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This week's Dirk West Cartoon



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Raider Red's predecessor

By Joe Gulick
Avalanche-Journal


Dirk West drew Southwest Conference football cartoons for several years before he developed the Red Raider mascot into the caped, mustachioed gunslinger character who was the inspiration for Raider Red, the Texas Tech spirit character.

Before that, he had drawn the Red Raider as a masked football player. This Nov. 30, 1970, cartoon features the last — or possibly the next to the last — appearance of his original Tech mascot.

Tech had finished the regular season with an 8-3 record and a Sun Bowl invitation in Jim Carlen’s first year as head football coach. Georgia Tech later defeated the Raiders 17-9 in the bowl game.

Texas and Arkansas were both undefeated in the Southwest Conference and had a Dec. 5 showdown in Austin that Texas won 42-7.

The Horned Frog’s letter to Santa referred to the announcement five days earlier that fourth-year TCU football coach Fred Taylor would be replaced at the end of the season.

It also was a tough time for the Baylor football program. The Bears had finished 2-9 in 1970 in coach Bill Beall’s second year and had a 3-28 record under Beall when he left after the 1971 season. He would be replaced by Grant Teaff.

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