What do a javelina, a roadrunner, a prospector, and a comet have in common? They’re all college mascots in Texas. Here are the weirdest mascots you’ll find.
They say everything’s bigger in Texas, but when it comes to college mascots, they’re weirder in the Lone Star state. Colleges in Texas tend to choose local furry friends to represent their schools, like a javelina or a horned frog.
If you’re looking for quirky campus culture, consider one of these seven colleges in Texas with unique mascots.
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I promise I wasn’t acting like I was in a Wes Anderson film while walking around campus pic.twitter.com/sUPiUzkEnB
— Temoc (@Official_Temoc) April 28, 2023
UT Dallas is represented by Temoc, a
comet in a human form, who sports flaming orange hair and light blue skin. So what’s with the name? Comet spelled backward is Temoc.
Over the years, several unsuccessful student polls and petitions have attempted to change the mascot’s name or remove him altogether. But today, Temoc remains UT Dallas’s pride and joy.
Make no mistake, Porky the javelina is not a pig. And the Texas A&M-Kingsville mascot is neither a warthog nor a boar. A javelina is a collared peccary, a small animal native to the Western hemisphere distantly related to hippos.
The javelina mascot was chosen in 1926 when an agriculture professor trained three actual javelinas to represent the school at football games.
Since 2008, Dusty the Dustdevil has been whirling behind fans at TAMIU. Dusty can be found at most college sporting events but isn’t a prominent part of the university’s brand.
A dustdevil is a small but vigorous dust whirl that develops in hot, dry regions. They’re a common occurrence near the TAMIU campus in Laredo.
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SuperFrog the Horned Frog has been TCU’s mascot since 1979. The mascot looks more like a Pokémon character than a frog, though, with its anime eyes and battle-ready spiked muscles.
Perhaps that’s because a horned frog isn’t actually a frog — it’s a term for the Texas horned lizard, a small but fierce-looking reptile. The horned lizard is often referred to as a horned frog due to its round body and frog-like stance.
The UTEP miners have been represented by Paydirt Pete, a prospector, since a student vote in 1974.
Originally, the mascot wore a mining helmet and carried a pickaxe. There was a brief stint in the ’80s when the mascot was called “Sweet Pete” and sported a softer cigar-smoking look.
Since 2005, however, Paydirt Pete has rocked a cowboy hat, handlebar mustache, and big muscles.
Since 2004, Izzy the Islander has represented Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. What A&M-Corpus Christi has to do with islanders, though, is anyone’s guess.
In 2022, Izzy got a makeover to address cultural insensitivity concerns over its previous look, which made a caricature out of Pacific Islander culture. Now, Izzy can be described as a blue surfer dude who vaguely resembles a wave.
UTSA’s mascot, Rowdy the Roadrunner, was inspired by the greater roadrunner. The bird can reach a speed of 26 miles per hour, outrunning a human. It lives in the harsh desert landscape and even eats rattlesnakes —clearly a resilient bird worthy of inspiring school spirit.
The roadrunner was chosen as UTSA’s mascot in a campus poll in 1977, beating out the armadillo.