Helmets of Future College Teams
This page contains announced helmet designs for college teams that will begin varsity play in the year 2023 or later; there were two new college teams for the 2023-2024 school year. The new teams for 2023-2024 were Eastern University (of the NCAA Division III Middle Atlantic Conference) and Thomas University (of the NAIA The Sun Conference). Helmet images for the new-for-2023 teams have been moved to their respective conference pages.
If you are associated with one of these future teams and have information about what the team's helmet design will look like, I would certainly appreciate hearing from you, but PLEASE wait until a final decision is made about what the helmets will look like!
One fact which became abundantly clear to me after having worked on this web site for several years is that many colleges will put together for ceremonies associated with the arrival of varsity football some sort of helmet design that is never really intended to be a "prototype" design for the team; it would probably be better to call such a helmet a "prop" helmet. It is my impression that decisions about actual helmet designs are usually reserved for the head coach to make, and rarely will a head coach have been named as soon as a decision is made to institute a team. So, without additional information to indicate otherwise, I do not consider photographs from "football introduction festivities" showing "prop" helmets to be reliable information about actual future helmet designs.
The following colleges and universities have announced that they will be adding varsity football programs either in 2024 or subsequent years (first year of play in parentheses):
- Anderson University (Anderson, SC), NCAA Division II / South Atlantic Conference (2024)
- Andrew College (Cuthbert, GA), NJCAA (2024)
- Calvin University (Grand Rapids, MI) NCAA Division III ('possible exhibition or junior varsity schedule' in 2023, varsity in 2024)
- Centenary College (Shreveport, LA), NCAA Division III / Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (exhibition games and scrimmages in 2023; varsity in 2024)
- New England College (Henniker, NH), NCAA Division III (2024)
- Roanoke College (Salem, VA), NCAA Division III / Old Dominion Athletic Conference (club-level in 2024, varsity in 2025)
- Schreiner University (Kerrville, TX), NCAA Division III / Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (2025)
- Simpson University (Redding, CA), NAIA ("scrimmage season" in 2023, apparently full NAIA in 2024)
- University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (Edinburg, TX), NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision / United Athletic Conference (2025)
- West Virginia University Tech (Beckley, WV), NAIA(?) (first year undetermined)
- William Woods University (Fulton, MO), NAIA / Heart of America Athletic Conference (2024)
There certainly may be others as well which I have not heard about, so please let me know if you have any additions! (including colleges in Canada and junior or community colleges).
New teams for the 2024 season
"Trojans" will be the team nickname and the school colors are listed as black and gold.
This new junior college team will be known as the "Fighting Tigers". The school colors are listed as being blue and gold.
This team will be known as the "Knights" and the school colors are listed as maroon and gold. First game: September 7, 2024 vs Oberlin
CENTENARY COLLEGE OF LOUISIANA
Centenary's team will be known as the "Gentlemen" and the school colors are listed as maroon and white. Centenary had a football team decades ago; it last played in 1947. During exhibition games in 2023 the football team has used white helmets with a maroon "C" logo on the sides.
NEW ENGLAND COLLEGE
This team will be known as the "Pilgrims" and the school colors are listed as red, blue, and navy. NEC had a team previously, with 1973 being the most recent year football was played.
This team will be known as the "Red Hawks" and the school colors are listed as red and black. No information has yet been received regarding a helmet design for this team, but during a September 2023 scrimmage against the George Fox University JV team Simpson used black helmets with a red stripe and a red "hawk head" logo on both sides.
WILLIAM WOODS UNIVERSITY
The WWU team will be known as the "Owls" and the school colors are listed as forest green and maroon.
Other colleges which may start football teams
Below are listed some other colleges which may be adding football as a varsity sport in the near future, or which at least appear to be considering doing so, and some others which have recently rejected the idea. For each of these, it is my impression that the addition of football is not yet a certainty. (There are probably many others besides those listed here; reports about additional schools, both in the United States and Canada, would be appreciated.) I usually purge entries from this list after a decade or so if nothing happens.
- University of Arkansas-Little Rock - As of April 2017 UALR is performing a "feasibility study" regarding the addition of an intercollegiate football team. If formed, a UALR team would likely play its home games at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock, where the University of Arkansas currently plays one home game per year. (source: http://arkansas.247sports.com/Bolt/Could-new-college-football-program-come-to-Arkansas-52242934 )
- Bellarmine University (Louisville, KY) - this school considered in March 2016 the addition of a football team, which would play at the NCAA Division II level if it comes to fruition (source: https://insiderlouisville.com/government/bellarmine-investing/ )
- Bethany Lutheran College (Mankato, MN) - Football has been considered for this Minnesota college; the following appeared in an article dated 2017 August 21 at the college's website: "The Bethany Lutheran College Board of Regents thanks the Football Feasibility Study Task Force, Athletic Director Don Westphal, and the college administration for their outstanding work in studying and putting together a comprehensive report on the feasibility of starting the sport of football on the Bethany campus. There were several positive findings from the study that encourage the Regents to continue the investigation of adding football. Some questions remain unknown, however, such as whether Bethany can secure the facilities to operate a program. Therefore, for the time being we're going to continue to study and research football, as well as explore other potential program options, both athletic and non-athletic. The Regents will continue to study the topic in follow-up reports at its future quarterly meetings this academic year." (source: http://blcvikings.com/news/2017/8/21/general-update-on-football-study-at-bethany.aspx )
- Chicago State University (Chicago, IL) - Having completed a feasibility study regarding the addition of football as an intercollegiate sport in 2021, CSU has now approved a proposal to begin a public fundraising initiative to add football and women's triathlon to the university's set of athletic teams. If the fundraising efforts are successful the CSU football team would likely begin play in the year 2025 at the NCAA Division I-Football Championship Subdivision level. (source: https://www.si.com/college/2023/09/22/chicago-state-aims-to-add-fcs-football-program )
- Coker University (Hartsville, SC) - In July 2019 this university completed a "football feasibility study" but has not yet announced a decision as to whether an intercollegiate football team will be formed. A Coker football team would play at the NCAA Division II, presumably in the South Atlantic Conference, of which the school is a member for other sports.
- Hood College (Frederick, MD) - In 2015 this Maryland college initiated a 'football feasibility study' but the study was apparently never completed (source: https://hoodcomstudies.com/theblueandgrey/index.php/2016/10/05/hood-college-football-team-is-it-feasible/ ).
- University of New Orleans (New Orleans, LA) - UNO students voted overwhelmingly against a proposal to raise student fees to fund an intercollegiate football team in November 2022, making a return of football to the UNO campus appear unlikely in the foreseeable future. The vote margin was 69% against/31% for (source: https://www.fox8live.com/2022/11/09/uno-football-big-overwhelmingly-shot-down-by-students-vote/ )
- St. Leo University (St. Leo, FL) - In January 2019 this Tampa-area school held a series of "focus group" meetings to consider the instatement of an intercollegiate football team; apparently no decision has yet been made. The school had a team previously which was apparently a club-level team; it last played in 1980 or 1981. A new St. Leo team would presumably play at the NCAA Division II level.
- Talladega College (Talladega, AL) - "The Talladega College Board of Trustees authorized Talladega College President Dr. Billy C. Hawkins to employ a consultant to determine the feasibility of reviving the institution’s football program. Trustees voted in favor of conducting a feasibility study during the institution’s spring board meeting on April 30, 2021.
Talladega seized the Black College Football National Championship in both 1920 and 1921. While the institution’s illustrious football program was canceled 80 years ago, during World War II, the upcoming study may help usher in a new era of football for Alabama’s first private historically black college.
'The year 2021 marks the one hundred year anniversary of our historic back-to-back championship win,' said Talladega College President Dr. Billy C. Hawkins. 'Given the success of our academic and athletic programs; the recent growth and transformation of the college; and the myriad benefits of having a football program, now may be the time to revive our team. This could be great for the college, the community, and central Alabama. However, our decision will be based upon the findings of a formal feasibility study.' (source: http://www.talladega.edu/news/talladega-college-explores-feasibility-of-reviving-football-program/ (articled dated 2021 May 13))
- University of Texas at Arlington (Arlington, TX) - In April 2023 the student body at UT Arlington voted to partially fund an intercollegiate football team, moving this school a step closer to restoring the team that last played in 1985. Other hurdles remain and the earliest a UTA team could play would be the year 2025. (source: https://www.theshorthorn.com/news/students-alumni-react-as-football-referendum-passes-in-student-government-election/article_1a300f78-d361-11ed-bee5-d3b0c3a1d668.html )
- Utah Valley University (Orem, UT) - The student body at this college appears to have a strong interest in adding an intercollegiate football team, but the administration has concerns pertaining to the cost and to the likely degree of community support for such a team. "'The big problem is just the limited resources we have and the fact that we're needing to finance our current athletic programs. We've got to take care of those first,' (UVU President William A.) Sederburg said. 'Then we need to figure out how to get the attendance up and make sure that we can do it right.'
UVU is still trying to establish its athletic teams at the NCAA Division I level, the president said, and he doesn't want to disrupt that by trying to work football into the mix. 'My sense is we're not ready to go there,' Sederburg said. 'The students are pushing it, and we have an obligation to pay attention to what the students are saying. I think in time UVU will have a football team, but probably not in the near future.'" If established, the UVU team would compete at the NCAA Division I-AA level. (Source: http://deseretnews.com/dn/view/0,1249,635168661,00.html)
- Wichita State University (Wichita, KS) - Administrators at WSU are considering a reinstatement of football as an intercollegiate sport (as of December 2015); among the obstacles facing such a return of football would be the need for a new stadium. (source: http://www.kansas.com/sports/college/wichita-state/article48764285.html )
- Winthrop (Rock Hill, SC) - The administration of this university considered instituting an intercollegiate football team for several years but opted to not do so in June 2016 (source: http://www.heraldonline.com/news/local/education/winthrop-news/article83090747.html ).
- University of Wisconsin-Green Bay: The institution of an intercollegiate football team at this university has been discussed in 2018 by the school's administration (source: https://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/story/sports/2018/10/23/uwgb-ad-charles-guthries-first-year-football-part-future/1739232002/ )
- Wright State University (Dayton, OH) - this school was apparently considering the addition of an intercollegiate football team in December 2021 (source: https://wsuguardian.com/football-at-wright-state-board-of-trustees-hears-possible-changes-to-athletics/ )
- Xavier University (Cincinnati, OH) - this university confirmed to local tv station WKRC that there are "talks of bringing back football" at the university (source: https://local12.com/news/local/xavier-university-considering-bringing-back-football-program-musketeers-season-1973-xu-athletics-vic-nolting-corcoran-field-division-1-scholarship-program-athletes-cincinnati-ohio ). Xavier had a football team previously (most recently in 1973); a new team would likely play in NCAA Division I-Football Championship Subdivision with the Pioneer Football League mentioned as a possible destination.