Texas Tech is a member of the Big Twelve Conference
and competes in Division I-A for athletics. Men's teams are the Red Raiders, women's teams are the Lady Raiders.In addition to the "major" collegiate sports, the university offers other sports such as rugby, lacrosse, and soccer through campus intramural sports organizations.The Masked Rider is the oldest of Texas Tech's mascots still in existence today. Originally called the "Ghost Rider," it was
an unofficial mascot starting around 1936 when an unknown student (or students) would
circle the field on horseback at home football games, riding into
the stadium and away. The Masked Rider became the official mascot with 1954's Gator Bowl and has led the team onto the field at nearly every football game since.Tech's other current mascot, Raider Red, is more recent. Around the time of the 1971
football season, the Southwest Conference created a rule that forbade the bringing of live animal mascots to away games
unless the host school permitted it. Since the Masked Rider's horse would fall under this rule an alternate mascot was created.
Student Jim Gaspard created the original design for the Raider Red costume, basing it on a character created by Lubbock
cartoonist and former mayor Dirk West. Though the Masked Rider's identity is public knowledge, it has always been tradition that
Raider Red's student alter ego is kept secret until the end of his tenure.