SIU football’s new helmets aren’t really new

(Steve Buhman, SIU photographer)

(Steve Buhman, SIU photographer)

By Jacob Gaertner

Saluki football’s new maroon helmets are actually last year’s helmets repainted and refurbished, Athletic Director Tommy Bell said.

Prior to every football season, SIU must submit their helmets to the original manufacturer to be repainted and refurbished for safety purposes. 

“This is mandatory,” Bell, who took over SIU’s athletic department in May 2015, said during a recent interview. “Every school has to do it to play football each year.”


He said the painting and refurbishing cost between $15 and $25 per helmet, depending on the damage each sustained in the previous year. There are more than 100 players listed on SIU football’s 2016 roster.

Bell said he doesn’t know how the renovations were funded.

SIU Director of Athletics Tommy Bell poses for a portrait in his office Oct. 6, 2015. ( file photo)
SIU Director of Athletics Tommy Bell poses for a portrait in his office Oct. 6. ( file photo)

This year, SIU decided to go with a different primary helmet color and design for no extra cost to help mark the new era under coach Nick Hill. 

Under Hill, the youngest head football coach in the Missouri Valley Conference, SIU is hoping to shake off a 3-8 season last year, its worst since 2001.

The new helmet is the first uniform change since previous coach Dale Lennon introduced the former black helmets four years ago.

Staff writer Jacob Gaertner can be reached at [email protected] or at on Twitter @JGaertnerDE.

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