Although Tarleton's athletic history dates back to 1904, no current records indicate a nickname for its athletic teams until 1917. It was upon joining The Texas A&M University System in 1917 that the Tarleton athletic teams became known as the “Junior Aggies.”
In 1925 legendary coach and athletics director W.J. Wisdom offered the attractive figure of $5.00 to any student who could come up with a sports moniker that he liked. The story has it that one day while walking across campus the nickname "Plowboys" (many of Tarleton's athletes then were agricultural students with rural and farming backgrounds) popped into his head. Wisdom liked the name so much he kept the $5.00.
The athletic teams remained the Plowboys throughout Tarleton's junior college days, when the college was know as John Tarleton Agricultural College, or JTAC for short.
In 1961, college officials decided to have a contest to come up with a new athletic nickname to reflect Tarleton's new status as a four-year college. The top three vote-getters were "Texans," "Rockets," and "Packrats." Given the three choices, "Texans" was chosen. All the men's athletic teams were referred to as the "Texans", and the women's teams slowly became known as the "TexAnns".
|Location||Stephenville, TX 76402|
|Significance||In 1961, the horse and rider representing the Texan became Tarleton’s mascot|
In 1961, the horse and rider representing the Texan became Tarleton’s mascot. A student is selected each year to serve as the Texan at official events. Designed by Nelda Lee, the mosaic located in front of the Tarleton Center was a gift from the Class of 1967.