Last season, through the uncertainty that the pandemic presented, BYU Football had some fun with its uniforms by letting the players select the jersey combinations and would be announced via social media.
The Cougars had 10 different looks during a season BYU finished 11-1 with a No. 11 ranking.
Now, going into the 2021 season, BYU will have even more option to dazzle on the field, as it reintroduces a royal and navy helmet as part of a uniform branding initiative to strengthen the player and fan experience.
The royal helmet has a grey mask with white decals and the navy helmet has a navy mask with white decals. With the two new helmets, the Cougars now have 26 uniform combinations.
“It’s been exciting to see the reaction of the players as we introduced these new helmets that are part of their future but based on our proud past,” BYU coach Kalani Sitake said. “BYU’s football tradition was built through many decades of success by those who wore the uniform representing the Cougars. Our players, former players, and Cougar Nation all value this great tradition of BYU football. We want the helmet and various uniform combinations to honor those who built the program and inspire those who will carry it forward.”
The royal helmet originally debuted in 1964, when Tommy Hudspeth served as the BYU head coach and LaVell Edwards was an assistant coach on the staff. In fact, all three of the helmet colors that will now be utilized by BYU — white, royal and navy — were used during Edwards’ tenure in Provo, dating back to 1962.
The two new helmet designs and uniform branding initiatives were developed under the direction of Sitake by a committee consisting of equipment manager Billy Nixon, associate athletic director David Almodova, director of football operations Jon Swift and creative services director Dave Broberg.
The specific debut of the two new helmets, as well as uniform combination for each game, will be announced during the season.
Now, whether the student-athletes will once again take part in choosing the uniform combos for the 2021 season is still unknown. But Nixon did express how much he enjoyed it.
“Including our student-athletes last season in deciding which uniforms to wear not only further heightened their participation with the team but also their spirit of ownership in their program,” Nixon said. “It was fun for the players to see how the creative process resulted in an enhanced experience for both the team and the fans. Their engagement in that process helped us develop additional uniform combinations and increased the spirit of unity throughout the program.”
Cougars will play Ole Miss, Dixie State
On Monday, BYU also announced a future games with the University of Mississippi of the SEC and Dixie State University, of the FCS ranks.
The Ole Miss series will see the Rebels visiting LaVell Edwards Stadium on Sept. 16, 2028 and the Cougars traveling to Oxford, Miss. on Sept. 8, 2029. Both programs have only met once before, with a narrow 14-13 road win for BYU in the 2011 season opener — its first game of the independence era.
However, BYU has never faced in-state program Dixie State, but do have a previously-scheduled game in 2022 (announced in 2019). This new arrangement will add a matchup between BYU and Dixie State on Nov. 16, 2024. Both games will take place in Provo.
The Trailblazers are one of three FCS independents in football and are scheduled to join all other Dixie State sports in the Western Athletic Conference after the league’s recent decision to sponsor FCS football.