16 Oct

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Bevo XIV dies after diagnosis, retirement

BEVO XIV at the Texas Relays (Photo: Jesse Drohen)

Bevo XIV at the Texas Relays (Photo: Jesse Drohen)

AUSTIN, Texas — University of Texas mascot Bevo XIV, recently diagnosed with Bovine Leukemia Virus, died Friday in his sleep.

Following a preliminary diagnosis of the illness last week, Bevo XIV had been resting at the ranch owned by John T. and Betty Baker, the owners and caretakers of both Bevo XIV and his predecessor, Bevo XIII, after being retired earlier this week.

“Bevo XIV was so much more than a traditional mascot," Silver Spurs Alumni Association executive director Ricky Brennes said. "He was so big and strong, but he had such a sweet personality and a gentle soul. He loved the attention that came with being Bevo but was very cool, calm and smart. Like a dog he would come when called by name, show up to the house looking for treats and even roll over on his side so Mrs. Baker could rub his belly. He did so much for his university and community. His last few days provided great memories, but we miss him already.”

The search for BEVO XV will begin immediately, and will be led by the Silver Spurs Alumni Association. No timetable has been given, although the goal is to have Bevo XV on the sideline for the 2016 football season, including Thanksgiving — the 100th Anniversary of Bevo’s first appearance at a Texas football game.

Bevo XIV began his tenure at the age of two in 2004, and was on the sidelines for many historic moments. Bevo XIV was a part of back-to-back Rose Bowl victories, including the January 2006 win that resulted in the most recent Longhorns’ BCS Football National Championship. In addition to his prominent position on the sidelines at UT football games, he made multiple appearances at special events, including the second inauguration of President George W. Bush.

The funds needed to cover Bevo’s support and care are provided by the Silver Spurs Bevo Endowment, which also funds scholarships for UT students and provides financial support for the primary charity of the Silver Spurs, the Neighborhood Longhorns Program.

Bevo XIV and the Silver Spurs have assisted in providing more than $250,000 in the last two years to support the Neighborhood Longhorns Program, which is an educational incentive program operated in partnership with the Austin Independent School District (AISD) in 30 Title 1 elementary and middle schools.

James Schleicher is the publisher of Horns Illustrated magazine. He's also a fifth generation Texan and lifelong Austinite. Follow @HornsIllus twitter to keep up with all things Horns Illustrated.