NMSU Aggies football helmet gets a makeover

Pistol Pete featured on new helmet

POSTED: 09:14 PM MDT Aug 09, 2013    UPDATED: 09:46 AM MDT Jul 21, 2014 
New Mexico State University football helmets get a makeover
LAS CRUCES, N.M. -

New Mexico State University has a new design for its football helmets.

It's catching a lot of national attention.

NMSU's mascot Pistol Pete and his guns are front and center.

Pistol Pete has been NMSU's mascot since the 1950s. This is the first time he'll be featured on the Aggies football helmets.

Some wonder if it's an appropriate move.

NMSU Athletics Director Dr. McKinley Boston told ABC-7 he doesn't see an issue with the new design.

"We're very comfortable with the role of guns in the history of the southwest and New Mexico State," Boston said.

Pistol Pete is featured on both sides of the helmet guns in hand. Pistols line the white stripe down the middle.

It's a big change from the old design that just had the New Mexico State name.

Boston said new coach Doug Martin helped come up with the idea.

In 2005, NMSU changed its mascot to take away the guns. They gave him a lasso instead and he was dubbed "Lasso Larry."

Just a year later, NMSU brought Pistol Pete back.

Boston said it was because Aggie fans demanded it.

"It's part of our heritage. It's part of our tradition. We went through that political correct discussion about eight, nine years ago with Lasso Larry. We were reminded that New Mexico State was not that interested in Lasso Larry, and they wanted the guns back. Obviously, we listened," Boston said.

Boston said the new design is not meant to make any political statements.

"If people view Pete and parents view Pete and they're thinking about it as promoting guns, that's not what we're doing. We're promoting a university brand, and guns happen to be involved. We've never thought about this as being politically correct. We've thought about it as promoting the history of NM state," he said.

ABC-7's New Mexico Mobile Newsroom showed the new design to Aggies fans on campus today. They all seemed to love it.

Boston said the design is almost final. He said they will probably remove the name Pete from the white stripe. Football players will don the helmets this football season.