He’s the one we look to, to boost our spirits when the game isn’t quite going our way. Or the man we know will be cheering the loudest as our team shoots the win basket. Here at New Mexico State University, that man, that mascot, is our beloved Pistol Pete.
Inspired by Frank “Pistol Pete” Eaton, Pistol Pete became New Mexico A & M’s (at the time) mascot in the 1950s.
Eaton began sharpshooter training with the soldiers at Fort Gibson, Okla., where he earned his nickname at the age of 15, when he promised to avenge the death of his father. By 1881 at age 21, he gunned down the last of his father’s murderers in Albuquerque, N.M.
Many forms of Pistol Pete have evolved over the years, including one with a wired on mustache and a large fiber glass head. It was decided that, in the hot Las Cruces weather, this was too hot to wear.
Now, Pistol Pete is represented as traditional cowboy with a button up shirt, jeans, a leather vest, chaps, boots, and his prominent mustache, holster, and pistols.
Pistol Pete is present and very important at all athletic events. As well as a variety of community, student, and alumni events with over 90 appearances a year.
The men that portraying Pete are full-time students who competitively try-out. New Mexico State University’s Pistol Pete is known as a two-time USA Collegiate Cheerleading National Champion Mascot.
So next time you’re ready to show your Aggie pride, be sure to look to our beloved Pistol Pete.