his parents and girlfriend, Chelsea Banks.
"I was pretty speechless. I was definitely stunned when I got the call," said Mr. Causgrove, who manages research grants for the department of microbiology and molecular genetics at the University of Pittsburgh.
A friend nominated him for the title, which attracted approximately 900 nominees. He was one of 15 finalists, which included such public figures as St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher, "Parks and Recreation" actor Nick Offerman and MLB umpire Jim Joyce. Past winners have included professional baseball players Clay Zavada and John Axford and retired New York City police detective Tim Galvin.
"I didn't really expect to compete with some of the guys, like Nick Offerman and Jeff Fisher being pretty big-name celebrities," he said.
After receiving the nomination, Mr. Causgrove took to social media and local news and radio outlets to rally support.
"I think you can attribute [the win] to just how awesome Pittsburghers are," he said. "When they found out there was a local guy in the running, everybody just sort of jumped on board."
At 'Stache Bash, Mr. Causgrove received a crown, a plaque and an electric razor from event-sponsor Wahl Trimmers. He also will attend 'Stache Bash 2013 in Portland, Maine, to pass his title to next year's winner.
And his duties as Mustached American of the Year?
"I think pretty much I just need to do my best to represent the dynamic mustached American community lifestyle," he said.
So far, his reign is going well.
"It hasn't really been able to all soak in yet. But since I got the nomination, I've had random people come up to me on the street, which has been fun. I've been getting a lot more high-fives than normal."
The American Mustache Institute was founded in 1965 and, according to its website, is "committed to battling a demonstrated discriminatory culture against people of Mustached American heritage." It is headquartered in St. Louis with chapters across the country but none yet in Pittsburgh.
"But I have a feeling that's going to change," Mr. Causgrove said.
Sara Bauknecht: firstname.lastname@example.org. First Published October 30, 2012 4:00 AM