Helmets of Future College Teams
This page contains announced helmet designs for college teams that will begin varsity play in the year 2017 or later; there were five new teams in 2016. The new teams for the 2016 season were University of Texas of the Permian Basin (of the NCAA Division II Lone Star Conference), West Florida (NCAA Division II Gulf South Conference), Davenport (an NAIA independent in 2016), Cincinnati Christian (NAIA Mid-South Football Conference), and Morthland (a team unaffiliated with either the NCAA or NAIA). Helmet images for the new-for-2016 teams have been moved to their respective conference pages.
If you are associated with one of these future teams and have information about what the team's helmet design will look like, I would certainly appreciate hearing from you, but PLEASE wait until a ***FINAL*** decision is made about what the helmets will look like! If there is any doubt, I would prefer that you wait until shortly before the team plays its first game!
One fact became abundantly clear to me after having worked on this web site for several years is that many colleges will put together for ceremonies associated with the arrival of varsity football some sort of helmet design that is never really intended to be a "prototype" design for the team; it would probably be better to call such a helmet a "prop" helmet. It is my impression that decisions about actual helmet designs are usually reserved for the head coach to make, and rarely will a head coach have been named as soon as a decision is made to institute a team. So, without additional information to indicate otherwise, I do not consider photographs from "football introduction festivities" showing "prop" helmets to be reliable information about actual helmet designs. There is little reason to send me photographs from these future teams' web sites unless they are accompanied by a caption indicating that a helmet design which the team will actually use is shown - besides, I've probably already seen them.
The following four-year colleges and universities have announced that they will be adding varsity football programs either in 2017 or subsequent years (first year of play in parentheses):
- Alvernia University (Reading, PA), NCAA Division III / Middle Atlantic Conference (2018)
- Clarke University (Dubuque, IA), NAIA (2018)
- Indiana Wesleyan University (Marion, IN), NAIA (2018)
- Keiser University (West Palm Beach, FL), NAIA (2018)
- Lawrence Technological University (Southfield, MI), NAIA independent (2018)
- University of New England (Biddeford, ME), NCAA Division III (2018) (a "sub-varsity" schedule will be played in 2017)
- St. Andrews University (Laurinburg, NC), NAIA / Mid-South Conference (2017)
- Texas Wesleyan University (Forth Worth, TX), NAIA / Central States Football League (2017)
- UAB (Birmingham, AL), NCAA Division I-Football Bowl Subdivision / Conference USA (2017)
There certainly may be others as well which I have not heard about, so please let me know if you have any additions! (including colleges in Canada and junior or community colleges).
New teams for 2017
St. Andrews' team will be called the "Knights" and the school colors are listed as blue and white. I have not yet received any information as to a helmet design for this team. First game: August 26 at Lindsey Wilson
Texas Wesleyan's football team will be called the "Rams" and the school colors are listed as blue and gold. I have not yet received any information as to a helmet design for this team. First game: September 2 at McPherson
Football will return to UAB in 2017 following a two-year absence. The "Blazers", who use green and gold as the school colors, will return to Conference USA and will be eligible for the conference championship and a bowl game in 2017. I am not yet aware of any helmet design having been chosen for the restored team; UAB used two different designs in 2014, the program's last year. First game: September 2 vs Alabama A&M
Other colleges which may start football teams
Below are listed some other colleges which may be adding football as a varsity sport in the near future, or which at least appear to be considering doing so, and some others which have recently rejected the idea. For each of these, it is my impression that the addition of football is not yet a certainty. (There are probably many others besides those listed here; reports about additional schools, both in the United States and Canada, would be appreciated.)
- Brewton-Parker College (Mount Vernon, GA) - This school announced in July 2009 that it would soon commence a "Football Feasibility Study". The college had a football team previously which played its last season in 1946. Brewton-Parker is a member of the NAIA for other sports. (source: http://www.christianindex.org/5618.article )
- Calvin College (Grand Rapids, MI) - In May 2012 this Michigan college announced that its decision about whether to establish an intercollegiate football team would be delayed indefinetly (source: http://www.hollandsentinel.com/sports/x358793789/Calvin-College-puts-off-decision-on-football ). Calvin's other athletic teams participate as members of NCAA Division III.
- Cleveland State (Cleveland, OH) - In November 2008, CSU President Michael Schwartz appointed a committee "to study whether it makes sense for the school to field a football team"; the school was at the same time considering a name change to "University of Cleveland". However, in January 2009, it was announced that neither of these plans was likely to be implemented in the near future. (source: http://www.clevelandleader.com/node/8624)
- Erskine College (Due West, SC) - "At the request of the student services/athletic committee, the [college's Board of Trustees] approved a formal, detailed feasibility study for the possibility of football. Smith said the study should include the impact of football on academics, finances and culture at the college." (Source: article entitled "Erskine Board of Trustees approves new mission statement for college", dated October 19, 2007, posted at the college's web site. )
- Florida Gulf Coast University (Fort Myers, FL) - This college has recently considered the formation of an intercollegiate football team but (as of March 2011) will apparently not be doing so for at least several years, with the expense of adding such a team being the main reason. " 'Right now, it probably won’t work,' [Florida Gulf Coast University Board of Trustees Chairman Scott] Lutgert said. 'It’s probably 5-10 years down the road – 5-10 years down the road to make the decision to start doing it … that puts it at 10-15 years down the road.'” (source: http://www.championshipsubdivisionnews.com/log/index.php/2011/01/28/fgcu-athletics-board-of-trustees-chair-a?blog=2 )
- Florida Memorial (Miami Gardens, FL) - This Historically Black college apparently has intentions of starting an intercollegiate football team (see "Task 1.2.2"): http://22.214.171.124/search?q=cache:nF2cWr2Ik0EJ:www.fmuniv.edu/uploads/01/21/0121433c92832c0be76f862b9095a4d2/ADMObjTasks-12-13Fnl.doc
- George Mason (Fairfax, VA) - GMU is apparently considering the addition of football as an intercollegiate sport during the next decade (source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/george-mason-university-president-angel-cabrera-tackles-issues/2012/08/28/c516b344-f080-11e1-ba17-c7bb037a1d5b_story.html)
- Grand Canyon University (Phoenix, AZ) - This school announced in January, 2008 that it would be adding an intercollegiate football team in 2009, but has apparently cancelled those plans. The following statement appeared in an article at the university's web site, dated August 21, 2009: "At one point, football was considered at Grand Canyon, but much like the aforementioned schools [Gonzaga, Marquette, Xavier], it was determined that the sport would be a drain on the university's resources and jeopardize the other programs". (source: http://www.gcu.edu/index.php?mact=News,cntnt01,detail,0&cntnt01articleid=95&cntnt01returnid=69 )
- High Point University (High Point, NC) - University president Nido Qubein has stated that football is "inevitable" at HPU, though it may be several years before a team comes to fruition. Land on which to build a stadium is one of the needs mentioned in this article.
- John Brown University (Siloam Springs, AR) - Football as an intercollegiate sport is a "possibility" for this NAIA school in Arkansas (source: http://advocate.jbu.edu/?q=node/272).
- Lawrence Tech (Southfield, MI) - Though no public announcement regarding the implementation of a football team has been made by this metropolitan Detroit school, the school is advertising a job opening for 'Head Football Coach' as of July 31, 2015.
- Lee University (Cleveland, TN) - This southeastern Tennessee school is apparently considering the addition of a football team as of April 2012, and a consultant has been hired to advise the university on related considerations (source: http://leeclarion.com/featured/2012/04/22/lee-considering-football-and-move-to-ncaa/ ).
- LeMoyne-Owen College (Memphis, TN) - this Historically Black college is apparently again considering the addition of football as an intercollegiate sport: "A feasibility committee will recommend that LeMoyne-Owen College field a football team starting in 2012 [no team played in any year from 2012 through 2015, however]. The recommendation, based on expectations that football will drive up enrollment, will be made to president Johnnie B. Watson -- who seems inclined to approve it and send it to the Board of Trustees for the final OK." (source: http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2010/oct/21/magicians-closer-on-football/ ). .
- Maryland-Eastern Shore (Princess Anne, MD) - This Historically Black college announced on September 20, 2012 the "formation of a task force to help the institution assess a study that outlines what fielding an NCAA Division I football team would take". UMES had a football team previously, which played its last season in 1979. (source: http://hbcusportscentral.com/2012/09/21/umes-explores-football-program-revival/)
- Mount Marty College (Yankton, SD) - Football is "not completely off the table" as a future sport at this South Dakota school, according to college President Marc Long in a January 2016 interview. "I think at some point it would make a lot of sense to at least look at that option," said Long. Mount Marty competes in the NAIA Great Plains Athletic Conference for other sports. (source: http://www.yankton.net/community/article_f5315d36-ba76-11e5-88b1-7b327f0bb12d.html )
- Oglethorpe University (Atlanta, GA) - Football is being considered along with several other sports by this Atlanta college, which needs to add two additional sports as part of its membership in the new Southern Athletic Association. The school's athletic director would prefer to add sports other than football, and a decision may be made by May 2012 (source: http://brookhaven.patch.com/articles/oglethorpe-mulls-adding-football-to-sports-program ).
- Oklahoma Wesleyan (Bartlesville, OK) - A brief mention in this article that this school has "talked about adding football" recently (July 2010).
- Texas A&M - Corpus Christi - "The decision on whether football has a future at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi now rests with University leaders who have additional study ahead of them. The anticipated report on the feasibility of adding football to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi’s intercollegiate athletics program was delivered recently to campus officials by Indianapolis-based NACDA Consulting. The report outlines the physical and financial requirements and expectations for having an intercollegiate football program.v “This report does not make a final recommendation on adding football to our sports program, but provides us the data and research to help evaluate the requirements if football is to be feasible for A&M-Corpus Christi in time,” University President Flavius Killebrew said. “We have many factors to consider over the coming months regarding whether football is the best fit in coming years for the university, the students and the community" (source: http://www.nacdaconsulting.com/news/details.asp?ArticleSource=70 ; article dated January 22, 2007).
- University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (Brownsville, TX) - As of February 2016 this southern Texas school "is expected to initiate a feasibility study on college football, according to multiple sources close to the situation. The sources wished to remain anonymous because they did not have authority to disclose the information. The study is expected to center around the cost and interest in fielding a college football team. It would include establishing revenue sources, alumni contributions and community interest. According to sources, the university is scheduled to publicly introduce the study at 2 p.m. Friday. UTRGV athletics director Chris King said in July 2014: “I think everybody realizes who is involved with UTRGV that (football) is probably five or seven years down the road before we even look at the study.” That was true then. However, because of the impressive growth of enrollment at the university — which stands at 28,500 and is projected to be 40,000-50,000 in two years — a study on college football became feasible, according to sources. In mid-January, UTRGV purchased 52 acres of land north of its campus in Edinburg. The university had looked at using the land to build athletic facilities, among other venues, according to Marty Baylor, UTRGV Executive VP of finance and administration. “We had already looked at the idea of putting a stadium out there,” Baylor told The Monitor on Tuesday." (source: http://m.themonitor.com/news/sources-utrgv-to-initiate-feasibility-study-on-college-football/article_8dba831c-d5ab-11e5-b4d6-a32ff8b8764c.html?mode=jqm )
- Trevecca Nazarene University (Nashville, TN) - An article (dated 2011 July 11) about this school's move from NAIA participation to the NCAA mentioned that the creation of a football team was also being considered: "...Trevecca, which will introduce a new athletics director on Tuesday, is open to the possibility that it could add football in the coming years. Neither [local rival colleges] Lipscomb nor Belmont, which compete in NCAA Division I, have football. 'That will be on our study chart very rapidly,' Trevecca President Dan Boone said. Football actually could become a central issue as to whether or not the university gains full-time D-II membership following the necessary transition period, typically a three-year process." (source: http://nashvillecitypaper.com/content/sports/trevecca-nazarene-charts-own-course-move-ncaa )
- Union University (Jackson, TN) - This university - a future member of the NCAA Division II Gulf South Conference - is apparently considering the addition of football to its roster of intercollegiate sports (source: http://valdostadailytimes.com/sports/x333947618/Lee-University-cleared-to-begin-Division-II-transition-process/print ).
- Utah Valley University (Orem, UT) - The student body at this college appears to have a strong interest in adding an intercollegiate football team, but the administration has concerns pertaining to the cost and to the likely degree of community support for such a team. "'The big problem is just the limited resources we have and the fact that we're needing to finance our current athletic programs. We've got to take care of those first,' (UVU President William A.) Sederburg said. 'Then we need to figure out how to get the attendance up and make sure that we can do it right.'
UVU is still trying to establish its athletic teams at the NCAA Division I level, the president said, and he doesn't want to disrupt that by trying to work football into the mix. 'My sense is we're not ready to go there,' Sederburg said. 'The students are pushing it, and we have an obligation to pay attention to what the students are saying. I think in time UVU will have a football team, but probably not in the near future.'" If established, the UVU team would compete at the NCAA Division I-AA level. (Source: http://deseretnews.com/dn/view/0,1249,635168661,00.html)
- Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond, VA) - As of February 2012 the university is reported to be considering the addition of football as an intercollegiate sport (source: http://www.nbc12.com/story/14219581/vcu-wants-city-stadium-talks-about-possibility-of-football ).
- Wichita State University (Wichita, KS) - Administrators at WSU are considering a reinstatement of football as an intercollegiate sport (as of December 2015); among the obstacles facing such a return of football would be the need for a new stadium. (source: http://www.kansas.com/sports/college/wichita-state/article48764285.html
- Winthrop (Rock Hill, SC) - This college may be considering the addition of a varsity football team: "Recent estimates indicate starting an intercollegiate football team at Winthrop would be a multi-million dollar proposition –over $18 million, much of it in facilities costs, just to get to the first kick-off – with over $2.4 million in annual operating and scholarship costs after that. University President Anthony DiGiorgio said he created a task force last year to come up with those estimates, among other things, so he would have a detailed answer to a question he’s been hearing every autumn for some years: “What would it take for us to have football at Winthrop?” That task force -- part of a larger group doing a 10-year projection of prospects for the overall athletics program -- sees identifying the level of potential donor support as the first question to be answered in determining how feasible it might be for Winthrop to field an Eagles football team, DiGiorgio said Tuesday. To generate that discussion, DiGiorgio authorized Athletics Director Tom Hickman, who chairs the task force, to release to the public details of the cost estimates developed by the task force now, ahead of completion of the final report. That will enable the task force to take stock of the public reaction to the “real dollars and cents” part of the question, see what donor support might step forward, and make that assessment part of the task force report before it is finalized. “It’s the fundamental feasibility question that must be addressed before exploring such a step any further,” DiGiorgio said. “Where would the money come from? Over what period of time? Football these days is an extraordinarily expensive sport for an institution to offer as part of its athletics program. The start-up costs are daunting and the operating costs are formidable. For our type institution, gate receipts would constitute only a part of any realistic financial plan. There are capital costs, personnel costs, and scholarship costs to be considered – and all those come before the first kick-off. Public tax dollars aren’t available for this, and Winthrop has other priorities for whatever tax dollars are available anyway. That leaves donor and fan support as the principal bases of support to be assessed. We are in a fortunate situation at Winthrop now, in that our existing athletics program is on firm enough footing that we can look at this question.” (source: undated "Media Relations News Release" from the university, available at www.winthropeagles.com/upload/upload2291_Football_Story_Revised.pdf)
- Wisconsin-Milwaukee: This school, which had a football team in 1974 and earlier years, may be considering reinstating the sport: "UWM is paying a Washington, D.C., consulting firm $87,450 to put together a strategic sports plan for the school. Part of that study will look into the possibility of fielding a football team" (source: http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/sports/133066738.html , article dated November 2, 2011.)