"To be a graduate and have my design picked to represent the athletics department is a great thrill," says Evarts. "I love NMSU. I think it's a great university and I think we needed something of our own. It's something that had to be done. I know the athletics department has made a lot of new improvements, and is headed in a new direction. I think our new Pete is right in line with that."
The "Pistol Pete" logo that has been used for the last 40 years bears a striking resemblance to a similar logo used by the Oklahoma State University Athletics Department. "At the time Evart submitted his design, the department had not been contemplating achange. But his work was so original and striking, that it got department officials thinking.
Input and opinion was solicited from former and current students. Alterations were made over a six month period with the final logo becoming officially trademarked just a few weeks ago. While Evarts wanted to do something new, he also wanted to incorporate the same traditions.
"I wanted to stick with the strong tradition of agriculture and ranching in Southern New Mexico. It was important to keep those traditions. I tried to keep some of the aspects of the old Pete, but I also wanted to make it completely different than anything anyone else had done before." Evarts started his original concept by looking back into southern New Mexico's past. "I went back and looked at old photos of 19th century southern New Mexico legends like Pat Garrett and John Chism. I wanted that theme, but with a modern look to it."
While it was a labor of love for Evarts, it did take time and a lot of creative energy.
"I worked on it for 13 months before I ever submitted it to the athletics department. I started off with a sketch, looking at old photos of John and Pat, and went through the evolutionary process of the design. Sometimes you have to step away from it for a while and then come back. I worked on the face, the hat and positioning of the arms and it just evolved over time."
It's a look that has met the approval of many NMSU graduates. "It's tough, it's modern, and it looks great. I think it's great that we'll finally have a sharp, consistent look for NMSU athletics," says Mario Lara, class of 1997. "It's something that I'm proud to have represent our university." "I like the lasso," says Gaye Faubion, NMSU class of 1983 and 1989. "The reason I like the logo is that it encompasses our western heritage. It's a wonderful way to show what kind of University we have. I'm thrilled."
"I think the athletic department has made some great moves in hiring Coach Mumme and Coach Theus and I think the new logo goes right along to that change," says Dan Koesters, director of golf at the NMSU Golf Course and 1981 graduate. "The old Pete needed to be updated, plus it's ours and I think it looks neat."
"It's good stuff," says Aggie Scholarship Association President and 1983 and 1991 NMSU graduate Rick Nezzer. "It's modern, but not so modern that we are straying away from our traditions. I think they did well."
Former NMSU students aren't the only ones who approve of the new look. Future NMSU graduate and current ASNMSU President Jennifer Burn gives the new "Pete" a thumbs up."
"I think that the new logo brings a different style and I think it will engage our students," says Burn. "There are a lot of new changes at NMSU and I think it will help get us national recognition. Going into the WAC, it puts something positive out there. It's a bit different from what we are used to, but I think people can't deny that it's an improved look. It's cool."
Evarts is a 1984 graduate of NMSU with a bachelor's of science degree in electrical engineering technology. He began working as a designer 10 years ago. Among his other credits is the logo being used in this year's Artesia centennial celebration.