Kansas State

1969 Wildcats
(Authentic Reproduction)




Returning to the field in '69 with silver helmets, a one-inch purple center stripe, the same rear identifying numerals as the previous two seasons, and the addition of a noticeable wildcat head on the sides of the helmet, one with a purple nose and white tongue, Gibson pushed his "Purple Pride" throughout the state. In 1970, he would dress his squad in purple jerseys with a white wildcat head on the sleeves, pushing not only "Purple Pride" but trying to get the entire state to think "Wildcats" and not "Jayhawks" as the in-state rivalry heated up. Behind junior QB Lynn Dickey, 1968's conference passing leader despite not starting the first four games, and 5'6" Mack Herron, the thirty-five returning lettermen gave their coach a high-water 5-5 mark. Moving future Cowboy HB Mike Montgomery from end to fullback helped to control the ball despite Dickey's aerial approach and it seemed that the Wildcats were indeed on their way. With short Mack Herron and 6'5" DE Ron Yankowski at the extremes of size in his JC transfers, Gibson's pipeline to the Kansas and Oklahoma two-year schools was paying off. 1969 was in many ways a breakthrough and what Gibson thought would be a standout year. With Montgomery and Herron behind Dickey, and an improving defense led by DB Clarence Scott, the future NFLer who would enjoy a thirteen-year career with the Browns, the 'Cats rang the scoreboard with thirty-plus points a number of times and this season would include the first win over rival Kansas in fourteen years. A decisive 34-7 victory over Iowa State the next week prepared them for their bout with Oklahoma and improbably, K-State would enter the game ranked at number eighteen. Improbable well describes the finish as in one of the biggest wins in Kansas State history, they spanked the Sooners by a lopsided 59-21 score. This moved them to number twelve in the national rankings but they lost a squeaker to Missouri 41-38 that led to three consecutive season-ending losses. Still, their 5-5 record was making Purple Pride all the rage. Herron left for a three year CFL stint, returning to the Patriots for 1973 and '74 and then splitting his final pro season between the Pats and Falcons.

If interested in any of these KSU helmets please click on the photos below.