The Masked Rider has been an integral part of Texas Tech lore since they galloped out in front of the team in the 1954 Gator Bowl. Since then, there have been 58 more Masked Riders, including the most recent, Emily Brodbeck.

Brodbeck completed 360 appearances as the Masked Rider during the turbulent 2019-2020 season, and now it's time for her to retire the saddle. She'll pass the reins on to Cameron Hekkert, who will be the 59th Red Raider to don the mask and cape.

Hekkert is a senior sport management major at Texas Tech and will begin at the School of Law in 2021.

"Cameron is very personable, smart and enthusiastic," said Stephanie Rhode, director of the Spirit Program at Texas Tech University's website. "She's kind and easy to work with, and I know that as we hand the reins to her, she recognizes what it means to serve and represent our university. She’s been around the program so much, through the High Riders and as an assistant to previous Masked Riders, and has put herself in a really good position to understand the university, the Spirit Program and how our traditions work."

Hekkert will take over for Brodbeck, a Lubbock native, who completed one of the strangest years in school history with the second semester run amok during the coronavirus pandemic.

Cameron Hekkert
(Cameron Hekkert) Ashley Rodgers for Texas Tech University

“Emily has been a fantastic representative of the university, and as a hometown girl, it was even more important to her that she not miss any appearances in Lubbock,” Rhode said. “We always find such great students to fill this role. They are some of the best students at the university, and Emily is no exception. She’s very smart, very patient and being the Masked Rider has allowed her to grow, mature and gain an incredible amount of self-confidence.”

That crazy semester allowed Brodbeck to leave Hekkert some words of wisdom as she transferred the reins: "My main advice to Cameron is to take things seriously, but have a lot of fun and make the absolute best of your short time," Brodbeck said. "Although I had more time than most, it still went by incredibly fast. I learned to never say ‘no’ to an event because it may end up being your favorite one, and, with the current possibility of canceled events, you may not get another opportunity like it.”

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