Check out the, unauthorized, biography of Paydirt Pete. I say "unauthorized" because, while my sources are good, Pete hasn't ever said much about, well, anything.

The University of Texas at El Paso, (aka UTEP), has been around since 1913 and has gone through quite a few name changes.

Their mascot, Paydirt Pete, has also seen some changes over the years. From his look, to his habits, to his name. Which, by the way, he didn't get until the 70's.

UTEP's first, live, mascot, was a burro. His name was Clyde ... if you care. Here are a few other names important to UTEP history.

The first human mascot was a student, dressed as a miner, leading the burro around for Texas Western College.

In 1974, a contest was held to name 'ol Petey and a pair of guys contributed to his name and look.

Michael Blue won the contest with the name Paydirt Pete, and Marshall Meece doodled a figure of a miner holding a pick. The first costumed version of the Paydirt Pete mascot was created in 1980. - EPTimes

Since 1980, Pete has had several makeovers.

  • His 80's version, which kinda gave him a Disney vibe, only lasted 3 years.
  • In 1983, Pete got buff and took up cigars. In 1986, concerned for his health I guess, he lost the stogie.
  • 1999 brought the handlebar mustache and some new headgear. Off went the miners helmet, on went the cowboy hat.
  • In 2000, he started looking a little scraggly. (Mining ain't easy work, 'ya know?)
2004 NCAA 1st Round: UTEP v Maryland
Getty Images
  • In 2005, he leaned up, cleaned up and became the stud muffin that he is to this very day.
  • Shocker - There have been sex changes.

Not THAT kind, I'm talking about the humans that give Pete his swagger and his moves. Mascots are gender neutral folks and Pete's been female at least twice that I know of


Make sure your "pick's up" when you see him, he likes that, and give him a high five or a beer or something.

Inside that awesome outfit, he ... or she ... is a hot, tired, sweaty human being giving their all for you and the team.

Go Miners.

📸LOOK: You Know You're in El Paso When You See...

Thank you to everyone who sent in their pictures of the images that say you’re in El Paso! 

Photos came from three categories: People, Places, and Things. Some were beautiful, some were far from masterpieces, but even then some of the poor quality photos captured the essence of life in the Borderland. Here are just a few of pictures that say, “You Know You’re In El Paso When You See…” 

Enjoy the views! 

Inclusion in this gallery is no indication of evaluation that the picture is in the running for any award or prize. 

El Paso Off-Roading Toys

More From KLAQ El Paso