CrimsonBull9584

Coach's controll over uniforms

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I'm curious to know exactly how much control coaches' have over uniforms. For example, I was working for an FCS football team and our head coach had the final say in uniforms. We had a rebrand and all, but he decided what color helmets we would have, how the uniforms were designed, and sometimes leave it up to the seniors to pick the combination. I recall ease dropping on a conversation between him and the equipment manager about having the name of the school on the uniforms rather than the mascot. Granted that's an FCS school, but what about the bigger schools. For the sake of argument, let's say Alabama won a national championship this year. But Nick Saban resigned and took the head job at Oregon. However, Saban says that he will only sign on IF he has full control over the uniforms. Saban wants a traditional style. One helmet, one color pants, no alternates, etc. Would Oregon give in to his demands or does Nike have too much influence to let them do that, even if it means getting Saban? Where do you draw the line on these things? And while uniforms may be trivial to coaches, I am curious how many of the FBS coaches get the final say so on what is worn and designed.

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Money talks. The companies usually supply a good incentive to the schools (in a lot of cases, it's a chunk of the head coach's salary) and I'm sure the outfitters get certain concessions.

 

In the case of the pseudo-owner relationship Nike has with Oregon, I doubt the coaches have any say. The school has bent over backwards to appease Phil Knight in the past.

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7 hours ago, CrimsonBull9584 said:

I'm curious to know exactly how much control coaches' have over uniforms. For example, I was working for an FCS football team and our head coach had the final say in uniforms. We had a rebrand and all, but he decided what color helmets we would have, how the uniforms were designed, and sometimes leave it up to the seniors to pick the combination. I recall ease dropping on a conversation between him and the equipment manager about having the name of the school on the uniforms rather than the mascot. Granted that's an FCS school, but what about the bigger schools. For the sake of argument, let's say Alabama won a national championship this year. But Nick Saban resigned and took the head job at Oregon. However, Saban says that he will only sign on IF he has full control over the uniforms. Saban wants a traditional style. One helmet, one color pants, no alternates, etc. Would Oregon give in to his demands or does Nike have too much influence to let them do that, even if it means getting Saban? Where do you draw the line on these things? And while uniforms may be trivial to coaches, I am curious how many of the FBS coaches get the final say so on what is worn and designed.

They'd probably agree to only school colors but not just one set. Saban has a lot of wasta but not as much as Phil Knight.

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You're right on about things at the FCS level. If the coach cares, basically they dictate what the uniform looks like. The uniform would have to meet the schools' brand standards (if they exist), but as long as they do, the coach would be the person who picked. That's true for all the sports I work, at least.

 

As for the FBS, I have a story. Back in late 2008, UConn was preparing to switch from this uniform to a new uniform. Randy Edsall was presented with a few options. His final choice actually mixed and matched jerseys and pants from two different sets (basically a combination between Minnesota and Boise State, with minor alterations). He wanted blue pants, white pants, and grey pants. Nike sent us samples of two different grey pants: one that basically matched the grey we used but would look a little washed out on the field, and a darker grey that would read as grey but was too dark for our color scheme. Edsall said screw the grey, stick to the white and blue. Easy enough. Come a couple years later, Randy goes to Maryland and they unveil these.

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I think it just depends on the situation. For example harbaugh and richt completely did away with the adidas designs and went completely retro.

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1 hour ago, shaydre1019 said:

I think it just depends on the situation. For example harbaugh and richt completely did away with the adidas designs and went completely retro.

I agree. Every situation is different. Some coaches could care less about uniform details. But as evident on this board, a lot of people are borderline obsessed over uniforms! LOL

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yeah.. the situation is definitely important... i doubt a Saban->Orgeon situation would do much to limit uniforms, but Saban->OklaState might be different.. Ok State mixes and matches as much as anyone other than Oregon, but they dont have the "No Brand" brand that Oregon has... i think the Saban->Oregon situation was about as extreme as it gets.. any less extreme examples would probably be a different story.

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I think there are some instances in which they think something about the uniforms conveys either an image or helps recruiting (in the case of college).  For example, I would suspect there are coaches that have made the decision to not use names on the back of the uniforms for "we're a team" reasons...or maybe even some that added them because kids like to have names on their backs.

 

When Dick Bennett took over as Wisconsin head coach in 1995, the black trim and trendy asymmetric design went away in favor of a very basic design.  I don't know that I ever read documentation of this but there was some thought that he wanted a more basic uniform...I think that did come out in media but I could never prove it now.  That was also the first time the motion-W (just moving on from its "football-only" days) showed up on the basketball uniform.  I suspect that Bennett had nothing to do with that...just that the uniform was going to be basic.  Of course, uniforms were not the business then that they are now.

 

I think the most famous story around here was that Mike Keenan killed the Blues third jersey with the blaring trumpets.  I don't know that he had any particular uniform tastes beyond "we'd look like clowns in those" but he cared enough about it to step in.

 

More often than not, I don't think the coaches say much about which of the available uniforms will be worn on a given day...seniors in college and starting pitchers seem more common.

 

Regarding the Saban hypothetical, I think things like that could happen (though maybe not with Oregon).  Say Maryland is interested in the current Houston coach and he says "I need the uniforms to tone down; more traditional helmet and cool it on the flag motif.  A red home jersey, a white road jersey and maybe a black jersey once a year."  Assuming the Under Armor contract would not preclude this*, I suspect a middling program like that would relent for a guy they really wanted.  

 

*I have no idea how the contracts work, but UA would be unhappy with the change, I assume.

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On 10/4/2016 at 11:26 PM, CrimsonBull9584 said:

I'm curious to know exactly how much control coaches' have over uniforms. For example, I was working for an FCS football team and our head coach had the final say in uniforms. We had a rebrand and all, but he decided what color helmets we would have, how the uniforms were designed, and sometimes leave it up to the seniors to pick the combination. I recall ease dropping on a conversation between him and the equipment manager about having the name of the school on the uniforms rather than the mascot. Granted that's an FCS school, but what about the bigger schools. For the sake of argument, let's say Alabama won a national championship this year. But Nick Saban resigned and took the head job at Oregon. However, Saban says that he will only sign on IF he has full control over the uniforms. Saban wants a traditional style. One helmet, one color pants, no alternates, etc. Would Oregon give in to his demands or does Nike have too much influence to let them do that, even if it means getting Saban? Where do you draw the line on these things? And while uniforms may be trivial to coaches, I am curious how many of the FBS coaches get the final say so on what is worn and designed.

These days at the FBS level, there isn't much since so much money goes into branding schools and the suppliers (Nike, UA, Addidas) provide free uniforms.  But before all this craziness, uniforms would typically occur with new coaches..  

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