First, just another reminder that Rivalry Week, showcasing great rivalries and the uniforms they wore, begins on Monday.
Two years ago, the University of Massachusetts and new coach Charley Molnar shocked longtime fans by ditching the traditional white helmets for black versions to mark the team’s leap to the Football Bowl Subdivision and the Mid-American Conference. In 2013, maroon helmets were added to the mix, which from a historical standpoint, made far more sense; some of the finest UMass teams in history wore maroon helmets during their original heyday (1963-68).
During the helmets’ original run, the Redmen (as they were called from about 1947 until 1973) won four Yankee Conference titles under coach Vic Fusia and amassed a 26-4 league record; three of those losses were in 1968, a rare off-season for the program.
|Greg Landry (11) directs the troops in 1966. |
All of these pics are from the 1967-68 Index yearbooks.
|Landry readies to take the snap against Boston U. at Warren McGuirk Alumni Stadium in 1966.|
The facility opened the year before and was renovated in 2012-13.
The style shown above is what UMass wore from 1966-68, when the road jerseys were slightly altered from what it used earlier in the decade. No. 11 was quarterback Greg Landry, who led the team to two Yankee Conference titles and is still in the team;s top 10 in several passing records, which is phenomenal considering college football was more run-oriented then and freshmen weren’t allowed to play. Landry, who was named quarterback on the Yankee Conference’s 50th anniversary tram in 1996, went on to a respectable career with the NFL’s Detroit Lions and lasted long enough to play in the USFL nearly two decades after his time at UMass.
|Landry is off and running against Dartmouth in 1966 ...|
|... then goes airborne. Can you imagine UMass visiting Dartmouth now?|
Note the gold trim on the road uniforms, used off-and-on until the mid-80s.
In 2014, Mark Whipple, who coached UMass to the Division I-AA (FCS) national title in 1998, returned, ditched the black uniforms and restored the white helmet. Maroon helmets are still frequently used.
|UMass gives Dartmouth a rude greeting in 1967.|
|A Rhody Ram is sent flying in 1967. Check out the H-shaped goal post.|
The UMass yearbooks of this time period made phenomenal use of color,
far more than any other yearbook I've used in my research.