2008 Maury Tate
Maury Tate, the founder of the "Mo" Betta clothing line and a big name in national rodeo circles, was the 2008 inductee into the WOSC Alumni Hall of Fame. Tate has been involved in some aspect of rodeo all his life. He had a college rodeo career at Western from 1984-86, and those were some very successful years for the rodeo team. Recruited by Coach Corkey Parker, Tate recalls very good times with his teammates and in the classroom. Soon after Tate left Western, he turned professional and experienced immediate success in the rodeo arena. The popularity of his shirt design, however, overshadowed his rodeo career. In 1987, he started a small company called "Mo" Betta Shirt Company in response to growing demand for the style of shirt he had originally intended for himself. He had grown tired of a plain cowboy style shirt and wanted a flashier look. It soon became evident that a lot of other cowboys liked the look as well. At first he was selling his shirts literally off his back. Later, he had his mother, Nancy, and a growing group of ladies back home making shirts that he would take with him and sell while he was on the road. The increasingly popular shirt got a huge boost when the rising star Garth Brooks began wearing the "Mo" Betta shirts. The name "Mo" Betta has a connection to Western Oklahoma State College, according to Tate. When he was a student eating in the cafeteria with rodeo teammates from Louisiana, they would often ask him to pass the catsup or some other sauce. But their terminology was a little strange to him. They would ask him to "pass that mobetta sauce." It was term that stuck with Tate. Several years later, he was gratified to note that every calf roper at the National Finals Rodeo was wearing a "Mo" Betta shirt. A few of his other famous customers include Tracy Lawrence, Tim McGraw, and Joe Diffie. He has been featured in several national magazines, including People magazine, Western Horseman, Country Weekly, Entrepreneur, and was featured on the Crook and Chase television show. He was the spokesperson for the Oklahoma Chevy Team for five years. He did all the television and radio ads, speaking engagements and live radio remotes. Chevrolet designed a special edition "Mo" Betta Chevy Truck and a car they called the "Mo" Betta Berretta. These were sold exclusively in Oklahoma. Tate eventually sold the rights to mass produce his shirts, although hometown store in Apache continues to operate under the management of his mother. Tate has continued to pursue his rodeo interests. He has been a professional calf roper for many years and a consistent finisher in the top 30. He was a winner at many of the major rodeos, including Reno, Greeley, Springdale, Colorado Springs, Pecos, Livingston, Prairie Circuit, Prairie Circuit Finals, Dodge National Circuit Finals. An Olympic rodeo competitor in 1991, he now operates the Cody Nite Rodeo in Cody, Wyoming, and lives in Wyoming for several months each year. He also produces several other rodeos, and he is a Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association livestock contractor. Tate is an excellent promoter, and uses these talents often for the benefit of his hometown community. He initiated several ongoing events in Apache, including the "Mo" Betta Invitational Calf Roping, the Celebrity Quail Hunt, the Apache Rattlesnake Hunt, and the "Mo" Betta Bull Bash and Futurity Of special note is the "Mo" Betta Celebrity Quail Hunt, a fundraiser that has provided a half million dollars for a therapeutic riding program for handicapped children. This event has been supported by celebrities such as Barry Switzer, Steve Largent, Steve Emtman, Governor Frank Keating, Congressman J.C. Watts, Bob Stoops, Josh Heipul, Steve Owens, Jerome Scheeberger and Billy Etbauer, and many other professional athletes, politicians and professional cowboys. Tate and his wife Nikki have two daughters, Cydney and Hadley. He is the son of Nancy and the late Bub Tate. He was born in Altus and is the grandson of Rosie and Olen Tate of Altus.