University of Miami

1955 - 56 Hurricanes
(Authentic Reproduction)




Bolstered by the 8-1 record of 1954, Gustafson introduced a new helmet color for the '55 season, a Green Bay gold shell with a one-inch forest green center stripe. This distinctive helmet was worn for every game of the '55 season except the November 26th season finale against Florida. He was cheered by a potent backfield, tabbing speedy Whitey Rouviere as his pre-season pick for All-type honors yet junior FB Don Bosseler became the All American while running the Miami Drive Series to perfection. Bosseler's defensive play was just as effective and he was supported in the backfield by QB Sam Scarnecchia and HB John Varrone running behind future AFL center Mike Hudock. Finishing 6-3 while serving the first full season of their probation, the Hurricanes still had all of their home games broadcast nationally on radio and drew the fourth highest national attendance figure. The latter was boosted by a record, overflow Orange Bowl crowd of 75,685 who came to see the 'Canes slug it out in a 14-0 loss to Paul Hornung and his Notre Dame squad. For the annual clash against Florida on November 26th, Gustafson dressed up his helmet design by altering the stripe arrangement, removing the single center stripe and having the team come onto the field with two forest green stripes in a V-shaped arrangement. The 7-6 Hurricane victory boosted the record to 6-3.
While the Green Bay gold helmet with single stripe would be continued for  the 1956 season, Gustafson unveiled the V-striped model again for the final two games of '56, against Florida on December 1st, and against Pitt in the season finale the following week. The alternative helmet designs must have helped to inspire the defense which finished the season ranked number one in the nation. Vester Newcomb played at near All America level, ably supported by 220-pound tackle Charlie Diamond. A very efficient offense that consisted primarily of a brutal rushing attack was led by two-way All American Don Bosseler, future Redskin RB. In Gustafson's drive series offense, Bossler was tackled on every play because every play, pass or run, began with a fake or actual handoff to the bruising 200 pound back. Running behind center Mike Hudock who spent most of his eight-year AFL career with the Titans and Jets, Bosseler  HB John Varrone, and QB Sam Scarnecchia who also got a few honorable mention All America honors secured an 8-1-1 record and an end-of-the-year number six ranking for the Hurricanes. Only their probation penalty kept them out of the bowl picture and they began to develop a nation-wide "Subway Alumni" following with supporters and clubs throughout the country. 

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