Raider Red Unmasked! Face Behind Mascot Revealed at Ceremony

Kristen Rinard revealed herself publicly after serving two years in secret as one of the faces behind Raider Red's mask.

Written by Cory Chandler

After two years serving in secret behind one of Texas Tech’s most recognizable faces, Texas Tech honored Kristen Rinard for her work as Raider Red during its third annual Passing of the Guns Ceremony.

The early childhood education major from San Antonio revealed herself publicly for the first time as she passed Raider Red’s guns on to a new generation of mascots Sunday, April 19.

“Serving as Raider Red, you realize that it’s not about being on the field, in the middle of all the action or even getting to say you’re Raider Red,” she said. “Instead, Raider Red is about being a part of Texas Tech and the Lubbock Community. It’s about the emotions you evoke for people of all ages.”

The four students currently acting as Raider Red spent 900 hours in costume over the past two years at various athletic and community events, logging hundreds of appearances as the mustachioed mascot.

In 2005, a new partnership between the Saddle Tramps, High Riders and Texas Tech’s Center for Campus Life expanded the role of Raider Red. While the Saddle Tramps, who created Raider Red along with illustrator Dirk West, remain an integral part of the tradition, the High Riders provide students to serve as mascots under the collaborative partnership, which also increased the number of students serving as Raider Red from one to four.

Rinard served in the role as Raider Red became more integrated with Texas Tech’s other spirit programs. She not only helped conduct the Goin’ Band from Raiderland but became involved in cheerleading stunts including being one of the first Raider Reds to go atop a pyramid.

CONTACT: Stephanie Rhode, assistant director, Center for Campus Life, Texas Tech University, (806) 742-5433, or