Utah Football Reveals New Hand-Painted Helmets, Throwback Uniforms
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The University of Utah equipment staff is bringing back the old University of Utah jerseys and helmets from 1966 for this year’s throwback game against UCLA this weekend.
I sat down with the Director of Football Equipment Operations Cody Heidbreder, who gave me a behind-the-scenes look at the nostalgic gray uniforms.
Everything regarding this year’s throwback uniforms is the same as the 1966 version, except for the ”UTES” in block letters, spelled out on the sleeve, which replaced the drum and feather.
The other difference is players will be wearing gray gloves, which weren’t part of the uniform in the 1960s.
— UtesEquipment (@UtesEquipment) November 12, 2019
Start With The Socks
The socks were designed by Under Armour and feature the same interlocking Us as the helmets with a white base, grey stripes and the red Us.
The pants are gray. However, the sides have two red lines with a white line in the middle.
They have a red Under Armour logo on the top right-hand corner of the pants.
A gray belt with a black belt buckle caps off the pants.
The jersey is primarily red with white numbers and lettering.
The numbers are bold, and stand out. The sleeves have the word ”UTES” printed on them.
The modern Pac-12 logo, Under Armour logo and NCAA 150 symbol are placed above the number. The NCAA 150 logo is a celebration of the 150th birthday of college football.
Helmets, A History
There are a lot of elements in the helmets, they took a year to plan and paint.
The classic helmets were hand-painted by Armano Villarreal, who works at Schutt. Villarreal has been painting them for the past year.
The helmets are painted to look worn. The idea behind that was to make the helmets look as if they were nine games old in 1966, because back then, players wore the same helmet for the entire season.
No helmet in the batch is the same.
Villarreal painted scratches and grass stains across the entire helmet, similar to what a helmet from 1966 would look like.
The ear holes are widened and protrude because in 1966 the earpieces were enlarged.
Rivets are painted onto the helmets so that they look old and rusted.
— Utah Football (@Utah_Football) November 12, 2019
Love it Or Not
By no means is it an iconic look for Utah, although, Under Armour wanted to do a throwback. It just so happened that the players on Utah’s team have been requesting a gray color scheme for a while.
Utah’s equipment staff has done a tremendous job integrating painted helmets into their rotation as of late. This year’s edition will be the fourth hand-painted helmet ever.
Last year’s hand-painted helmet was red and featured the wings of a red-tailed hawk, as a nod to Utah’s mascot, Swoop.
Game 10 pic.twitter.com/brhPwVVbDM
— UtesEquipment (@UtesEquipment) November 8, 2018
In 2017, the theme was “Throwin’ Up The U’, which is a hand gesture Utah fans make.
Today’s uni combo with a 🔥🔥🔥 new handcrafted helmet pic.twitter.com/RQgnrDPXYP
— Utah Football (@Utah_Football) November 26, 2017
Utah beat Oregon as a non-conference opponent in Eugene to open the season that year. They also had great wins against Washington State, Arizona, New Mexico and Arizona State.
The Utes went 5-5 overall that year and 3-2 in the Western Athletic Conference.
The team had two players taken in the following NFL Draft. Leading rusher Ben Woodson was picked by the Oakland Raiders, though he played just a year in the CFL for the Calgary Stampeders.
Defensive back Richard Tate was picked by the Green Bay Packers but did not make the roster. He also played for the Utah basketball team that went to the Final Four in 1966.
Utah and UCLA are scheduled to kick-off at 6 p.m. on Fox.
Both teams control their own destiny in the Pac-12 South. If Utah beats the Bruins, they will hold a buffer over the rest of the conference, while if UCLA wins out they will head to Levi’s Stadium to take on the Oregon Ducks in the title game.
Utah is 5-0 at home this season and UCLA is 2-2 on the road. However, the Bruins are coming off three consecutive wins and carry plenty of momentum into Rice Eccles Stadium this weekend.
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