A History of South Alabama Football, as told by its Uniforms

On Friday, the South Alabama Board of Trustees approved a resolution effectively beginning construction on an on-campus stadium. That same day, June 1, marked the beginning of the athletic department’s seven-year deal with Adidas.

By all accounts, June 1, 2018, is the first day of a new era in South Alabama football history.

Since the football program’s inception the team was equipped by Nike, as was every Jaguar team except baseball—who was already with Adidas. As with most schools, the team added a new piece each year.

Photos: G.M. Andrews (Press-Register), Alyssa Newton

In that inaugural season, South chose a simple red and white design, with touches of blue on both the home and away jerseys. It introduced a blue jersey at the 2011 spring game, and blue pants later that year completed the South Alabama look.

For the Jags’ first year of bowl eligibility, Nike gave them a redesigned home jersey featuring the school’s unique font. They also wore a new helmet design—tapering stripes and a stylized “JAGS” word mark instead of the Jaguar logo.

The Jags added a new color to their patriotic look the next year: grey. The “Jungle Smoke” alternate appeared for the first time when they hosted Navy, and reappeared in the Camellia Bowl that year, along with the team’s second alternate helmet—a large jaguar logo replaced the right-side word mark.

The redesign hit the away jerseys and blue alternates in the following years, but the template was set. For the past two years, the Jags used a combination of those four jerseys and pants.

Alterations to the helmet design, from blue helmets to chrome facemasks, punctuated each combination. The most memorable was last year’s Veterans’ Day tribute to the U.S.S. Alabama, which sits in Mobile Bay.

The Adidas deal was signed two weeks later, and Steve Campbell was hired as the Jags’ second head coach on December 7.

That brings us to Friday, and the first look at the near future of South Alabama football—a new coach, a new stadium and a new uniform.

Photo: South Alabama Athletics

At the very least, it’s a clean-looking practice jersey.

Special thanks to South Alabama Uniform Tracker for its resources.

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