Conference USA


Eastern Division

EAST CAROLINA FLORIDA ATLANTIC FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL
"Pirates" "Owls" "Panthers"
Greenville, NC Boca Raton, FL Miami, FL
MARSHALL MIDDLE TENNESSEE
STATE
SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI
"Thundering Herd" "Blue Raiders" "Golden Eagles"
Huntington, WV Murfreesboro, TN Hattiesburg, MS
UAB
"Blazers"
Birmingham, AL

Western Division

LOUISIANA TECH NORTH TEXAS RICE
"Bulldogs" "Mean Green" "Owls"
Ruston, LA Denton, TX Houston, TX
TULANE TULSA UTEP
"Green Wave" "Golden Hurricane" "Miners"
New Orleans, LA Tulsa, OK El Paso, TX
UTSA
"Roadrunners"
San Antonio, TX

Comments

Louisiana Tech, Middle Tennessee State , Florida Atlantic, Florida International, North Texas, and UTSA are new members of Conference USA in 2013, while Memphis, Houston, Southern Methodist, and UCF have all departed to join the American Athletic Conference.

Florida Atlantic, Louisiana Tech, and UTSA have new helmet designs for the 2013 season (shown above), as do several other teams.


Historical Helmets

EAST CAROLINA

c.late 1950s - 1962 1963 - 1968 1969
1970 1971 1972 - 1973
1974 - c.1975 c.1977 - 1988 1989 - 1998
*see note 1 below
1999 - 2004 2005 2006 - 2010
September 5, 2013 November 5, 2009;
2011 -
*see note 2 below *see note 3 below

From the late 1950s through 1962 East Carolina used white helmets with a dark stripe and dark numerals on the sides; it has been reported to me that the color of these features was purple, but I have not seen any color photographs to verify the report. Below is the clearest pre-1963 photograph that I have received for East Carolina:

During the 1969 season, ECU used gold helmets with a version of the "100" logo that many teams used that year; the football shape was apparently some dark color with a white outline, and the numerals appear to be white. A color photograph of this helmet would also be appreciated.

ECU's 1971 helmets were similar to the 1970 version shown above, but also featured a rather intricate "pirate head" logo, as may be seen in the photographs below. Other photographs that I have, though less clear than these, are in color and show that the helmet logo was depicted in at least three colors (yellow, white, and purple). I would greatly appreciate a copy of this logo, and a very clear photograph of the 1971 helmet!

For 1972 and 1973, the pirate head was replaced with the letters "ECU" in a slightly arched horizontal row. The letters were yellow and were fairly large, and they may have been outlined in white.

I do not have any photographs from the 1976 season, and I do not know what the helmets looked like that year, but the helmets shown above are believed to be a complete set for the period 1977 to present.

*1 Some photographs from this period show that at least some helmets were "blank" on at least one side.

*2 Worn during the 2013 home game vs Florida Atlantic.

*3 Worn during the 2009 home game against Virginia Tech and the first two games of the 2011 season (vs South Carolina at Charlotte, NC and vs Virginia Tech).


FLORIDA ATLANTIC

2001 - 2004 2005 - 2011 2012
2013 -
*see note 1 below

2001 was the first football season for FAU.

*1 Numerals are worn on the left side of this design, with an "owl" logo on the right side (as shown below).


FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL

2002 - 2007 2008 -

2002 was the first football season for FIU.


LOUISIANA TECH

? - 1967 1969 1968 - c.early 1980s; c.1989
*see note 1 below
c.mid 1980s - 1988 c.early 1990s - 2006 2007
*see note 2 below
2008 - 2012 2013 -
*see note 3 below

Louisiana Tech's traditional state outline/"T" logo has apparently been used since 1968, making it one of the longest-used logos among the Division I-FBS teams. There have been some minor adjustments to the shape of the state outline and perhaps to the "T" also during this period, but the basic design has not changed. The blue color forming the state outline was apparently changed from a somewhat lighter color to a darker one sometime around 1990.

*1 The "100" logo was worn only on the left sides of the Louisiana Tech helmets in 1969, with the state outline logo worn on the right sides.

*2 The earliest and latest seasons from which I have seen photographs showing stripes on the red helmet are 1985 and 1988, respectively.

*3 It was reported to me prior to the beginning of the 2012 season that Louisiana Tech would wear the numerals "22" on the right sides of each helmet in 2012 in honor of team member Tyrone Duplessis, who died on February 2, 2012; however, photographs from the team's first three games indicate that no such change has been made. The team did, however, wear small decals at the rear of the helmet incorporating the number "22" into the traditional state outline logo.


MARSHALL

1959 - 1961 1963 - 1964 1965
1965 1965 1966 - 1967
1968 1969 1970
*see note 1 below
1971 1972 - 1975? 1975
1976 1977 - 1982? c.1983
1984 - 1985 1986 - 1988 1989
1990 - 1992 1993 - 2008 October 28, 2008;
November 29, 2008;
2009
*see note 2 below
2010 -

Marshall's helmet history is one of the largest and most complicated among the current Division I-A teams, and there have been at least a few other designs in addition to those shown here. The sequence of designs is particularly complicated during two periods: the mid-1960s, and the early 1980s.

In 1965, it appears that at least three different designs were used. At the beginning of the season and possibly again at the end, the team apparently used plain green helmets with a single white stripe and no decals or numerals on the sides. Two different logos were used during the middle of the football season; below are photographs of these two designs:

The first picture shows a decal that I could not identify, but a couple of people have written to say that the logo is a "bison head" whose overall appearance is similar to that of the "Elmer's glue cow". I would appreciate a clearer photograph than this one, which is probably the best I have yet received showing this logo. It was used for at least three or four games in 1965.

Apparently later in the year, Marshall switched to the "buffalo" decal shown in the second photograph. It appears that there was a yellow "shadow" on the underparts of the buffalo, but I am not certain about this. Clearer photographs of this one would also be appreciated.

In 1969, Marshall used white helmets with a version of the "100" decal that many teams used that year to recognize the centennial of college football's first game. Marshall's version featured a football shape of some unknown dark color (I actually think blue is more likely than green) with white numerals.

Here is a link to a set of drawings of historical Marshall helmets, along with comments, put together by the Herald-Dispatch newspaper.

*1 A taller "M" logo is visible on some helmets in photographs from some games during the 1968 season; I do not yet have enough different pictures to say whether these two "M"s were used simultaneously, or if a switch from one to the other was made at some point in 1968.

*2 This design was first worn during home games against Houston and Tulsa in 2008.


MIDDLE TENNESSEE STATE

1960 - 1963 1964 1965 - 1966
1967 - 1968 1969 1970
1972 1971 - 1973 1974
*see note 1 below
1975 1976 1977
1978 1979 - 1981 1982 - 1998
1999 2000 -

These are all of the known helmet designs used by MTSU during the period covered by this site (1960 to present).

*1 MTSU used plain white helmets during at least games #3 and #7 of the 1972 season, but the design labelled "1971 - 1973" above was used during game #10.


NORTH TEXAS

? - c.1963 1964 - 1966
1967 c.1968 - 1971 1972
1973 - 1978 1979 - 1982 1983 - 1993
1994 1996 - 1997 1995; 1998 - 2000
*see note 1 below
2001 - 2003 2003 - 2004 2005 - 2006
*see note 2 below *see note 2 below
2007 - 2010 August 31, 2013 2011 -
*see note 4 below

I do not yet have any information for North Texas for the years 1960 and 1961. In 1962, the team used white helmets with uniform numerals of some unknown color (probably green) on the sides; no stripes are visible in the photographs that I have from 1962. The team used plain white helmets during at least one game in 1963 (vs Cincinnati).

*1 During part of the period when this logo was in use, a completely white version of it, without the yellow parts, may have been used; this has been reported to me but not confirmed with photographic evidence.

*2 The difference between these two helmets is probably not readily apparent: the 1996 - 1997 helmet included two navy blue stripes flanking the central white stripe.

*3 The black facemasks were first used during the October 30 game against Troy State.

*4 This was apparently a single-use design for the first game of the 2013 season (home vs Idaho), as the helmets are being auctioned off.


RICE

c.mid 1950s - 1964 1965 - 1966 1967 - 1970
1971 - 1975 1976 1977
1978 1979 - 1981 1982
1983 1984 1984
*see note 1 below
1985 1986 - 1989 1990 - 1993
1994 - 1996 1997 - 2005 2006
    'B'
October 16, 2010;
October 23, 2010;
October 22, 2011
September 10, 2011 2012 -
*see note 2 below *see note 3 below *see note 4 below
'C' 'D' 'A'
2012 - 2012 - 2007 -
*see note 5 below *see note 6 below

During the 2012 season Rice used four different helmet designs in the following sequence (through the first ten games): A-A-A; A-A-A; B-B-C; D.

To the best of my knowledge, the above are all of the different helmet designs used by Rice during the period covered by this site (1960 to present).

*1 The decal on this helmet was used for only the first two games of the 1984 season (vs Minnesota and Lamar); the logo was modified for the third game, and that version was used for the remainder of the 1984 season.

*2 A pink "R" logo was worn on Rice's helmets during the 2010 games vs Houston and at Central Florida "in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month". This design was again used during the 2011 home game against Tulsa.

*3 Worn during the 2011 home game against Purdue.

*4 First worn October 13, 2012 (vs UTSA); subsequently worn October 20, 2012 (at Tulsa).

*5 Worn during the 2012 home game vs Southern Mississippi.

*6 Worn during the 2012 game at Tulane.


SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI

c.1960s c.1969 - 1971 c.1973 - 1974
1975 - ? 1977? - 1981? 1986
*see note 1 below *see note 2 below
1982 - 1987 1988 - 1989 1990 - 2002
2003 - 2010;
2011 (games 1 - 3)
2011 (games 4 - 6) 2011 (games 7 - 9)
*see note 3 below
2011 (games 10 - 12) December 3, 2011 December 24, 2011

During the 2011 season Southern Mississippi used six different helmet designs, each of them with uniform numerals on the right sides, and with (except for games 7 through 9) a logo on the left sides. Of these six, the two "missing" helmets which I have not been able to add to the site yet are those used during games 4 through 6, and during games 10 through 12; below are photographs of these two designs. For both of these I need a copy of the helmet logo in order to add the helmets to this web site.

I have received very little information for Southern Mississippi for the years prior to about 1980, and there are several other known helmet designs which I have been unable to add to the site due to insufficient information.

I have no information whatsoever for 1960 and 1961 (also 1963, 1964, 1965, 1968, 1972, and 1976), but by at least 1962 the team wore dark-colored numerals (almost certainly black) on helmet shells that I think were almost certainly gold in color (assuming the school colors have not changed since then). Having no color photographs from these years, I cannot rule out the possibility that the helmets might have been yellow or silver, particularly since the team did use yellow helmets a few years later.

The 1975 helmet featured a "USM" logo similar or identical to the one shown on the "c.1969 - c.1971" helmet above, but I am unsure about the helmet shell color, which may have been gold rather than yellow. Below is a photo from 1975:

There certainly may have been some other designs used by the team through the years; any additional information would be appreciated.

*1 Possibly several designs were used during the period 1977 through 1981 - the facemask color may have been gray initially, the logo may have changed slightly in 1980 or 1981, and the color white may have appeared in the logo during some years.

*2 The numerals "25" were added to each player's helmet for the 1986 season as a tribute to Eric Sorey, a member of the team who died during a preseason practice; 25 was Sorey's uniform number. To be precise, the numerals were worn only on one side of the helmet, the right side rather than the left as shown here.

*3 During the first three games of the 2011 season the "SOUTHERN MISS" logo was replaced on the right side of the helmets with numerals (see below).


TULANE

? - 1962 1963 1964
1964 1964 1965
1965 1966 - 1969 1970
1971 1972 - 1975 1976 - 1980
1981 - 1982 1983 - 1984 1985 - 1988
1992 - 1994 1989 - 1991; 1995 - 1996 1997
2005 (first four games) 1998 - 2009 September 22, 2012
*see note 1 below *see note 2 below
2010 -

I believe that I have been able to add to this web site a complete set of helmet design representations for Tulane for the period 1966 to present, but there are several other very interesting helmets from the early 1960s for which I do not yet have sufficient information.

The team apparently used plain white helmets without stripes, numerals, or logos in 1960 and 1961.

The photograph below shows a design used by Tulane during at least part of the 1962 season:

To be precise, this photograph is said to be from the team's spring game in 1962, and a slightly different design was apparently in use during the football season. The helmet features a large, breaking wave containing an outline of the state of Louisiana, which in turn contains the player's uniform number. Other photos suggest that the state outline and uniform numerals were absent during the football season, but that the large wave did remain on the helmet. I have very few photos of this one, and none in color, so any good photographs would be appreciated. The helmet shell was apparently white and the main color of the "wave" was green - it is unclear whether there were any other colors (like blue) within the wave.

Tulane used light blue helmets in 1964, with at least three different helmet logos. Below are some photographs from 1964:

The first picture shows the helmet's shell color. A shows a "UT" logo which was apparently white in color; B shows a mysterious logo which apparently consisted of a white football-shape containing the words "GREEN MACHINE" and what may be a set of interlocking "gears"; C shows a logo worn by Tulane's defensive unit, which had adopted as its nickname "The Posse" - the logo apparently represented a hangman's noose.

In 1965 Tulane used silver helmets for the only known time in the team's history. At least two helmet logos were used: a "T", either light blue or white in color (I have received conflicting reports) inside a dark oval-shape (which was probably green), and another instance of the "noose" logo, this time in some dark color. There were also several stripes on the helmet in a dark/white/dark/white/dark sequence. Below are photographs of these two:

I would greatly appreciate any large, clear photographs of these pre-1966 Tulane helmets, particularly ones which are clear enough to resolve some of the unknown colors on these designs.

*1 Tulane used "plain" green helmets for four games during the 2005 season: September 17 vs. Mississippi State, September 24 at Southern Methodist, October 1 vs. Southeastern Louisiana, and October 8 vs. Houston. The absence of helmet decals during these games was attributed to damage to the team's equipment in New Orleans caused by Hurricane Katrina. Helmet decals reappeared for the October 14 game against UTEP.

*2 During Tulane's September 22, 2012 home game vs Mississippi the team wore the numerals "18" on the left side of each helmet as a tribute to team member Devon Walker, who suffered a serious spinal injury during Tulane's September 15 game at Tulsa. 18 is Walker's uniform number.


TULSA

c.1960 c.1962 - c.1964 1965
1966 - 1967 1968 1969
1970 - 1972 1973 1975 - 1976
1977 - c.1980 c.1981 - 1984 1985 - 1990
2000 - 2002 September 20, 2008 1991 - 1999;
2003 - September 6, 2008
*see note 1 below
September 26, 2009;
October 3, 2009
November 27, 2009 September 27, 2008 -
October 30, 2010
*see note 2 below *see note 3 below
November 13, 2010;
November 20, 2010;
December 25, 2010
November 6, 2010;
November 26, 2010
September 10, 2011
*see note 4 below *see note 5 below *see note 6 below
October 15, 2011 October 22, 2011;
November 19, 2011
November 12, 2011
*see note 7 below *see note 8 below *see note 9 below
December 30, 2011 September 29, 2012 2011 -
*see note 10 below *see note 11 below

The set of historical helmets for Tulsa depicted at this web site is one of the more incomplete ones for any NCAA Division I - Football Bowl Championship Subdivision team (particularly for the 1960s and early 1970s); I would greatly appreciate any information which will help me to add more of these historical helmets to this web site.

The earliest photographs that I have are from 1960; these show Tulsa using what are probably gold helmets with numerals on the sides in some unknown color. In 1965, Tulsa used helmets that were similar to the "c.1962 - c.1964" design shown above, but with the addition of dark-colored (probably blue or red) block numerals added to the sides. Color photographs of the 1960 and 1965 helmets would be appreciated.

Tulsa made almost yearly helmet design changes during the late 1960s and early 1970s; several of these may be seen in the photographs below:

During 1966 and 1967, the team wore white helmets with a very strange logo that included a "TU" logo, a hurricane warning flag, and a human face in profile. I would greatly appreciate a clear color photograph of one of these helmets. (This design may have been used during part of the 1968 season, also).

The 1969 helmet shows the "100" decal that many colleges wore that season; as is usually the case, the colors are unknown.

I do not have any color photographs of the 1970 helmet, but based on its appearance in black-and-white photographs, I believe it was probably yellow in color, rather than gold. The dark stripes and the letters spelling "TULSA" are probably blue, but red is also a possibility, as this is also one of the school colors. This helmet was used through 1972.

The 1973 helmet appears to have a gold shell. The "T" in the logo appears to be yellow or gold or red rather than white, and to say that the oval-shape was blue would be to make an assumption. I do not have any photographs from the 1974 season.

The best photograph that I have of the strange logo on the 1966-1967 Tulsa helmets is the one below, showing the logo on a toy helmet - thanks to Charlie O. for this picture.

*1 This design was used in the home game against New Mexico in 2008, during which Tulsa wore uniforms similar to those used by the 1950s Tulsa teams.

*2 This design was used for two games in 2009: versus Sam Houston State (Sep. 26) and at Rice (Oct. 3).

*3 Used during the home game against Memphis in 2009.

*4 Worn during games at Houston and home vs UTEP in 2010, and vs Hawai'i in the Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl game at the end of the 2010 season.

*5 Used during home games against Rice and Southern Mississippi in 2010.

*6 Worn at Tulane in 2011.

*7 During Tulsa's 2011 home game against UAB the two red outermost stripes on the helmet were replaced with pink ones; while I could locate no specific indication of why this change was made, it was almost certainly done in support of "Breast Cancer Awareness Month". I believe that the red outermost outline around the "Tulsa" logo was also replaced with a pink outline during this game.

*8 Worn at Rice and at UTEP in 2011. The "Tulsa" logo was worn only on the left sides of the helmets; large uniform numerals similar in color to the "Tulsa" logo were worn on the right sides.

*9 Worn during the 2011 home game vs Marshall. There is a red "T" with blue outline at the front of the helmet; this design was chosen to resemble helmets worn by Tulsa during the 1940s, though a photograph of the old helmet appeared to show a white helmet with black "T".

*10 Worn vs BYU during the 2011 Armed Forces Bowl game at Dallas, TX. For this game the normally-blue parts of the helmet (the middle stripe and "Tulsa" logo) were replaced with a camouflage pattern.

*11 Worn during the 2012 game at UAB. The "stripe" on this helmet was composed of small "hurricane warning flags".


UAB

1991 1992 1993
1994 1995 1996 - 2002
2003 - 2007 2008 - 2011 2013 -
*see note 1 below
2012 -

UAB first fielded a club level football team in 1989. The first varsity team played at the NCAA Division III level in 1991, with the program moving to Division I-AA in 1993 and to Division I-A in 1996.

There is one other historical helmet for UAB besides those shown above - in 1992, UAB used helmets that were similar to the 1991 helmet, but a "BLAZERS" logo was added to the helmet. I have been told that the letters were in yellow with both white and yellow outlines around them; below is a photograph of this design. A copy of this helmet decal would enable me to add this one to the web site.

*1 First worn August 31, 2013 (at Troy).


UTEP

1964 - 1967 c.early 1960s;
c.1967 - 1970
1971
1972 1973 1974 - 1976
1977 - 1979? 1980 - 1981 1982? - 1986?
1987 - ? ? - 1990 1991
1992 - 1998 1999 2000 -

UTEP has several other interesting historical helmet designs for which I have only partial information at the present time; a few of these are shown in the photographs below.

A shows a helmet design used during the mid 1960s. The logo is bizarre: a bearded prospector holding a pickaxe sitting astride a large football which has a pair of wings extending out from either side. I do have a copy of this logo and could add this helmet to the web site if I could get a photograph clear enough to show the colors within the logo, as used on the football helmets. This design was apparently last used in 1967.

B and C are from 1971 and 1972, respectively. The colors of the letters "TEP" on the 1971 helmet are unknown, but they were dark orange on the 1972 helmet. Whether any stripes were present on the 1972 helmet remains unknown; the 1971 helmet apparently did not have any. UTEP was apparently using white helmets in 1970, also, though I do not have any photos showing what logo (if any) was worn on the sides of the helmets. I do not have any photos from the 1973 season, but it has been reported to me that the helmets were white that year, with no decals on the sides, but with an orange-white-orange stripe sequence.

D is from the 1976 season; the 1974 and 1975 helmets were apparently very similar to this design but probably with some slight differences. I do not have any color photographs from these years. The helmets appear to be white, but the colors within the logo are unclear. The letters "UT" on the earlier 1974 helmet appear to be larger, narrower, and lighter in color than those on the 1976 helmet.

E shows the 1979 UTEP helmet. The shell is probably orange. The logo is the team name "MINERS" on a white oval shape, behind which are a pickaxe and a shovel in an "X" shape. Again I do not have any color photographs to reveal the colors within the logo, the facemask color, etc.; nor do I yet have a copy of the helmet logo itself. The facemask appears to be dark in the 1979 photo, but some lighter color (probably gray or orange) in photos from the 1977 season, which show otherwise basically the same helmet design as the 1979 one.

Two later designs are shown below:

F is a photograph from the 1985 season; the helmets used from 1982 through 1985 appear to have been basically the same each year. During the earlier years the white letters spelling "UTEP" appear to be outlined in light blue, but it is unclear whether this was still the case in 1985. The facemasks were white and the stripe sequence was light blue/white/light blue.

G shows the 1991 - 1992 helmet. I could add this one to the web site easily if I could get a copy of the helmet logo.


UTSA

2011 - 2012 November 24 2012;
2013 -
*see note 1 below

2011 was the first football season for UTSA.

*1 First worn during the 2012 home game vs Texas State.