Kansas State

1979-81 Wildcats
(Authentic Reproduction)




Dickey put the Wildcats on the field for the 1979 season in the same unique shade of light gray with purplish tinted helmets that had the one-inch purple center stripe and the half-inch white flanking stripes. The very nice diagonally oriented purple with white trim KSU logo on each side was "dressed up" with new purple masks. The season however was frustrating and the team regressed to a 3-8 record. The record did not show that the team rose up to play extremely well in losing efforts to powerful Oklahoma and Nebraska and then unfortunately, lost convincingly to the Big 8's weaker teams. The defense finally showed signs of life in its 4-4 alignment where young Vic Koenning had the look of a star at linebacker. Koenning learned well as he later became the head coach at Wyoming and at the time of this writing is the defensive coordinator at Clemson. For the '80 season Coach Dickey put the team in the hands of new QB, Darrell Ray Dickey, his son. With few stars around him, Dickey finished 1980 with the same 3-8 record of '79 but had the ignominious distinction of finishing last in the Big 8 in almost every offensive category. HB L.J. Brown had a few good games but even with Dickey given the green light to heave the ball, the offense just couldn't get it done. The defense was slightly better with the linebacking play of Koenning and Will Cokeley who later kicked around the USFL for three seasons before finishing his playing days as a three-game strike replacement linebacker for the Bills in '87. The unique helmet that the Wildcats displayed was worn through 1981, another losing, 2-9 year but one marked by the distinction of having the entire senior class redshirted. Nationally discussed, Dickey's plan was to redshirt all of the seniors, allow the underclassmen to gain experience, and then bring all of them together for a hard run at a bowl-type of season in '82, combining the new-found experience of the young players with strong senior leadership. The 'Cats scared Oklahoma in what might have been a bigger season highlight than the victories against South Dakota and Iowa State as they stretched the Sooners to their limit before falling 28-21 with 2:36 remaining on the clock.

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