Wednesday, February 18, 2015

UMass Minutemen (1986-87)

We continue our look at some of the most, er, blah uniforms in this project with a team that just a couple years earlier had, in my opinion, one of the best logos in sports -- the proud minuteman perched between the "U" and the "M," ready to defend the honor of his school, state and football team. But for a few years in the mid-1980s, UMass took a curious step backward.

Under coach Bob Stull, the UMass ditched the minuteman logo in '85 for a generic "UM" logo on the helmet. The gold trim used off and on since the 1940s was discarded, as well (and has never returned, not a bad thing). Under new coach (and former Maine captain!) Jim Reid in '86, UMass took another step backward and used no helmet logo at all. In '87, the Minutemen livened it up by switching the facemask color from gray to maroon.

The graphic shown above shows white socks pulled all the way up, but not all the players wore them that way. By this time, teams were starting to play loose with proper sock wear; this wasn't the NFL.

Somehow, those blank helmets just look strange.
These two pics are from the 1987 UMass Index yearbook.

After sharing a Yankee Conference title in '86, the Minutemen plummeted to a 3-8 mark in '87 before sharing another YC crown in '88 -- this time with the revival of the 1970-72 "UM" logo (see below), which we'll examine at another time. Reid coached the Minutemen through 1991, going 36-29-2.

Well, those maroon facemasks will liven the party.
From the 1988 Index.

A return to glory in 1988. A small "AMHERST"
was added to the logo in '89.

One other note: The basic shirt/pants design was used from 1985-94 and survived through four helmet designs (six if you count the two facemasks used for the blank helmet and the small "AMHERST" added to the "UM" logo in '89). Often, many teams (UNH, Dartmouth, Maine, BC, etc.) stick with one helmet design and change the uniform every few years.

No comments:

Post a Comment