UTRGV Vaqueros Logo

UTRGV Vaqueros LogoUTRGV Vaqueros Logo PNG

The UTRGV Vaqueros logo emphasizes the significance of university teams in the sports world. Its design embodies the spirit of tradition and symbolizes the region’s rich cultural heritage, the “cradle” of North American cowboys. The emblem’s visual elements convey energy and dynamism, reflecting a commitment to outstanding results.

UTRGV Vaqueros: Brand overview

UTRGV Vaqueros succeeded UTPA Broncs, inheriting their long history. The university’s leaders gave the teams a new name associated with the cowboys and horse riders from the Rio Grande Valley region. Other options were Bears, Aztecs, Bull Snakes, and Tortoises, but they were deemed too commonplace and not as iconic for South Texas. The sports program was created in 2013 alongside the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley but effectively started only in 2014-2015 when UTPA Broncs came under UTRGV’s ownership. The Vaqueros teams were automatically enrolled in NCAA Division I and the Western Athletic Conference.

In 2013, the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was born by merging two schools, the University of Texas at Brownsville and the University of Texas-Pan American. However, the history of its sports teams, especially the UTPA Broncs, who have been in NCAA Division I since 1968, goes back much further, boasting many victories.

When UTRGV was formed, it was decided to keep competing at this high level. In 2014, the university community chose the sports team a new name, “Vaqueros,” to honor the local cowboy heritage.

As the Vaqueros, UTRGV’s teams have made their mark, especially in basketball and women’s soccer, achieving success and recognition. In 2018, the university opened a new $32 million sports complex for basketball and volleyball, showing its dedication to sports.

The Vaqueros have excelled in competition, academics, and community work, winning awards and giving back.

Now, the Vaqueros compete in 16 different sports, quickly making a name for themselves in college. UTRGV’s growth promises even more success for the Vaqueros, who will carry the unique culture and spirit of the Rio Grande Valley into the future.

Meaning and History

UTRGV Vaqueros Logo History

The University of Texas at Brownsville and the University of Texas-Pan American merged in 2013, forming the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. However, they initially struggled to become a unified student community because representatives from the two former institutions could not compromise on identity issues. Some wanted UTRGV’s sports teams to be named Broncs (like UTPA), while others insisted on Ocelots (like UTB), each eager to preserve their alma mater’s official colors.

Guy Bailey, the newly elected institution president, ended these disputes. He proposed using the nickname Vaqueros, reflecting the spirit of South Texas. This Spanish term means shepherds and horse riders, the root of cowboy culture. The name of the sports teams reminds us that the cowboys, who played a significant role in North American history, originated from the vaqueros of the Rio Grande Valley area.

The Board of Regents supported Bailey’s idea, seeing it as a chance to unify the student community. All that remained was to develop a new logo, for which The University of Texas System hired Eric Rickabaugh, who had previously created sports symbols for other universities. He envisioned the image of a dark-skinned Vaquero riding a horse and an emblem with a green star inside an orange letter “V.” This laid the foundation for the new traditions of the educational institution.

What is UTRGV Vaqueros?

UTRGV Vaqueros are teams organized in place of UTPA Broncs, taking their place in the Western Athletic Conference and NCAA Division I. They belong to the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, which emerged in 2013 after two educational institutions from South Texas merged. The mascot of the sports department is a cheerful cowboy known as Vaquero.

1984 – 2009

UTRGV Vaqueros Logo 1984

This logo belongs to UTPA Broncs, the predecessor of UTRGV Vaqueros. It features an orange silhouette of a horse, showcasing its stubborn and unyielding character. The animal is depicted amid a jump:

  • Its hindquarters are raised high.
  • Its front legs are extended.
  • The neck is stretched downward.

The sharp ends of the flowing mane resemble flashes of fire, emphasizing the horse’s fiery temperament. This emblem was introduced in the mid-1980s, shortly before Pan American University transformed into the University of Texas-Pan American.

2010 – 2014

UTRGV Vaqueros Logo 2010

The updated logo is based on the name UTPA Broncs and does not contain the silhouette of a horse. The team’s nickname is written in large green letters that appear three-dimensional due to the use of two shades. It creates the impression that they have convex edges. Each glyph is outlined with a thin white line and has an additional green contour. The inscription is executed in bold italic grotesque, but the “B” has a semblance of a serif – an elongated projection on the left side. It is cut at an angle opposite to the tilt of the letters, adding visual dynamics to the emblem. The orange abbreviation “UTPA” is located above the “R” and “O.” It is significantly smaller than the second word.

2015 – 2022

UTRGV Vaqueros Logo 2015

In July 2015, UTPA Broncs teams officially became known as UTRGV Vaqueros. Around the same time, the Board of Regents, led by Chris King, approved their new visual identity. Rickabaugh conducted the rebranding from Rickabaugh Graphics. He placed the letter “V” at the center of the sports logo, with two sides having different inclination angles: the left part is aligned vertically, while the right is positioned diagonally. This creates the impression that “V” is moving forward rapidly. It is painted in two shades of orange and outlined with a bold dark blue stripe.

In the recess of the letter, a green five-pointed star is depicted – a nod to the nickname “The Lone Star State.” A similar element is found on the UTRGV seal and the seals of its predecessors – UTPA and UTB. The star shows the teams’ connection to their home state and long-standing traditions. At the same time, its inclined form symbolizes determination, energy, and the pursuit of victory.

2022 – today

UTRGV Vaqueros Logo

Until 2022, this logo was used as a secondary one and looked slightly different. Previously, it contained the abbreviation “RGV” diagonally across the outline of the state of Texas. Designers aligned the inscription horizontally and added “UT” to show that the educational institution is part of the University of Texas System. Each glyph is painted in two shades of orange and outlined in blue. A green star is depicted between the strokes of “V,” as on the previous emblem. Another five-pointed star, but in orange, is located at the bottom of the map – right over Edinburg, where UTRGV is based.

Font and Colors

UTRGV Vaqueros Emblem

The inscription is executed in a bold font, similar to the one used in the wordmark of UTPA Broncs. The extra-bold uppercase letters create a sense of stability and steadfastness. However, the visual weight of the inscription is slightly softened by the slant, expressing energy and speed. Some glyphs have short serifs in the shape of trapezoids or triangles, also conveying a powerful dynamic.

UTRGV Vaqueros Symbol

The logo contains colors approved by the Board of Regents in 2015:

  • Dark blue – in recognition of UTB Ocelots;
  • Green – as a tribute to UTPA Broncs;
  • Orange is a mandatory color for all UT institutions.

White is used as an additional color and serves as the background for the main elements of the emblem.


What is the mascot of UTRGV?

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) proudly has the Vaquero as its mascot, a symbol deeply tied to the region’s culture and history. “Vaquero,” meaning “cowboy” or “cattle herder” in Spanish, pays homage to the Rio Grande Valley’s strong ranching background. This mascot stands for independence, resilience, and cultural pride, reflecting the values of UTRGV and the wider community. The Vaquero represents UTRGV’s unique heritage, honoring the traditions and goals that shape its contributions to education and community involvement in the area.

What is UTRGV known for?

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) is rapidly growing within the University of Texas system and is a leading Hispanic-serving institution. This highlights its efforts to welcome a diverse range of students and create an inclusive atmosphere. The university’s rise in recognition comes from the hard work and achievements of its students, staff, and faculty. Their efforts have put UTRGV on the map, showing its important role in shaping Texas’s future and beyond. UTRGV isn’t just advancing academically; it’s also positively affecting the community and contributing to the state’s economic and cultural growth. Its commitment to excellence and diversity positions UTRGV as a source of great opportunities and a learning and professional development hub.

What was the old name for UTRGV?

Before it became the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV), the institution was partly known as the University of Texas–Pan American (UTPA). Founded in 1989 and part of the University of Texas System, UTPA played a crucial role in educating students in the Rio Grande Valley and contributing to the area’s educational framework. In 2013, a significant decision by the UT Board of Regents merged UTPA, the University of Texas at Brownsville (UTB), and a newly established medical school into UTRGV. This move aimed to enhance educational offerings, boost research opportunities and improve health education and services in the region. Through this merger, UTRGV continues UTPA’s legacy and broadens its influence, marking a new chapter in higher education for South Texas.

What sports division is UTRGV?

UTRGV is part of Division I Athletics, the top tier for college sports in the U.S., overseen by the NCAA. This commitment means UTRGV doesn’t just aim for success in sports but also values academic achievement and community engagement. Competing at this level, UTRGV athletes go up against some of the best university teams in the country, allowing them to demonstrate their talents across various sports. This high level of competition ensures UTRGV athletes receive top-notch training, facilities, and academic support, helping them excel both on the field and in the classroom. UTRGV’s involvement in Division I Athletics shows its deep commitment to offering student-athletes a comprehensive college experience, encouraging their development into leaders and successful individuals in all aspects of life.