Raider Red is one of the mascots of Texas Tech University. The university's primary mascot is The Masked Rider who rides a live horse. Raider Red is used at events where The Masked Rider is not allowed or would not be appropriate.
Around the 1971 football season, the Southwest Conference created a rule forbidding the bringing of live animal mascots to away games unless the host school permitted it. Since the Masked Rider's horse might have been prohibited from attending some games under this rule, Raider Red was created as an alternate mascot. Texas Tech now plays in the Big 12 Conference, but the tradition of having both mascots continues.
Jim Gaspard, a member of the Texas Tech Saddle Tramps student spirit organization, created the original design for the Raider Red costume based on a character created by Lubbock, Texas, cartoonist and former mayor Dirk West. Raider Red is a Wild West character with an oversized cowboy hat. He carries two guns which he fires into the air after Texas Tech scores.
The student serving as Raider Red is a member of the Saddle Tramps or High Riders. Although The Masked Rider's identity is public knowledge, Raider Red's identity is normally kept secret until the end of his or her tenure as mascot. On March 15, 2007, it was revealed that, for the first time, two different people (one man and one woman) served as Raider Red during the same period of time.