West Virginia football will be sporting a new look in 2013. The Mountaineers will have a total of 27 different uniform combinations to choose from, including the option of a white helmet for the first time since 1979, and a gold helmet for the first time since 1978.
The players will have three different Nike jersey colors to choose from — blue, gold and white — along with pants in the same colors. Stitched inside the back collar of all three jerseys is the West Virginia state motto, Montani Semper Liberi, Latin for Mountaineers are Always Free.
A canary is stitched inside the front collar to represent West Virginia’s coal mining heritage (miners once carried canaries into tunnels to detect dangerous gasses).
The new jerseys have a unique number style that is exclusive to West Virginia University, featuring sharp points and edges inspired by a miner’s pickaxe. The school has worn gold and white helmets at various times in its history, most recently in the Bobby Bowden and Frank Cignetti eras of the 1970s.
The gold helmets of yesteryear were more of a mustard or old gold finish, not the brigh gold used by WVU athletics today. West Virginia also will continue to sport a blue helmet with the traditional gold flying WV logo popularized by Hall of Fame coach Don Nehlen in 1980. All three helmets will feature the Flying WV symbol and will have a matte finish, which differs from the glossy paint finish on prior WVU helmets.
Head Football Coach Dana Holgorsen unveiled the new uniforms to the team on Friday morning and the first public unveiling took place today at a Mountaineer Athletic Club event before the Gold-Blue spring football game.
“Overall, I like our new look, and I know our players do too. It was time for a change, and I am glad that we could incorporate a little of the state’s pride and history in this set of uniforms,” Holgorsen said.
“You can’t even begin to put a value on how much uniforms and the look of your team plays in the recruiting game. We are pleased with the new look, and now it’s time to turn our attention to summer conditioning and getting prepared for the 2013 season.”
The fully integrated uniform system incorporates the latest in Nike’s performance innovation, where the athlete’s baselayer works in concert with his entire uniform – true innovation from the inside out. Lightweight padding is integrated directly into the crucial “hit zones” in the baselayer.
Innovations include integrated Flywire technology in the neckline for reduced weight and lockdown fit over pads. Additionally, increased sleeve articulation provides better range of motion, and four-way stretch fabrication delivers a streamlined, shrink-wrap fit.