Sunday, July 14, 2013
- by B.B. Branton
For the first time in 20 years and the fifth era overall, the UTC Mocs football players will take the field for their season opener - Aug. 29 vs. UT-Martin at Finley Stadium - wearing white helmets.
This year's white helmet has the UTC "Power C" on each side and a blue-gold-blue stripe down the middle.
The last time the Mocs donned white football helmets was 1994 in coach Buddy Green's first year.
That helmet had a Florida State-style Indian spear and feathers on each side.
16 Helmet Designs: According to UTC assistant athletic director for equipment and facilities Mike Royter, Chattanooga football teams have had 16 different basic helmet designs since football started in 1904.
The first three helmet designs were white - the first being one without a face mask - followed by helmets with the Chattanooga C and face masks. The first white helmet era ended after the 1973 season.
First Gold Helmet: Former UTC coach Joe Morrison (1973-79) introduced the first gold helmet prior to his second season, the 1974 football campaign.
"I came on staff in early summer of 1974 and the gold helmets (with UTC on the sides) had been ordered and were used that fall," said Royster as the 2013 Mocs football season will be his 40th.
Gold helmets continued through the Bill Oliver Era (1980-83) and were worn by current Mocs coach Russ Huesman, who lettered for the Mocs as a defensive back, 1979-82.
Buddy NIx Adds White: The third era of white helmets came under Buddy Nix (1984-92) as the helmet design showed a "Washington Redskins" type logo with the UTC letters in a half-moon shaped design similar to the lettering on LSU's helmets. This design was also used during Tommy West's one year (1993) as head coach.
White Helmets With Spear
: The Buddy Green Era (1994-99) showed white helmets with the spear (1994), gold helmets with a spear (1995) and a variety of gold helmets with UTC or Mocs on each side as the school decided to move away from the American Indian context by the mid-1990s.
The Power C: Former UTC athletic director Rick Hart was instrumental in introducing the school's design of the "Power C". The UTC helmets donned the "Power C" for the 2007 season under coach Rodney Allison and was also used in current head coach Russ Huesman's first four seasons.
Home Opener: Thurs. Aug. 29
The Mocs kick off a 12-game schedule with white helmets by hosting UT-Martin on Thurs. Aug 29 at Finley.
contact B.B. Branton at firstname.lastname@example.org