New Mexico State might retire Pistol Pete

Updated: May 29, 2005, 4:26 PM ET
Associated Press

LAS CRUCES, N.M. -- Pistol Pete, the gun-toting mascot for New Mexico State University, may have a battle on his hands to keep his job.

Talks are under way about whether the time has come to retire the mascot, who has donned his huge cowboy hat at Aggie games and other events for 40 years.

NMSU President Michael Martin said no one has yet decided that Pete needs to go, but it's at least time for a makeover.

The current Pete costume is decades-old and scares children, Martin said.

No one knows who or what would replace Pete as the university's mascot.

Discussions about Pistol Pete's future are part of a $220,000 marketing plan to remake the university's image for a national stage.

Officials have already unveiled a new logo, which has the words "NM State University" printed in white on top of a crimson-colored background in the shape of the state.

It will replace the logo used by athletics, which uses black letters printed in a different style, and the academic logo of three triangles.

While the new logo is a done deal, some NMSU graduates want to keep Pistol Pete.

Dave Wilson, a 1981 graduate and the owner of a local marketing firm that does work for NMSU, said he's fond of Pistol Pete.

"He's an icon. He's part of the heritage," Wilson said. "I don't mind an update on the guy, but, golly, he's Pistol Pete."

The athletics department is charged with proposing a Pete makeover and a national firm advising the university on the marketing changes will soon make a recommendation on whether to remake or retire Pete, Martin said.


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press