THE NAVIGATION TOOL TO HISTORICAL  PAGES ON THIS WEB SITE ARE AT THE TOP OF THIS SCREEN. THE SITES ARE  "QUE", TLSN", "SPORTS", "MISSIONS", "ARTICLES" "FANS"  "LOST TOO SOON", "SENTRY" AND "DONATE".

Baseball, not football, was the sport of choice for UT students in the 1880s. In the spring of 1885, when the University was not yet two years old, a student enrolled who claimed to have the only curve ball pitch in the state. The curve ball was a new addition to the game, welcomed by baseball progressives, and hated by the sport's purists. Nevertheless, University students formed a team "that rated high in brain power, low in brute force," and challenged any college in Texas to a game. Southwestern University, thirty miles north in Georgetown, answered the call and invited UT to a picnic and baseball contest. The University accepted, and students arranged to make the trip to Georgetown on a chartered train.

On a Saturday morning in April 1885, the first UT baseball team, along with most of the student body, arrived at the downtown Austin train station at 3rd Street and Congress Avenue, and boarded the passenger cars bound for Georgetown. Everything was on schedule until the final whistle sounded. Just as the train was ready to leave, two coeds announced the need for some ribbon to identify them as University of Texas supporters.

Today's college fans arrive at stadiums clad in t-shirts and caps. But in the 1880s, colored ribbons were worn on lapels to show team loyalty. The more enterprising male students sported longer ribbons, so they would have extra to share with a pretty girl who had none. The truly ingenious (or just plain desperate) wore ribbons almost down to their knees.

The dates of the two Texas coeds, Venable Proctor and Clarence Miller, ever eager to impress the ladies, jumped off the train and sprinted a block north along Congress Avenue to the nearest general store. Between gasps for breath, they managed to ask the shopkeeper for three bolts of two colors of ribbon. "What colors?" the shopkeeper asked. "Anything," was the response. After all, the train was leaving the station, and there was no time to be particular.

The shopkeeper gave them the colors he had the most in stock: white ribbon, which was popular for weddings and parties and was always in demand, and bright orange ribbon, because no one bought the color, and the store had plenty to spare.

Loaded with their supplies, Proctor and Miller ran back and boarded the moving train as it left for Georgetown. Along the way, the ribbon was evenly divided and distributed to everyone except for a law student named Yancey Lewis, "who had evolved a barbaric scheme of individual adornment by utilizing the remnants."

Unfortunately, it rained that Saturday afternoon, the curve ball curved not, and Texas outfielders ran weary miles in a lost cause. According to one witness, the University's colors were "christened on a dire and stricken field."

Or were they? Even though the first baseball team had sported orange and white, the colors were by no means official, and subject to the whims of future UT students.

After a decade of starts and stops, the University of Texas fielded its first "permanent" football team in 1893. The first recorded game was actually ten years earlier, during UT's very first fall term, though it was a rather embarrassing two-goals-to-none loss against a group of high school students at the Bickler School in downtown Austin. Football, the newfangled sport that could draw 50,000 spectators to a Princeton-Yale game in the 1880s, required a little more time to be accepted in the Lone Star State.

The UT football team of 1893 played four games, a pair in the fall and two more in the spring. The first was against the Dallas Foot Ball Club that claimed to be the best in the state. Held at the Dallas Fair Grounds, the game attracted a record 1200 onlookers. It was a tough and spirited match, but when the dust had settled, the "University Eleven" had pulled off an 18 - 16 upset. "Our name is pants, and our glory has departed," growled the Dallas Daily News. The UT club would go on to a spotless record and earn the undisputed boast of "best in Texas."

The University team, though, didn't wear orange. Their striped uniforms were gold and white.

In the 1890s, the forty-acre UT campus consisted of a still-unfinished Victorian-Gothic Main Building, a chemical lab building to its northwest, and a plain-looking men's dorm, known as Brackenridge Hall, or "B." Hall, nestled down the hill to the east. All were fashioned from pale yellow Austin pressed brick, and trimmed with cream-colored limestone quarried in nearby Cedar Park. (The Gebauer Building, built in 1904 for engineering, is today the home for College of Liberal Arts, and is the last survivor of this early UT architecture.) Students identified themselves with their surroundings on the campus, and several University teams donned gold and white uniforms.

Of course, gold and white weren't official, either, and only lasted a couple of years. Members of the student-run UT Athletic Association wanted a more "masculine" color, and in 1895 orange was paired with white once more. White uniforms, though, were difficult to clean after a hard-fought victory on the football field. In 1897, to save cleaning costs, the Athletic Association opted for a darker color that wouldn't show dirt as easily: maroon.

For the next three years, UT football, baseball, and track uniforms, along with letter sweaters, were orange and maroon. This created more than a little controversy, especially among the alumni. Adding to the confusion was the Cactus Yearbook, at the time published by the Athletic Association, which listed the University colors as either gold or orange and white. The appearance of the 1899 Cactus made matters worse. It suddenly declared the University colors to be "Gold and Maroon," which just happened to be the same hues used for the yearbook's cover. And all the while, students the University's medical branch in Galveston wanted to throw out the double-colors in favor of a single one: royal blue. Attending a football game in 1899, a UT fan would have found his compatriots sporting all shades of yellows, oranges, whites, reds, maroons, and a few in blue.

After considerable discussion, the Board of Regents decided to hold an election to settle the matter. Students, faculty, staff and alumni were all invited to send in their ballots. Out of the 1,111 votes cast, 562 were for orange and white, a majority by just seven votes. Orange and maroon receive 310, royal blue 203, crimson 10, royal blue and crimson 11, and few other colors scattered among the remaining 15 votes.

 

Many comments in this article are from the Alcalde Magazine.  The link to Alcalde is at the bottom of the page. 

Longhorn colors and logo.jpg

Choosing the "correct" Longhorn logo and the "correct" color for the Longhorn Nation took 75 years!!!  

1903 D.A. Frank refers to the sports teams as "Longhorns" for the first time. However, that name was only one of 4 names used which also included "Steers", "Varsity", and "State". 

In 1904 someone suggest that UT's mascot by a Longhorn.  It would take years before this would come to fruition.

1910 - brighter orange

In 1913 Lutcher Stark gave the football team blankets that had a Longhorn in 3/4 angle.

1913 The Longhorn Logo becomes a contender for The University of Texas Logo

But there is still competition from other Logo designers.  In the early 1900's the Longhorn logo was a star, a star with the "T" in the middle and a star with each arm containing one letter of the word "Texas" . There was even one attempt in basketball to change from the star to a big "T" with a small "B" on both Sides.

Bevo as the future team Mascot did not look promising in January 2017.  The first Bevo did not perform well at half time  at the Texas and A & M game, and his upkeep was expensive so the UT administration decided to have  the first bevo as the main course at a football banquet.

However Lutcher Stark believed that the Longhorn was the UT brand of the future and in  1920 he donated a plaque with a Longhorn in relief  to honor UT alumni who died fighting in WWI. 

WWI Memorial Plaque with Longhorn at top in circle

 

In 1922 the UT band added a Longhorn depiction on the bass drum 

1922 UT Band uses Longhorn Logo

 

 

 

 

and the Women's Athletic Association adopted the Longhorn Logo for their letter sweaters and Letter blankets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Longhorn logo 4.jpg

1924 Baseball Logo - The image with the horns down was inspired by the Longhorn photo below

 

 

 

 

In 1924 the baseball team adopts the Longhorn logo with the horns down.

 

For part of the 1920's the track team adopts a slanted "Texas" on their uniforms.  The "T" on the uniforms stood for Captain of the team.

 

but in 1924 Memorial Stadium adopts the Longhorns with horns up. 

By 1924 many UT related institutions had accepted the Longhorn as the UT Logo, but artist continued to struggle with the shape and form of the "horns". Renditions included horns up, horns down, horns level, horns short, and horns long.  

 

 

 

 

1927 - UT stationary 

1928 Letter sweater

In the 30's  the football team wore" designer" jersey's with little branding.

In 1936  the Texas Tennis team embraced the Longhorn on their uniforms. 

In 1939 the swim team incorporates the Longhorn Logo on the swim suits.

1941 Longhorn.jpg

 

In 1941 a new horn depiction receives some notoriety.   

 

Alcalde says "aside from brief use by the tennis and swim teams, Longhorn logos were not found on all  UT sports uniforms until 1961", but some Horn sports teams in the 50's used the Longhorn logo on their warm-ups.   

Royal was a marketing genius!  Before branding was a marketing term, Royal knew he needed to enhance the Longhorn image. Branding is everything when it comes to Sports, and Royal made his point by saying "There are 29 peaks in Colorado taller than Pikes Peak,- name one".  His point was that even if the Longhorns were 29th in the nation, he wanted the Longhorn brand to supersede the brand recognition of the other 28 teams. Royal wanted the Longhorns to be the Pikes Peak of football. 

In 1961 Coach  Royal asked Rooster Andrews to create a Longhorn sticker. One of Roosters images depicted a Longhorn head and Royal knew that was the logo he wanted for the Longhorn helmet.  Rooster's image  would become the most iconic symbol of any University.  Alcalde points out The "sticker"  was not complicated by a message that confused football fans with comic imagery. "the specific design of the logo ... makes it so symbolically effective ..... clean and striking... without the anatomical details such as eyes and nostrils.... It communicates the strength of the longhorn without appearing ponderous... the logo is concise , memorable, and  unmistakable. The simple, clear, pure, distinct, definite, and uncomplicated image of the burnt orange Longhorn in relief on the white helmet was  immediately identifiable.  

The Alcalde goes on to say that "Royal's genius was in placing the logo in what was to become , as television coverage of college football grew, the prime piece of real estate in college athletics: the side of the football helmet". 

Coach Royal's marketing acumen and his understanding that in branding "less is more" started a marketing bonanza for UT that as of 2017 ranks UT as the number 1 brand in royalties from licensed product.   

1967

 

In order to make the logo even more prominent, in 1967 Royal moves the players number to the back of the helmet.

1969- 100th Anniversary of College Football and the Longhorn National Championship  helmet

It still takes another 15 years before the university totally accepts  Rooster Andrews logo. Even in 1963 and 1964 there were other Longhorn renditions , and there were other attempts to stylize the logo but eventually the DKR and Rooster Andrews logo is accepted.   After 75 plus years of the UT administration, artist, fans struggling to capture the "right" logo to represent our great university the process is finally completed.  

History will show that the other contenders included the following: 

  • Interlocking UT,
  • Only a star
  • T-in-a Star,
  • A star spelling out Texas,
  • A big "T" with small b's on both sides
  • Slanted "Texas" 
  • "T" in a circle,
  • Anatomically correct Longhorn,
  • Big ear Longhorn,
  • Long horns,
  • Short horns,
  • Horns down,
  • Horns level,
  • Horns up,
  • Comical Horns,
  • Mean horns,
  • Happy horns, 
  • Stylized horns,  and  
  • Three dimensional image of a Longhorns  upper torso
  • Designer uniforms

 

Bevo continues to evolve thru the eyes of the fans.  Below is Bevo created by Ken Law from knives, forks, and spoons, and a Christmas Bevo by the Zimmerman family

The Saga of the Burnt Orange story- Texassports.com

Baseball, not football, was the sport of choice for UT students in the 1880s. In the spring of 1885, when the University was not yet two years old, a student enrolled who claimed to have the only curve ball pitch in the state. The curve ball was a new addition to the game, welcomed by baseball progressives, and hated by the sport's purists. Nevertheless, University students formed a team "that rated high in brain power, low in brute force," and challenged any college in Texas to a game. Southwestern University, thirty miles north in Georgetown, answered the call and invited UT to a picnic and baseball contest. The University accepted, and students arranged to make the trip to Georgetown on a chartered train.

On a Saturday morning in April 1885, the first UT baseball team, along with most of the student body, arrived at the downtown Austin train station at 3rd Street and Congress Avenue, and boarded the passenger cars bound for Georgetown. Everything was on schedule until the final whistle sounded. Just as the train was ready to leave, two coeds announced the need for some ribbon to identify them as University of Texas supporters.

Today's college fans arrive at stadiums clad in t-shirts and caps. But in the 1880s, colored ribbons were worn on lapels to show team loyalty. The more enterprising male students sported longer ribbons, so they would have extra to share with a pretty girl who had none. The truly ingenious (or just plain desperate) wore ribbons almost down to their knees.

The dates of the two Texas coeds, Venable Proctor and Clarence Miller, ever eager to impress the ladies, jumped off the train and sprinted a block north along Congress Avenue to the nearest general store. Between gasps for breath, they managed to ask the shopkeeper for three bolts of two colors of ribbon. "What colors?" the shopkeeper asked. "Anything," was the response. After all, the train was leaving the station, and there was no time to be particular.

The shopkeeper gave them the colors he had the most in stock: white ribbon, which was popular for weddings and parties and was always in demand, and bright orange ribbon, because no one bought the color, and the store had plenty to spare.

Loaded with their supplies, Proctor and Miller ran back and boarded the moving train as it left for Georgetown. Along the way, the ribbon was evenly divided and distributed to everyone except for a law student named Yancey Lewis, "who had evolved a barbaric scheme of individual adornment by utilizing the remnants."

Unfortunately, it rained that Saturday afternoon, the curve ball curved not, and Texas outfielders ran weary miles in a lost cause. According to one witness, the University's colors were "christened on a dire and stricken field."

Or were they? Even though the first baseball team had sported orange and white, the colors were by no means official, and subject to the whims of future UT students.

After a decade of starts and stops, the University of Texas fielded its first "permanent" football team in 1893. The first recorded game was actually ten years earlier, during UT's very first fall term, though it was a rather embarrassing two-goals-to-none loss against a group of high school students at the Bickler School in downtown Austin. Football, the newfangled sport that could draw 50,000 spectators to a Princeton-Yale game in the 1880s, required a little more time to be accepted in the Lone Star State.

The UT football team of 1893 played four games, a pair in the fall and two more in the spring. The first was against the Dallas Foot Ball Club that claimed to be the best in the state. Held at the Dallas Fair Grounds, the game attracted a record 1200 onlookers. It was a tough and spirited match, but when the dust had settled, the "University Eleven" had pulled off an 18 - 16 upset. "Our name is pants, and our glory has departed," growled the Dallas Daily News. The UT club would go on to a spotless record and earn the undisputed boast of "best in Texas."

The University team, though, didn't wear orange. Their striped uniforms were gold and white.

In the 1890s, the forty-acre UT campus consisted of a still-unfinished Victorian-Gothic Main Building, a chemical lab building to its northwest, and a plain-looking men's dorm, known as Brackenridge Hall, or "B." Hall, nestled down the hill to the east. All were fashioned from pale yellow Austin pressed brick, and trimmed with cream-colored limestone quarried in nearby Cedar Park. (The Gebauer Building, built in 1904 for engineering, is today the home for College of Liberal Arts, and is the last survivor of this early UT architecture.) Students identified themselves with their surroundings on the campus, and several University teams donned gold and white uniforms.

Of course, gold and white weren't official, either, and only lasted a couple of years. Members of the student-run UT Athletic Association wanted a more "masculine" color, and in 1895 orange was paired with white once more. White uniforms, though, were difficult to clean after a hard-fought victory on the football field. In 1897, to save cleaning costs, the Athletic Association opted for a darker color that wouldn't show dirt as easily: maroon.

For the next three years, UT football, baseball, and track uniforms, along with letter sweaters, were orange and maroon. This created more than a little controversy, especially among the alumni. Adding to the confusion was the Cactus Yearbook, at the time published by the Athletic Association, which listed the University colors as either gold or orange and white. The appearance of the 1899 Cactus made matters worse. It suddenly declared the University colors to be "Gold and Maroon," which just happened to be the same hues used for the yearbook's cover. And all the while, students the University's medical branch in Galveston wanted to throw out the double-colors in favor of a single one: royal blue. Attending a football game in 1899, a UT fan would have found his compatriots sporting all shades of yellows, oranges, whites, reds, maroons, and a few in blue.

After considerable discussion, the Board of Regents decided to hold an election to settle the matter. Students, faculty, staff and alumni were all invited to send in their ballots. Out of the 1,111 votes cast, 562 were for orange and white, a majority by just seven votes. Orange and maroon receive 310, royal blue 203, crimson 10, royal blue and crimson 11, and few other colors scattered among the remaining 15 votes.

End of article by Texassports.com

 

Burnt Orange

The team colors have changed several times during the last 130 years.

  • 1893- Gold and White
  • 1894 Orange and White
  • 1898 Maroon and Orange
  • 1900 - Students voted for Orange and white
  • 1925- Burnt Orange
  • 1940- Bright Orange
  • 1968- Burnt Orange

Unfortunately, the first  bright orange dyes faded when washed and turned yellow which resulted in the Longhorn opponents calling the Longhorns "yellow bellies".  In 1925 Coach Doc Stewart changed the team colors to burnt orange and white,

                                                          Cactus Image of the U.T. colors in the 1900's

                                                        Cactus Image of the U.T. colors in the 1900's

but the University had to revert to the brighter orange during WWII because the  burnt orange dye was scare and expensive.  A bright orange and white continued to be the "official"  UT colors until Coach Royal chose to reinstate the s burnt orange color in the early 60's.

Royal's goal was to brand the Longhorns for T.V.  The  unique color for the Longhorn uniform was the answers.  In making this decision, he noted correctly that there were already numerous Universities using a brighter orange as their team color so he chose not to be another "orange" team.  He also noted that uniforms emblazoned with primary colors dominated University sports teams so he rejected primary colors for the Longhorn uniforms. He wanted an original nuance color that no one else could duplicate and Burnt Orange was the answer. 

Horn Uniforms and helmets thru the years

Mark Walter states that it's  been reported that the University of Texas is looking for more immediate answers in designing a safer football helmet. They're working with equipment company Riddell to evaluate head trauma during collisions at practice. During practices, when contact happens, data is sent to handheld devices being monitored by the training staff. The staffers say if the hit is hard enough, it will generate a signal on the device. However, if the hit was on the side of the helmet but the magnitude of the hit wasn't as high, no data would be registered. Equipment research and design is a never-ending process to keep up with the ever increasing stronger, faster, more powerful athlete that we are building, and the University of Texas is a leader in advancing the future of sports science.

A substantial part of the article below is discussed in detail in this  link from Alcalde.  http://alcalde.texasexes.org/2011/08/longhorn-logo-turns-50/attachment/1919/