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The Year of the Cowboy

Celebrating 100 years of Frank Eaton's legacy
A special tradition was born in the early 1920s when Oklahoma State University (then Oklahoma A&M College) began searching for a new mascot. The true roots of Pistol Pete date back to a century ago. The character of Pistol Pete originated from Frank B. Eaton. In the 1920s, Eaton was involved in the Armistice Day Parade in Stillwater and OSU’s Homecoming Parade. This well-known and admired cowboy passed away in 1958 — that same year, Charlie Lester appeared as OSU’s first Pistol Pete mascot.
Eaton will always be remembered, and “Pistol Pete” continues to serve as a symbol of the cowboy spirit now and forever.

Schedule of Events

Commemorating Cowboy history
Hold on to your cowboy hats as we gear up to pay homage to our cherished Cowboy history! We plan to celebrate this milestone with special events, exclusive memorabilia and more. This year's Homecoming theme is inspired by Pistol Pete's anniversary. 
Year of the Cowboy logo

Oct. 28, 2023 is proclaimed the 100th anniversary of Pistol Pete

By Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt 
The governor’s proclamation coincides with America’s Greatest Homecoming, which also carries “The Year of the Cowboy” theme and celebrates all things Pete, as well as all the students and alumni who have added to and carried on the legacy.  

Pistol Pete then and now

The evolution of the Pistol Pete logo
From Fuzzy Chaps Pete (1950s) to Smooth Chaps Pete (1980s) and White Shirt Muscle Pete (2000s), Pete has undergone a captivating transformation, reflecting the spirit of each era.

Journey through the years

Video features highlighting our favorite Cowboy

The Year of the Cowboy Exhibit: Reception

The latest exhibit in Edmon Low Library celebrates 'The Year of the Cowboy,' including images and artifacts from Frank Eaton's family and past Pistol Petes.

Inside OSU Podcast: Celebrating TYOTC with Pistol Pete

In this episode, Meghan Robinson and First Cowboy Darren Shrum sit down with the two students who are currently serving as Pistol Pete, Bryce Coon (95) and Caden Schaufele (96).

Next 100 Years of Pistol Pete

When Frank Eaton joined Stillwater’s Armistice Day parade in 1923, it marked the beginning of the Pistol Pete mascot. It's a tradition that has last 100 years...and here's to 100 more!

Advice for Future Pistol Petes

Former Pistol Petes are sharing their advice for the next generation of cowboys.

Favorite Pistol Pete Memory

Over the last 100 years, Pistol Pete has helped created lasting memories for fans of all ages. Now some former Petes are sharing their favorites.

What Pistol Pete Means to Me

Frank Eaton's legacy serves as a testament to the enduring legacy of the cowboy spirit at Oklahoma State University, continuing to inspire generations of students, fans and the Pistol Pete alumni.

Why Did You Want to be Pistol Pete?

As OSU celebrates 100 years of Frank "Pistol Pete" Eaton's legacy, former Pistol Petes are share their reasons on why they donned the 36-pound head.

Picking Pistol Pete Trailer

OSU Max takes you behind the scenes of Pistol Pete tryouts with exclusive access as Pete's numbers 95 and 96 are selected for the 2023-24 school year. Enjoy watching the process as part of a four-part series with the OSU Spirit Squads.

24 Hours with Pistol Pete

Meghan Robinson spent 24 hours with the students behind the head, Parker Wilson and Michael Albright, to see what it takes to be the face of the university.

Frank Eaton Inducted into Hall of Great Westerners

On April 9, 2022, Eaton was inducted into the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum Hall of Great Westerners.

The Face of Frank

The story behind Oklahoma State University's mascot, Pistol Pete, and his namesake, Frank Eaton.

Auditioning to Become Pistol Pete

Behind the scenes of the process to become the most famous face on campus. 

Preserving Pistol Pete's Head

Ali Brooks interviews costumer and puppeteer Lillie Solomon about maintaining Pistol Pete's head. Learn more about Solomon's special connection to Pete in the STATE Magazine article The Lady Behind the Mask.

Being Pistol Pete

Current and former Pistol Petes share the experience of being OSU's mascot.

Explore more of Pistol Pete's story

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