Wednesday, September 24, 2014

UMass Minutemen (1978-84)

From the 1940s-1972 and again from 1978-84, UMass’ uniforms were lined with gold trim, mostly on the road shirts, but sometimes on the homes as well. The first year (1978), the trim appeared only on the road shirts, which were basically an updated version of the 1975-77 roads. The ’78 Minutemen, under first-year coach Bob Pickett, reached the inaugural NCAA Division I-AA title game, where they lost to Florida A&M.
In the 1979, both shirts were overhauled, and the numbers and names were in the “Champion” font (slanted 2s, curved 7s). Gee, whose shirts do these remind you of?
The uniform is saved by the kick-ass minuteman helmet logo. In 1984, the last year of the style, the names were removed (coaching change) and didn’t return until 2011. The gold trim went bye-bye after the '84 season, never to return.

At the risk of playing “Six Degrees to Maine,” there’s a strong Black Bear connection as far as UMass coaches are concerned. Three coaches (Pickett, Jim Reid, Mike Hodges) played at Maine, and a fourth (Dick MacPherson) didn’t attend Maine, but grew up right down the road in Old Town. 

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