Red Raider Tour
Athletic Dining Hall -- This facility was named for J. William Davis, father of the National Letter of Intent and former chairman of Tech's athletic council. His first signee was Red Raider football standout, who later played in two super bowls in the NFL.
Bangin' Bertha -- Bertha is the bell on a trailer carried to all Tech football games and home basketball games by the Saddle Tramps. It was donated by the Sante Fe Railroad and is considered a spirit-raiser and tradition at Texas Tech. Bertha was designed in 1959 by Saddle Tramp Joe Winegar.
Carol of Lights -- This favorite of Tech traditions began in 1959 and is celebrated throughout the month of December. All the campus buildings on the Broadway entrance to Memorial Circle, on the Science Quadrangle and Engineering Key are lined with thousands of red, white and yellow Christmas lights. A formal ceremony, torch-lighting parade, trumpeters and seasonal music precede the throwing of the switch that begins the month-long observance of the Carol of Lights. Traditionally, the kickoff event is held on the first Friday of December and is sponsored by the Residence Hall Association.
Double-T -- An image study in 1989 brought out loud and clear that to Texas Techsans the Double-T represents tradition, pride and school identity. Historical evidence suggests that Tech's first football coaches, E.Y. Freeland and Grady Higginbotham, are the originators of this campus trademark, first using it on letter sweaters. No campus symbol is so readily identified with Texas Tech as the Double-T.
E.J. Holub -- Tech's first consensus All-America at center and linebacker, Lubbock native E.J. Holub was named to the Southwest Conference's Hall of Honor in 1994. Holub went on to a 10-year career in the NFL, playing for the Dallas Texans of the AFL and the Kansas City Chiefs of the NFL. He was also inducted into the Texas Tech Athletic Hall of Honors in 1977.
Fifty-Yard Line Restaurant -- A favorite stop of media, coaches and teams passing through Lubbock. Many a scribe has written about the world-class steaks with the football position names. But, the real attraction is the complementary blueberry muffins and the traditional Friday night athletic social.
Guns Up -- The hand sign of Texas Tech is the "Guns Up," made by extending the index finger outward while extending the thumb upward and tucking in the middle, little and fourth fingers to form a gun. The idea is that Tech fans will shoot down their opponents.
High Riders -- The female counterpart to the Saddle Tramps, this group supports women's athletics. The High Riders became an official Tech support group on Nov. 2, 1976. They take part in parades and various campus events and ring the Victory Bells after women's teams win.
Intramurals -- Texas Tech has more than 11,000 participants in intramural activities, ranking the University at the top of the nation.
Jones Stadium Graffiti -- For decades, students and student organizations have left messages for others to read by lifting and lowering chair seats on the west side of Jones Stadium to spell out words. This unique method of message display has included I love you's, marriage proposals, greek organization letters and ads for upcoming Tech parties.
King, J.T. -- Texas Tech's football coach from 1960-69 and athletic director from 1970-1978. He coached six All-Americas, including E.J. Holub and Donny Anderson and, as AD, he was responsible for the hiring of men's basketball coach Gerald Myers.
Lettermen's Lounge -- Found on the north end of Jones Stadium on 4th Street, the Lettermen's Lounge holds memorabilia of Tech's most prominent athletes. Meetings and meals can be held in the facility, whose windows look right out onto the football field. It is connected to the Athletic Ticket Office and was constructed in 1979.
Matadors -- Interestingly, Texas Tech was almost nicknamed the Dogies, as suggested by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. But the first athletic teams became known as the Matadors, instead, thanks to the head coach's wife. Mrs. Ewing Young Freeland preferred Matadors because of the Spanish architectural influence on campus. The college colors of scarlet and black and team name of Matadors were adopted by students on March 15, 1926, during a convocation. The teams remained as Matadors until 1936 when Red Raiders was adopted.
Neon Double-Ts -- The class of 1938 donated the first neon Double-T sign, which today is affixed to the east side of Jones Stadium and is visible from University Avenue. It was reputedly the largest neon sign in existence at the time it was purchased and presented to Tech. On Aug. 16, 1987, another neon Double-T, this one 24' x 26,' was added to the west side of Jones Stadium, on the back of the press box. It was funded by Bill McMillan. A week later, on Aug. 23, the words TEXAS TECH were added to the Double-T. The letters are 10' high and were paid for by the athletic department.
Presidents -- Eleven men have held the office of president of Texas Tech. Only one was not a college graduate, the third; only one has been a Tech alumnus, the tenth; and one died in office, the first. Dr. Edward N. Jones was the last to live in the Old President's Home on the southeast corner of campus.
Raider Red -- Prior to the 1971 seasons, the Southwest Conference passed a rule that prevented members of the conference from taking live animals to non-home games unless the host team had no objections. So Jim Gaspard, a member of Saddle Tramps, created Raider Red from a drawing by Lubbock cartoonist Dirk West as an alternative to the Masked Rider when the horse couldn't travel with the football team. Raider Red's student persona is kept a secret from the Tech community. Red is a public relations mascot who shakes hands with the crowds at athletic events and poses for pictures. He changes from boots to high-top court shoes for basketball games. Raider Red fires his two 12-gauge shotguns using power-filled shells after every Tech touchdown and field goal. Red once had a counterpart named Arena Rita, but she just didn't catch on.
Saddle Tramps -- Formed by Tech student Arch Lamb in 1936, this all-male booster organization supports men's athletics at Texas Tech. The Midnight Raiders "paint the campus red" with crepe paper before big home games. Tramps ring Bangin' Bertha, a large bell donated by the Santa Fe Railroad, participate in parades and other campus events, including the Carol of Lights, and ring the Victory Bells after men's athletic teams win.
Texas Tech(nological College) University -- From 1959-69, debates were held and feuds erupted over what name should replace Texas Technological College. It was agreed that the word "university" was necessary to reflect the growth in size and prestige of the "college." Strongest support was for retaining the Double-T, despite what name was selected for the university. By 1963, the board of directors officially approved "Texas Tech University," preserving aspects of the original name and retaining the trademark Double-T. The State Legislature, on Sept. 1, 1969, formally approved the board's suggestion.
University Daily -- The newspaper of Texas Tech since the fall of 1966 has been called the University Daily. Prior to that, it was called the Toreador. The UD's editors, reporters, photographers and other staff personnel are students.
Victory Bells -- The class of 1936 gave the Victory Bells as their gift to Tech. They rang for the first time at the group's graduation. They rang all night the next fall after Tech beat TCU, keeping Lubbock residents awake. Thereafter, the ringing of the bells was limited to 30 minutes after men's and women's athletic victories and special occasions, such as when Tech joined the Southwest Conference, and more recently, the Big 12. The Victory Bells - one large and one small - hang in the east tower of the Administration Building.
Will Rogers & Soapsuds -- Will Rogers, a humorist in the 1920s and '30s, donated $200 for the Tech band to play at the football game against Tech on Oct. 20, 1926. He wanted people to hear a "real band." During this trip, Rogers was encouraged by his longtime friend Amon G. Carter to put up $1,500 to buy the band new uniforms. Carter matched the contribution. In 1948, the Amon G. Carter Foundation presented to Tech a statue of Rogers and his horse, Soapsuds, titled "Riding Into The Sunset." Executed by Electra Waggoner Biggs, who was only 18-years-old at the time, the statue is one of four like it in the United States. The statue was physically erected on what was known as Soapsuds Pavilion east of Memorial Circle and offset 23 degrees north from west in order to face the rear of the horse toward Texas A&M, a favorite Tech rival.
Thanks to Marsha Gustafson and Curt Langford at the Texas Tech Ex-Students Association for much of this information on Tech Traditions. A book by the same name is available through the Ex-Students Assn.