Bevo (mascot)

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This article is about the mascot. For the beverage, see Bevo.
University University of Texas at Austin
Conference Big 12
Description Texas longhorn steer
First seen 1916
Related mascot(s) Hook 'em

Bevo is the mascot of the athletic programs at the University of Texas at Austin. Bevo is a Texas longhorn steer with burnt orange coloring. The shape of the Longhorn's head and horns gives rise to the school's hand symbol and saying: "Hook 'em Horns". The most recent Bevo was the fourteenth in the line of longhorns that have been the university's mascot before he died on October 16, 2015.[1]


A Longhorn steer was not the original mascot of the University of Texas. The original mascot was actually an American Pit Bull Terrier named "Pig".[2]

The idea to use a live longhorn as the university's mascot is attributed to UT alumnus Stephen Pinckney in 1916. Pinckney gathered $124 from other alumni to purchase a steer in the Texas Panhandle, which they originally named "Bo" and shipped to Austin.


There have been fourteen Bevos to date. Bevo was originally named "Bo" but came to be called Bevo soon after his first appearance at Texas' 1916 Thanksgiving Day game. Bevo II once charged a SMU cheerleader, who had to defend himself with his megaphone.[3] Bevo III escaped from his enclosure and ran amok across campus for 2 days.[3] Bevo IV once attacked a parked car, while Bevo V broke loose and scattered the Baylor band.[3] More recent Bevos have had a more peaceful tenure.

The longest-serving Bevo was Bevo XIII, which like the most recent Bevo was supplied to the university by John T. Baker, owner of the Sunrise Ranch in Liberty Hill, Texas. Baker is past president of the Texas Longhorn Breeders Association of America and serves as a judge in its competitions. Bevo XIII, originally named Sunrise Express, was a champion steer at the age of 3, before becoming the UT mascot.[4] Bevo XIII became the mascot in 1988 and served 16 seasons on the sideline.[5][6] He presided over 191 UT football games and attended President George W. Bush's inauguration in 2001.[4] During his tenure, he presided over four (1990, 1994, 1995, 1996) conference football championships and a Heisman trophy award for Ricky Williams. Bevo XIII was the winningest Bevo in UT history, and was replaced by youth grand champion Sunrise Studly, becoming Bevo XIV, at the September 4, 2004 football game versus the University of North Texas. It was the only time that two Bevos have ever appeared at the same football game. Bevo XIII was returned to Baker's ranch where he lived out the rest of his days in peace. Bevo XIII died on October 9, 2006 due to heart failure.[4][5][6]

Bevo XIV attended George W. Bush's second inauguration in January 2005. He also attended the 2005 Rose Bowl win over Michigan as well as the 2006 Rose Bowl game in which the Longhorns won the 2005–2006 National Championship over USC. As of May 6th 2008, Bevo XIV weighs 1,800 pounds (820 kg), stands 5 feet 8 inches (1.7 m), and his horns measure 72 inches (183 cm) tip-to-tip. His birthday is April 8. At the 2008 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, he took home the honors of Reserve Champion.

On October 13, 2015, it was announced that Bevo XIV retired after contracting bovine leukemia virus.[7] He died on October 17, 2015.[8]

Origin of the name[edit]

Bevo made his first public appearance at the halftime of the 1916 Thanksgiving Day football game between Texas and the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas (later Texas A&M University), a game in which Texas defeated the Aggies 21–7.[9] Following the game, Ben Dyer, editor of the UT campus magazine The Alcalde, referred to the mascot as "BEVO", a play on the word "beeve", the plural form of "beef" commonly used for any steer.[10] Inaccurate lore of Texas A&M having a hand in naming the mascot have long circulated.[10] As that legend has it, on February 12, 1917 around 3:00 a.m. four A&M students broke in the South Austin stockyard and branded the 1915 Texas-Texas A&M score on him, '13 - 0'. When Bevo was recovered and the larceny was discovered, the brand was modified to be "BEVO". While the vandalizing by A&M students is a true story, the derivation of the name "Bevo" from that incident is false, as the school paper shows the name in 1916,[11] prior to that 1917 incident.

Public appearances and traditions[edit]

Bevo is one of the most recognized college mascots[12] and has even been called "the toughest-looking animal mascot in sports".[13]

Bevo makes appearances at almost all home football games of the University of Texas, as well as many away games. He also typically makes appearances at important pep rallies, such as the ones in the weeks before the games against Texas A&M and the University of Oklahoma. Following commencement ceremonies, he is typically on hand for photographs with graduates and their families.

Since 1945, the care of Bevo during his transportation and appearances has been entrusted to an honorary organization of undergraduate students called the Silver Spurs.[14] Bevo rides in a special burnt orange livestock trailer with his name on the side.

Bevo is a steer, as an intact bull would be too dangerous in a crowded environment like a stadium. In 2002, an alumni group proposed that Bevo be given neuticles to "increase his masculinity".[10]

During football games, he typically stands or sits placidly behind one of the end zones (the south end zone in Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium) and is occasionally greeted by UT players when they score touchdowns. Bred to be docile, he is riled only in the most extreme of circumstances, such as once during a lightning storm during a game against Rice University, in which he broke away from his handlers.

On the morning of December 25, 2014, Christmas Day, Longhorn Network aired a five-hour-long, "yule log"-styled special featuring footage of Bevo at a ranch set to Christmas music.[15][16]



  1. ^ Sporting News Bevo XIV dies Texas Longhorns mascot cancer
  2. ^ ""Pig's Dead...Dog gone" – UT Austin students lead effort to pay tribute to first varsity mascot". The University of Texas Office of Public Affairs. Retrieved 2006-12-11. 
  3. ^ a b c Connor, Floyd (2000). Football's Most Wanted: The Top 10 Book of the Game's Outrageous Characters, Fortunate Fumbles,... Brassey's. p. 45. ISBN 1-57488-309-7. 
  4. ^ a b c Elliott, M.T. (11 October 2006). "Bevo XIII dies at 22". The Daily Texan. Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2006-10-11. 
  5. ^ a b Vertuno, Jim (2006-10-10). "Bevo XIII, longest tenured Texas mascot dies". Retrieved 2006-10-10. [dead link]
  6. ^ a b Hall, Delaney (September 3, 2004). "Bevo XIII retires after longest running term". The Daily Texan. Retrieved 2006-12-11. 
  7. ^ "Famed University of Texas mascot Bevo XIV retires after cancer diagnosis". University of Texas. October 13, 2015. Retrieved October 13, 2015. 
  8. ^ "Bevo XIV, famed University of Texas mascot, peaccefully passes away". October 16, 2015. Retrieved October 16, 2015. 
  9. ^ Billingsley, Richard (December 20, 2001). "No Place Else But Texas". ESPN. Retrieved 2009-03-10. 
  10. ^ a b c Nicar, Jim (June 3, 2003). "The Truth About Bevo". The Daily Texan. Retrieved 2006-12-11. 
  11. ^ "Bevo’s the Name: Debunking the Aggie Myth [Proof]". Alcade -- The Official Publication of the Texas Exes. 
  12. ^ "Mascot Power Rankings". Sports Illustrated. 9 August 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-10. 
  13. ^ Plaschke, Bill (4 January 2006). "Commentary, coming face-to-face with Bevo". L.A. Times & Austin American-Statesman. Archived from the original on 2007-09-29. Retrieved 2006-10-11. 
  14. ^ "Silver Spurs Association". 
  15. ^ "Longhorn Network will air 5 hours of a cow hanging out on Christmas". SBNation. Retrieved 25 December 2014. 
  16. ^ "'SEC Yule Log' takes over the SEC Network". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 25 December 2014. 
  • Sheila Henderson. The Littlest Longhorn: The Saga of BEVO. The Littlest Book Company, Austin (1989). ISBN 978-0-9623171-0-1 .

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