After five seasons in either anthracite or white helmets, the New Mexico football program will return to its traditional silver lids in 2020.
“It’s tradition to have silver helmets,” first-year head coach Danny Gonzales told the Santa Fe New Mexican following the team’s first spring practice. “It’s a cleaner look that everyone around here seems to like. I grew up a Lobo fan, and that’s the uniform I’ve always known.”
Silver helmets have been an integral part of New Mexico’s identity since 1974, when the Lobos wore a Zia sun symbol on the side with cherry and turquoise stripes down the middle. That look remained (albeit with different logos, including front- and sideways-facing wolves) through the 2014 season, though the team briefly experimented with white helmets in 2011.
Then, in 2015, former head coach Bob Davie bucked tradition by introducing the aforementioned anthracite and white helmets, as well as anthracite alternate uniforms. The Lobos mixed-and-matched various elements of those uniforms — which sometimes included numbers on one or both sides of the helmet — throughout his tenure, which ended last November.
Gonzales, on the other hand, doesn’t believe his team needs alternate and/or flashy uniforms to attract prospective recruits. And as a former Lobo player, graduate assistant and safeties/special teams coach, he believes their look should connect with fans who have followed the program for decades.
“I’m a traditionalist. I like the old look,” Gonzales said. “We can always mix it up, but the silver helmets are our identity — at least for a lot of the fans.”
New Mexico will presumably unveil updated uniforms for the upcoming season, which kicks off on Aug. 29 against Idaho State. It’s unclear when that will happen or what logo will go on the side of the Lobos’ new (but familiar) silver helmets.
Photos via @UNMLoboFB on Twitter.