Longhorns and burnt orange are synonymous with the University of Texas, but Bevo was not the first mascot the varsity football team had. Instead, it was a little dog named Pig Bellmont, who became a fixture of the campus community.
Chris Wimmer, producer and host of the ‘Legends of the Old West’ podcast, explains how Pig came to be a part of UT history.
“I assumed, like most people, that Bevo was the first mascot of the University of Texas football team, but it turns out it was a little dog that was owned by the first University of Texas athletic director,” Wimmer says. “He would just roam around. He would go to different classrooms and check in on students. He started attending sporting events.”
Pig became the unofficial mascot for the varsity football team and sat with the players on the sidelines of every game.
“So Pig started travellng to all the different games and it was at one of those games when he was standing next to a football player who had the nickname Pig, when the name Pig was given to the dog itself,” Wimmer says.
Unfortunately, Pig was hit by a car in 1923. And although the football team held onto hope, Pig died a few days later.
“There was a huge funeral for him,” Wimmer says. “It said something like 1,000 people turned up and then of course the student body at the University of Texas honored him with a funeral procession and buried him on campus. It’s in a place you can kind of still visit today. It’s a little bit difficult to discern exactly where his burial spot is but it’s still on campus.”
Written by Brooke Vincent.