When Kansas State takes the field against West Virginia on Saturday (3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN), the Wildcats will be outfitted in white helmets with the word “Cats” written in purple script — the inverse of the program’s 1988 design.
It marks the first time since 1989, legendary head coach Bill Snyder’s first season in Manhattan, that Kansas State will wear something other than the distinctive “Powercat” on the side of its helmets.
The Wildcats have traditionally worn a silver helmet and silver pants with either their home purple or road white jerseys, but first-year head coach Chris Kleiman introduced a new white helmet and pants into the rotation ahead the team’s 31-12 loss to Baylor on Oct. 5. It’s the same helmet that will be worn this week, but the decals have simply been swapped.
“I think you can (change uniforms) a couple of times,” Kleiman said at an alumni event back in May. “I don’t want to do it every other week where you’re not even sure what your colors are or what you designs are, but not only does it make it fresh for the fans and the players and recruiting and all of that stuff, I think you have to have variety.
“I think if there’s a couple of alternative looks — whether its a pant, a jersey or a helmet — it can look a little bit like its a brand-new look and you’ve just changed one thing. I think that’s important.”
Kansas State has dabbled a bit with alternate uniform designs in the past, notably rocking purple pants late in Ron Prince’s brief tenure as head coach (2006-08). The Wildcats also wore purple camouflage helmet decals in 2013, as well as a white and gray camouflage helmet in 2016 and 2017, for military appreciation day, but the “Powercat” remained each time.
Photo via @KStateFB on Twitter