Column: Dippels’ Guns Up Symbol Continues Texas Tech’s Legacy | Sports


Collegiate hand symbols have, in some cases, acquired iconic status and are as much a defining marker as a school’s official logo or mascot.

The origin of these symbols may stem from an obvious gesture you can make with a hand that encompasses the school in some way, or it may have evolved from folklore.

In the case of the Guns Up symbol for Texas Tech, it was primarily born out of the flooding and irritation of a family of displaced West Texans living in Austin in the early 1970s.

Glenn and Roxie Dippel, who have called Temple home since 1975, found themselves in Austin after graduating from Texas Tech – Glenn in 1961 and Roxie a little later in 1970 after starting their family of three sons. Both were chartered accountants and found work in Austin.

“It’s been four and a half years that I’m never going back,” Glenn, 86, joked of his time in Austin. “We didn’t realize how proud we were of Lubbock until we moved to Austin.”

Burnt orange is a comforting color to most Austin residents and anyone with ties to the University of Texas. The Dippels were quick to stock up on orange, which adorned carpets and countertops, while seeing little of the red and black they were used to in the Texas Panhandle. Roxie is originally from Lubbock and Glenn grew up in the small outpost of Old Glory.

Glenn, with the help of brainstorming from Roxie and her three young sons, Len, Doug and Tim, all of whom later graduated in tech, set about designing a Red Raiders response to the ubiquitous symbol. Hook ‘Em Horns of the Texas Longhorns.

The Dippels continued to subscribe to the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal while in Austin and Glenn drew inspiration from the weekly Southwestern Conference cartoons drawn by Dirk West, a former mayor of Lubbock, depicting the mascots or a caricature of each school in the conference. The Texas Tech cartoon, known as Raider Red, was drawn in the same vein as Looney Tunes character Yosemite Sam. Over the football seasons, Raider Red has appeared with a hole in his hat to every loss suffered by the Red Raiders. He often appeared with both guns unholstered above his head.

Glenn and Roxie, after further unsuccessful attempts at a proper Tech hand signal, copied the Raider Red gesture with an outstretched thumb and index finger with the other three fingers closed. “We wanted to keep it one-handed,” he said.

In early 1971, Glenn wrote a letter to the Saddle Tramps, Tech’s oldest on-campus organization dedicated to preserving school traditions just months after moving to Austin. Their arrival coincided with the Longhorns’ second straight national title and the height of their popularity.

In his letter, he wrote, “I’ve seen the Hook ‘Em Horns sign so many times I’m sick of it. This lassitude has however given me an idea that I would like to submit to your consideration, at the risk of being qualified as a “copier”. I propose that Texas Tech have their own Hook ‘Em Horns type sign.

He continued in the letter, “It may be a knockoff, but it continues to haunt me, and the more I think about it, the more I love it.”

Texas Tech played the Longhorns in Austin in the fall of 1971 and the Dippels saw firsthand their creation come to fruition as the Saddle Tramps and cheerleaders displayed the Guns Up symbol throughout the game and during play. traditional from “The Matador Song”.

Dippel checked whether a copyright of the symbol might be at stake, but it was not deemed unique enough to warrant it.

“I found that acceptable,” he said.

In 1975, the Dippels left Austin and established an accounting firm in Temple, much more diverse and neutral in collegiate loyalties, where they have remained ever since. Roxie’s family owned a ranch near Oglesby, which made Temple even more palatable. They retired from accounting seven years ago, and Glenn joked that their “sanity is slowly coming back.”

Since their sons are long-time graduates of Texas Tech, trips to Lubbock are rare from when he could drop Roxie off at his favorite stores while he reunites with Tech’s former head football coach and manager. sportsman JT King for drinking coffee and chewing fat.

Nonetheless, the Dippels’ legacy is firmly rooted in the highlands, and they can watch their creation with satisfaction at every sporting event they watch.

Glenn said, “The Guns Up did pretty well.”

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