WTAMU remembers “Pistol” Pete Pedro


Photo Courtesy of Helen Brown

Pedro reuniting with his former WTAMU teammates.

Alyssa Gonzales, Former Editor-in-Chief

There have been a number of legendary Buffs to walk the field  at West Texas A&M University. One of the most well-known was “Pistol” Pete Pedro, who passed away on April 22, 2018. Known to many as a talented and dedicated football player, he was also a loving father, friend and teammate.

“They would always talk about what an amazing athlete he was and the career he had, but also I think in the same breath, they also talk about what a wonderful human being he was,” said Pete Pedro Jr., son of Pete Pedro Sr.

Pedro played the running back position for the Buffs from 1961 to 1963 under legendary coach Joe Kerbel. During his time at, then, West Texas State, Pedro led the Buffs in rushing yards and attributed to the victory over the Ohio Bobcats in the 1962 Sun Bowl. After his time at WTAMU, Pedro went on to be part of the taxi squad for the Boston Patriots. Pedro was later inducted into the WTAMU Athletic Hall of Champions in 1988 and in 2000, was named one of the “Top 100 Sport Legends” in Texas.

“Still to this day, I hear amazing things about him and how much people enjoyed him,” said Pedro Jr. “He was an incredibly interesting, caring, thoughtful, individual.”

Though Pedro was an accomplished athlete, he was very humble when it came to his achievements. Pedro was described as a loyal friend and devoted family man. He was always supportive towards his children in whatever they did and was active and involved when it came to his grandchildren.

“He always had a smile on his face, that’s one thing I’ll always remember about him,” said Maria Guerrero, Pedro’s sister-in-law. “People always gravitated towards him. He had a really good personality.”

During his time at WTAMU, Pedro left a lasting impression on everyone he met. Pedro had respect and always spoke fondly of Coach Kerbel and his former teammates. Though he eventually returned to Lynn, MA and taught for their school district many years after his football career, the relationships he built  at WTAMU would ultimately form into lifelong friendships between him and his teammates.

“He was a sweet, gentle giant,” said former teammate, John David Bryant. “He kept me on my toes, he was like a brother to me.”

Bryant was a dear friend of Pedro and mentioned that they always kept in touch throughout the years. Bryant recalls a time when the Buffs faced off against Texas Western, now known as UTEP. Pedro scored an impressive total of six touchdowns against the Miners. Bryant remains a close friend of the family and still keeps in contact with them today.

“When Pete came in, he was one of the first three black athletes to ever play major college football on the state of Texas,” said Bryant.

A scholarship has been created in Pedro’s memory and will be awarded to a player of the WTAMU football team each year. The recipient is selected by the coaching staff and must maintain a minimum of a 2.5 grade point average. Some of Pedro’s former teammates including John David Bryant, Corky Dawson, Jerry Logan, Wayne Fox and David Sims founded and have contributed to the scholarship.

“He would be incredibly thankful that other student athletes get to benefit from his legacy,” said Pedro Jr.. “He had such an incredible love for West Texas, knowing that it’s continuing somehow in some way, I think would mean a tremendous amount to him and it certainly does to our family.”