1979 - 80 Black Knights
(Authentic Reproduction)




After doing a good job in stabilizing the sagging and on-the-verge-of-elimination Miami program in Florida, the much-traveled Lou Saban surprised everyone by leaving the Sunshine State and taking his talents to the bastion on the Hudson. A former Army officer, he stated he "was inspired" by the possibility of leading The Black Knights onto the field. He led by first changing the head gear, switching from the traditional old gold shell to a gleaming black one. Saban added a Green Bay gold one-inch center stripe and set the entire piece off with the black face mask that had been introduced in the final game of the 1977 season against the Naval Academy. LB John Hilliard was the best of a poor defensive squad that gave up 308 points. When RB Jimmy Hill went down after leading the rushing attack for the second year, the offense went down too and Saban was juggling QB's right up to the finale against Navy, a 31-7 loss. Saddled with an offense that put up only 96 points, the 2-8-1 mark for the year was a definite disappointment. As Saban prepared for the '80 season, the spring turnout was good but there were many concerns regarding personnel. Late in the summer, Saban shocked the Academy when he resigned and assistant coach Ed Cavanaugh was thrust into the breach. 3-7-1 with no quality wins and the tie against lower division Lehigh was not encouraging. QB was handled adequately by Jerryl Bennett who put up over 1000 yards in the air while soph RB Gerald Walker rushed for over 900.

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