1961 - 63 Gators
(Authentic Reproduction)




Head Coach Graves maintained the helmet style that he had inherited from Woodruff through part of the 1961 season. Going into the November 11 Georgia game, the uniform was altered and he introduced a blue shell that had not been worn since 1950 and dressed it with a one-inch orange center stripe, a one-inch gap of blue, and one-inch white flanking stripes. He added three-inch white full block numerals to the sides of the helmets for a complete and dazzling look. A 3-3 tie against Florida State, an offensive collapse that brought but seven points in three games despite good play from QB Libertore and HB's Lindy Infante and Bob Hoover left the Gators with a surprisingly poor 4-5-1 mark at the end of the '61 season. The 7-4 team of 1962 played erratically although Soph FB Larry Dupree led the SEC in rushing with 619 yards and was SEC Sophomore Of The Year. Teaming with HB's Infante (future head coach of the Packers and Colts) and Bob Hoover, QB Tom Shannon led a good offense in a three-unit rotation. Leading Duke 21-0 at the half and losing 28-21 mirrored the unpredictable play. Still, the team came to the Gator Bowl to defeat highly favored Penn State by 17-7 as defensive coach Ellenson presented his new Monster Defense and slapped Confederate flag decals on the front of each players' helmet which seemed to inspire them to play at a higher level against the Nittany Lions. The 6-3-1 team of 1963 was epitomized by the heart of Larry Dupree whose baby was stillborn and buried the next day while his wife lay ill in a hospital bed. With her encouragement and sleep-deprived for three days, Dupree's father-in-law, the head of the area Highway Patrol, gave him a police convoy that got him to the Georgia game by kickoff where he won the 21-14 contest with his lightning dashes from scrimmage. It was later found that he gained a school record 745 yards with a torn knee ligament that remained un-repaired until the 1964 season was over. QB Tom Shannon led the charge in the 10-6 upset of Bama behind the blocking of Center and LB Roger Pettee, a game that brought 10,000 cheering fans to meet the team at the airport after the contest. Fine two-way back Haygood Clarke left for the Bills and a good five-year career at DB.

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