History of the Vaqueros
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Vaqueros is a college sports team with an impressive history. The school was founded in 1927 as the Edinburg Junior College, and since then, they have become one of the most successful teams in their region.
The Vaqueros began playing football in 1969, known as Pan American College. They quickly gained recognition for their success on the field, winning several conference championships over the years. In 1996, they joined NCAA Division I-AA. They made it to two consecutive FCS playoffs before moving up to NCAA Division I-A (now FBS) status after being accepted into Conference USA in 2013.
Since joining Conference USA, UTRGV has seen continued success on and off the field with multiple bowl appearances, including a Fiesta Bowl victory against Arizona State University during the 2019 season. Their basketball program has also been successful throughout its history, making five trips to March Madness between 2005 and 2018 while consistently competing at or near the top of the Western Athletic Conference standings yearly.
As part of the UT system's consolidation process that formed UTRGV by merging UT-Pan American (UTPA) & UT Brownsville (UTB), all athletics programs from both universities merged under the new name ‘Vaqueros,’ which is derived from the Spanish word for cowboys & reflects rich heritage associated with area surrounding university campus located along the US – Mexico border. This merger brought together some great athletes who had previously competed separately at either former institution, creating a solid foundation for the current athletics program. With this strong foundation, there is no doubt that the future holds even more greatness for UTRGV Athletics!
College Sports Established
University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
1988 - Present / NCAA Division I
2014 - Present / Western Athletic Conference
2010 - 2013 / Great West Conference
1999 - 2009 / Independent
1992 - 1998 / Sun Belt Conference
1988 - 1991 / American South Conference
Vaqueros - The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Vaqueros is one of the most beloved teams in college sports. Their nickname, “Vaqueros,” has been around since the school was founded in 1927 and is a tribute to their region’s rich cowboy heritage.
In Spanish, “vaquero” means cowboy or horseman, and it is an appropriate name for this team, given its location on the US-Mexico border. The Rio Grande Valley was once home to many ranchers who lived off cattle ranching and horsemanship - activities that required skillful riders known as vaqueros.
The UTRGV Vaqueros have embraced their nickname by incorporating it into all aspects of their program, from uniforms to logos and mascots, which feature a vaquero riding his trusty steed with a lasso at hand, ready for action! The iconic Vaquero logo is proudly displayed throughout campus on banners, flags, signs, t-shirts, etc., representing not only UT but also honoring those brave cowboys who helped make this area what it is today: A place where hard work meets tradition!
The UTRGV community takes great pride in being associated with such an inspiring symbol that celebrates both its past & present culture while looking forward to future successes! Whether you're cheering them on during football season or just showing your support through spirit wear, when you sport your favorite Vaquero gear – know that you're helping keep alive a piece of history & culture unique to South Texas.
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Women's Basketball 0
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