Helmets of Discontinued Major College Teams
Almost two-hundred four-year American colleges and universities once had intercollegiate football teams but no longer do; this page and the others following it in the index contain helmets images for these teams. Due to the very large number of teams I have now split this section up into four seperate pages, one each for the defunct major colleges, defunct small colleges, defunct junior colleges, and defunct Canadian colleges.
"Major college" is a term used at least in the past in an official sense by the NCAA and corresponds approximately with "Division I" since 1973, and with the "University Division" in 1972 and earlier. In this scheme all non-"major" colleges are "small colleges"; this would include all NCAA Division II and III teams and all NAIA and unaffiliated teams. There is some ambiguity within the Division I - Football Championship Subdivision; I had long been under the impression that the Division I- FCS teams which did not offer football scholarships were classifed as "small colleges" but I may have been mistaken, and have moved several teams that were previously listed here as "small colleges" to the "major college" section, in accordance with the list published in the 2019 NCAA Football Records (these were mostly the seven teams from the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference which dropped football in the 1990s and early 2000s). (Is Jacksonville University (which dropped football in 2019) a "major" college or a "small" college?)
Following is a list of discontinued four-year college teams which is believed to be complete (or nearly so) back to 1950, with some earlier dropped programs also listed. This list was initially populated with information from the 1998 NCAA Football Record Book but I have amended it substantially and have attempted to add to it all the colleges that have dropped football since 1998. A few teams were strangely omitted from the Record Book (Bridgeport and Tennessee Wesleyan, for example), so it would seem possible that other "unknown" defunct teams remain to be found. The year listed is in most cases the last year that the school fielded a football team, but in some instances it refers to the year in which the decision to discontinue football was made. Many of these colleges have since changed names, merged with other colleges, or closed altogether. I would greatly appreciate additional information about football helmets used by varsity teams at any of these schools during the period 1960 to present.
Discontinued Major College Teams
|c.1990s?||c.1990s?||? - 1997|
|*see note 1 below|
Boston U. apparently used many different helmet designs through the years. I believe there were several different ones featuring white "BU" logos worn on red helmet shells, but I have received little specific information about these, and the dates of use are particularly uncertain. The Terriers were in the Atlantic 10 Conference when they played their last season in 1997.
*1 As a protest against the university's decision to disband the football program, the team elected to drop the uniform numerals from the helmets for the last two games in 1997.
|? - 1999?||2000 - 2001||2002|
Canisius College (Buffalo, NY) announced the discontinuation of its football program on October 31, 2002. The "Golden Griffins" participated in the NCAA Division I-AA Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference during their last several seasons, and in Division III earlier.
CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, FULLERTON
|1970||1971||1972 - 1974|
|1975 - 1976||1977||1978 - 1979|
|1980 - 1984||1985 - 1987||1988 - 1991|
The California State University, Fullerton football team existed from 1970 through 1992; it was a member of the Big West Conference during its last few years of existence. "Titans" was the team nickname.
Below are some of the better photographs of the "missing" helmets that I have received. The 1971 helmet appears (to me) to have an "F" inside a white oval shape, but one person reported that the oval actually contains the text "Cal State Fullerton". No information has been received or located for the years 1972 to 1974, and 1977.
CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE
|c.1992||? - 2001|
Cal State Northridge spent the 2001 season (the team's last) as an NCAA Division I-AA independent team, having previously been a member of the Big Sky Conference for several years. The black helmet shown above is the design used by CSUN during roughly the last four years of the team's existence; I believe that the helmet design used immediately prior to this one featured a plain red shell (no logos) with a black facemask (confirmation of this would be appreciated). I have received conflicting reports indicating that, during earlier seasons, the team used red helmets with black facemasks, a black stripe, and either: a black "N" logo, similar to the one used by Nebraska (according to one person), OR the team name "Matadors" (according to another person). No photographs of either of these have been received. The first helmet design shown above was in use during at least the 1992 game against Cal State-Fullerton.
UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT
|1960 - 1961||1962||1963|
The University of Detroit had a major college team for many decades through 1964. Color photographs of this team are extremely scarce but some information has been located for the team's last few years. "Titans" was the team nickname and the school is now named University of Detroit Mercy.
|1996 - 2001||2002|
Fairfield University (Fairfield, CT) discontinued its intercollegiate football program in February 2003, the third team from the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference to do so in a three-month span. The above are apparently the only two helmet designs used by the team during its seven-year existence, which ran from 1996 through 2002. "Stags" was the team nickname.
GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY
|1960 - ?||? - 1966|
George Washington University (Washington, DC) had a major college football team through the 1966 season; the last GWU team played a schedule that included four current NCAA Division I-FBS teams and six current Division I-FCS schools. The team apparently never used any helmet logo during the years covered by this website (1960 and later). "Colonials" was the team nickname.
|? - 1982||c.1985||? - 1990|
|1991 - 2004||2005 - 2007||2008|
Hofstra University announced the discontinuation of its intercollegiate football team on December 3, 2009, citing a lack of interest in the team on behalf of the school's students and alumni, and a desire to re-allocate funding towards other pursuits. Hofstra's football team first played in 1937, and had moved from NCAA Division III to Division I-AA in 1991. The 2009 team finished with a 5-6 record.
I have partial information for some of Hofstra's other earlier helmet designs, and I could add some of these to the site if I could obtain color photographs to clarify some of the following uncertainties about the colors:
During the very early 1960s, the team used dark-colored helmet shells (supposedly navy blue) with light-colored players' uniform numerals on the sides. By 1963, the numerals were reduced in size and moved to the front of the helmets; an "H" replaced the numerals on the sides of the helmets. I would appreciate any color photographs from these years.
By at least some time in 1964, the "H" was replaced with a logo that I cannot identify from the few photographs that I have seen showing it. A single light-colored stripe was also added to the helmet design in 1964.
Photographs from 1965 show Hofstra still using dark-colored helmets shells, but with another new logo - a light-colored "H" inside a dark-colored oval shape, which is in turn surrounded by a light-colored outline. The 1966 design was similar, but the colors within the logo were apparently reversed (the "H" was dark, and the oval shape apparently white).
In 1967 and 1968, Hofstra once again used light-colored players' uniform numerals on the sides of the helmet shells, which were still some dark color. There were several stripes of unknown colors on the helmets during these years.
A new logo was adopted in 1969 - an interlocking "HU" that appears to have probably been yellow or gold in color. A photograph from 1970 shows the team apparently reverting back to the design used in 1966; in 1971, this design was apparently modified by the dropping of the light-colored stripe.
I do not have any information for Hofstra from the year 1972, but in 1973 and 1974, the team was using the unusual helmet logo shown in the photograph here - a lower-case "h" above a "u", both inside a vertical oval-shape of some unknown color.
In 1975, plain blue helmets may have been used, and in 1976 the team once again used the 1966 helmet design, an "H" inside a light-colored oval. I believe that the oval -shape was yellow or gold in color in 1976, but had probably been white during the earlier years when it was in use.
|c.mid 1990s?||c.late 1990s||? - 2001?|
|*see note 1 below|
|2005 only?||2002 - 2004; 2006 - 2008|
Iona College (New Rochelle, NY) announced the discontinuation of its intercollegiate football team on November 20, 2008. A press release from the college stated that "The dissolution of the MAAC Football League after the 2007 season and the lack of equitable opponents in Division I FCS football was [sic] the main factor in the decision".
*1 This helmet was in use at least as early as 1994, according to site visitor Justin S. Earlier helmet logos included an interlocking "IC" on gold shells, which was used on both gold and maroon helmets at different times.
|1997 - 2001||2002 - 2003||2004|
|2005 - 2007|
La Salle University announced the termination of its intercollegiate football program on November 19, 2007; the "steady dissolution of the MAAC Football League and the changing landscape of collegiate football" were cited as reasons for the university's decision. The team had been restored in 1997 following a 56-year hiatus.
I believe that the four helmet designs shown above were the only ones used by the team during its 11-year existence.
LONG BEACH STATE
|1964 - 1965||1966 - ?||c.mid 1970s|
|? - 1981||1982 - 1983||1984 - 1989|
|*see note 1 below|
|1990 - 1991|
California State University, Long Beach was one of several California schools which dropped intercollegiate football during the 1990s. The "49ers" were in the Big West Conference in 1991, which was their last season of football. The team competed at the Division I level from 1969 through 1991.
I have not received much information for this team's earlier helmet designs. Some very poor-quality photographs recovered from the university's website suggest that the team may have used plain gold helmets during the 1960s. One person reported to me that the helmets were always yellow (as opposed to gold) in 1964 and later.
*1 A mid-1970s helmet was very similar to this one, but featured the addition of a set of stripes colored brown/white/brown. The facemask color of this version is unknown.
|1958 - 1960|
Marquette University (Milwaukee, WI) had a football team from 1892 to 1960, when the program was cut with the expense of operating it cited as the reason. 1960 is the only year that the team's history overlaps coverage by this website, and the helmet design shown above was in use that year. "Warriors" was the team nickname from 1954 through 1960 (and still is, for the university's other sports).
|1968; 1970 - 1976||1977 - 1980||1981 - 1986|
|1987 - 1990||1991 - 1997||1998 - 1999|
|2000 - 2001||2002 - 2003||2004 - 2009|
On November 20, 2009, the decision was made to end the football team at Northeastern University, which had participated for many years as a member of the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision's Colonial Athletic Association. The 2009 team had finished with a 3-8 record.
UNIVERSITY OF THE PACIFIC
|c.early 1960s||c.late 1960s||c.1970|
|1980 - 1982?||1983? - 1988||1989 - 1990|
|1991||1992 - 1995|
The University of the Pacific (Stockton, CA) was a member of the Big West Conference when the school discontinued its football program following the 1995 season; it was the last NCAA Division I-FBS school to do so until UAB dropped football at the end of the 2014 season. "Tigers" was the team nickname.
This is another once-prominent team for which information is now suprisingly scarce, and I think several other helmet designs may have been used during the period covered by this website. I think white helmets with black and orange stripes and possibly with black uniform numbers may have been worn during the mid-to-late 1960s. On the cover of the 1973 UOP football media guide is a photograph of an orange helmet with a white "P" outlined in black; I do not know if this design was ever actually used by the team during football games. The 1977 helmet design is visible in the photograph below which appears in the Air Force Academy's 1978 yearbook:
There are faint indications of what may be a white oval-shape encircling the interlocking letters "UOP", but this may instead just be light reflecting off the edges of the decal. The helmets are almost certainly orange, and I think this design was used in 1977 only.
The dates listed above for the years 1980 to 1995 are probably accurate, but everything before then remains ambiguous..
SAINT JOHN'S UNIVERSITY (NY)
|? - 2001||2002|
St. John's University (Jamaica, NY) announced the discontinuation of its football team on December 16, 2002; the team participated in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference during its last year.
SAINT MARY'S COLLEGE OF CALIFORNIA
|c.late 1970s -
|? - 1999||2000 - 2002|
|*see note 1 below|
|2003 - 2004|
Saint Mary's College of California (Moraga, CA) had an intercollegiate football team from 1892 to 2003.
*1 This design was in use by at least 1986.
SAINT PETER'S COLLEGE
|c.late 1970s||? - 1998||2003 - 2004|
|1999 - 2002; 2005 - 2006|
Saint Peter's College (Jersey City, NJ) had an intercollegiate football team, nicknamed the "Peacocks", from 1971 through 2006. The school's name was changed in 2012 to Saint Peter's University
UNIVERSITY OF SAN FRANCISCO
The above design was apparently used from 1970 through 1972 (the team's last season) by the University of San Francisco "Dons". The team had used dark-colored helmets (probably green) during the late 1960s.
SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY
|1960 - 1964||1965 - 1968||1969 - 1970|
|1971 - 1972?||? - 1982||1983 - 1993|
1993 was Santa Clara's last season of football.
|? - 2000||2002||2003|
The intercollegiate football program at Siena College (Loudonville, NY) was terminated January 21, 2004. Siena had been a member of the NCAA Division I-AA Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference from 1993 through 2003, and a member of NCAA Division III from 1988 through 1992.
In 2001 Siena used helmets of a darker shade of green than were used the next two years. These featured a yellow block "S" logo which was quite similar to the one used by Stanford, and black facemasks. I would appreciate some photographs of the 2001 helmet, and a copy of the helmet logo for that year, so that I may add this one to the web site. Information about earlier helmets would also be appreciated.
UNIVERSITY OF TAMPA
|c.1966||? - 1970||1971? - 1974|
The University of Tampa (Tampa, FL) had an intercollegiate football team from 1933 through 1974; the team was discontinued despite enjoying considerable success during its last several seasons, including victories over Miami (FL) in both 1970 and 1972. The last helmet design shown above was apparently used by the team during its last few years. It was reported to me many years ago that the team went through several different helmet designs during the 1960s, but very few photographs have been received or found showing other designs for this team. "Spartans" was the team nickname.
UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT ARLINGTON
|? - 1960||1961 - 1962||1963|
|1964||1965 - 1966||1967 - 1969|
|1970||1971 - 1973||1974 - 1977|
|1978 - 1980||c.1981||c.1985|
The Texas-Arlington "Mavericks" last played football in 1985 as a member of the Southland Conference. The team had played at the NCAA Division I level from 1970 through 1985, and in Division II from 1959 through 1969. The name of the school was Arlington State College prior to 1967, and the team nickname was "Rebels" prior to 1971.
UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT
|1960 - 1961||1962 - 1967||1968 - 1969|
|1970 - 1972||1973 - 1974|
The University of Vermont's football team was nicknamed the "Catamounts" and played its last season in 1974. The team had been a member of the Yankee Conference for many years.
WICHITA STATE UNIVERSITY
|? - 1961||1962 - 1964||1965|
|1969 - 1973||1974 - 1977||1978 - 1980|
|1981 - 1983||1984 - 1986|
Wichita State University last played football in 1986 as an NCAA Division I-A independent team; earlier the team was a member of the Missouri Valley Conference for many years. The above are all of the "known" helmet designs used by the WSU team - which was called the "Shockers" - during the period covered by this website (1960 to present) with the exception of the three designs used from 1965 through 1967.
Of those three, the most interesting is the great 1965 design, which apparently had a yellow shell with a cartoon "wheatshocker" logo on both sides; below are some low-quality photographs of this design gathered from the university's yearbooks, which have been digitized and published on the internet:
The logo used on the helmet is apparently similar to the one shown below, but possibly without the "legs", possibly without the "WSU" on the shirt, and possibly with a different top of the "head" (there appears to be a more substantial black-colored region on the top of the figure's head on the helmet logo).
The 1966 design had a "W" logo inside a black oval-shape; this was worn on helmets of an unknown color (presumably either the same 'yellow' color used from 1960 through 1965, or else a 'gold' color like that used by teams such as the San Francisco 49ers, New Orleans Saints, Boston College, etc). No color photographs of the 1966 design appear in WSU's yearbook for that season, but the appearance in the monochrome photographs in that yearbook is more consistent with 'gold' helmets than with 'yellow' ones.
In 1967 WSU used white helmets with a diagonal "WSU" logo which was apparently black in color:
I would greatly appreciate any clearer photographs of the 1965 through 1967 Wichita State helmets.
|c.late 1960s - 1973|
Xavier University (Cincinnati, OH) had an intercollegiate football team from 1900 through 1973; the team was a major independent team throughout the period documented by this website. The helmet design shown above was apparently the last one used by the team and was in use by at least 1970; blue helmets may have been used during the 1960s. "Musketeers" was the team nickname.