Bevo XIII, longest-tenured Longhorns mascot, dies

Updated: October 10, 2006, 9:25 PM ET
Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas -- Bevo XIII, the longest-tenured mascot in Texas Longhorns history, has gone to the big ranch in the sky.

AP Photo/Rodolfo GonzalezBevo XIII, whose actual name was Sunrise Express, was a world champion steer at 3 years old before he became the Texas mascot.

The retired mascot died Monday on the private ranch where he lived with his successor, Bevo XIV, the Silver Spurs spirit club announced Tuesday.

"They would hang out together," said former Bevo XIII handler Ricky Brennes. "Bevo XIV would follow him around."

Bevo XIII, 22, was on the Texas sideline for 16 seasons, starting in 1988.

During his tenure, the Longhorns had three head coaches and won a Big 12 football title and Ricky Williams won the Heisman Trophy. Bevo XIII retired before the 2004 season.

He had reached his life expectancy and had trouble standing. His handlers thought he would have to be put down before his heart finally gave out, Brennes said.

Brennes noted he lived long enough to see the Longhorns beat rival Oklahoma 28-10 on Saturday.

According to the Silver Spurs, the Longhorns mascot "represents courage, fighting ability, nerve, lust of combat, efficiency in deadly encounters and the holy spirit of 'Never Say Die.'"

Bevo XIII, whose actual name was Sunrise Express, was a world champion steer at 3 years old before he became the Texas mascot.

In 2000, then-freshman wide receiver Roy Williams caught a long pass against Oklahoma State and thought about leaping on the 1,900-pound steer for a spectacular highlight. He thought better of it when he got a close-up look at the horns that measured 5-feet-7 inches tip to tip.

"I told people if I scored close to him, I'd jump on him," Williams said after the game. "He stood up real quick. I got scared and turned around."

Bevo XIII even dabbled in politics. In 2001, he traveled to Washington, D.C., to be part of President Bush's inauguration ceremonies.

Perhaps his most famous moment came after a Texas loss.

After Nebraska beat Texas in the 1999 Big 12 championship game in the Alamodome in San Antonio, Bevo XIII was walking off the field when nature called.

With perfect timing, he left his mark squarely on the Cornhuskers logo.

Brennes said Bevo XIII will be memorialized in the new Silver Spur/BEVO Center, due to open the first weekend in November at Royal-Memorial Stadium.

Sixth-ranked Texas (5-1, 2-0 Big 12) plays Baylor (3-3, 2-0) at home Saturday night.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press