Think You Know The History Of UTEP’s Beloved Mascot, Paydirt Pete?
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.
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.
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?)
- 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.