History Of UTEP's Mascot
The Miners have had nearly as many mascots for its athletic teams as the school has had names.
Probably the first so-called mascot was a student dressed as a prospector leading a burro, named Clyde. Some years after Clyde began making appearances at football games, then-president Dr. Joseph Ray became disenchanted with the animal's appearance.
In a letter to the dean of students, Dr. Ray demanded that something be done about that "sorry-looking, pot-bellied creature, not fit to represent the Miners." Clyde was surveyed out in 1966 and replaced by Henry, another burro.
The name Paydirt Pete originated from a 1974 contest to give a name to the mascot. The name Paydirt Pete was selected from over 500 entries. The first animated Paydirt Pete was given a face in 1974. It was recreated in 1980. This was a lovable little ol' Miner which probably led to his being dubbed "Sweet Pete." At any rate, ol' Sweet Pete was not a very popular mascot and, like Clyde, he made a quick exit in order for the present Paydirt Pete to arrive on the scene.
This Paydirt Pete is meaner looking, has a major-league swagger and has become something of a goodwill ambassador for the school, as well as appearing at UTEP sporting events.