Georgia Tech has been playing football since at least 1895, when it was a founding member of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association. Now a proud member of the Coastal Division of the Atlantic Coast Conference, very few other teams have enjoyed the historic success of Georgia Tech football. They have won four national titles dating from 1917 and as recent as 1990, 15 conference titles and won the four most historic bowls (Rose, Orange, Sugar, Cotton). They put a huge number of players and coaches in the NFL. They play in the oldest stadium on the Division 1 FBS campus, and that nostalgia and since of history is clearly reflected in the conservative style of their football helmets. Thinking back to the 1960s when helmets for the modern era first saw the light of day, the team had remarkably consistent football helmet designs and never used extravagant helmet variations, even for 1 or 2 games. unlike some programs such as Boise State, Maryland. or their rival, Georgia.
Georgia Tech’s early 1960s football helmet was simply a gold helmet with a gray mask. In the mid-1960s, the team switched to a white football helmet with vertical gold and black stripes extending from the top of the face mask to the back of the helmet. It wasn’t until 1967 that the team added the now familiar “GT” logo with the G feeding the upper horizontal portion of the T. The logo has remained basically unchanged since then. The team first used the gold background and the black and white stripes; this one briefly switched to a white helmet from 1969 to 1971 and was brought back at least once as a comeback helmet.
By the mid-1970s Georgia Tech football helmets no longer had the vertical white and black stripes and it has basically remained that way ever since. In the late ’70s, a minor change was made to the face mask making it a very dark blue instead of the basic gray mask. There was also a period in 1984 when the logo was removed from the football helmet for some games, and it was simply a gold helmet as you might see in Notre Dame without the logo (or Boston College without the scratches). The only other major change to note was in 2008, when the gold background that has been around for about 50 years changed to a yellow background. This gold contrasted with the dark blue face mask, looked very crisp and eye-catching. It changed the look and feel a bit, and some say it gave them a slightly more modern look. However, old habits are apparently hard to change as the gold background returned in 2009 and has always been the same. Whether or not the next 50 years will be the same as the last 50 in terms of conservative helmet design remains to be seen. If having more modern football helmets becomes a competitive force and a recruiting tool for programs like Oregon and Boise State, this may be something to reconsider. For now, however, the logo, colors, and design of the helmet will likely remain familiar.