Michigan State

1978 - 82 Spartans
(Authentic Reproduction)


This would be Rogers third season as head coach and his third helmet change. The Kelly green headgear maintained the one-inch white center stripe, the one-half-inch gaps that showed the Kelly green helmet color, and the finishing one-half-inch white flanking stripes. The silhouette Spartan head logo was now augmented by a white face mask. The team improved once again, picking up eight victories against three losses with two of those three 1978 losses coming against powerhouse USC and Notre Dame, the third to Purdue so the 8-3 record was a sign of continuing growth, especially as it brought a Big Ten championship and a win over Michigan. The offense was unbelievable, the most productive in Big Ten history with a per game average of 523.1 yards and forty points! QB Ed Smith was the conference leader in total offense and passing and four-year starting receiver Kirk Gibson was an All American but opted for a great major league baseball career. Dan Bass was an All Conference LB choice with 136 tackles. 1979 featured a pair of outstanding special teamers in punter Ray Stachowicz and junior kicker Morten Andersen from Denmark. All Big Ten LB Bass had a huge game in the debacle against Ohio State, a 42-0 loss, when he set a school record thirty-two tackles. The other LB Steve Maidlow showed good potential. TE Mark Brammer was also All Conference and huge Angelo Fields showed enough to go to the Oilers as a round two pick. He lasted there for two seasons.   Roger's offense fell off a bit as did the record to 5-6 but it was enough to get an offer to pull the staff to Arizona State and deep into the 1980 recruiting season, Roger's left. He earned the undying admiration of Spartan fans by referring to the University Of Michigan as "arrogant asses." Rogers would remain at Arizona State through 1984 and then become the Detroit Lions head coach from '85 through 1988.

On January 29, 1980, former Spartan player Franklin Dean "Muddy" Waters took the helm with much controversy as he was already fifty-seven years of age and had twenty-six years of only small college coaching. After a fine playing career at MSU, Waters had built a dynasty at Hillsdale College and then started the program at Saginaw Valley State, taking them from a club program to a national contender. 1980 began rather poorly with one win, against Western Michigan, in the first eight games and it brought howls of protest about Waters' "variety-store offense and defense, coaching philosophy, and of course, the 1-7 start." With frosh QB John Leister throwing for 1559 yards and ten TD's, the team won two of the last three but fans were already protesting. Stachowicz was second nationally with his 46.2 average and took his All Conference standing to the NFL for three years with the Packers and Bears. There was some improvement to 5-6 in '81 but fans were less than pleased that kicker Morten Andersen was the All American star of the entire team, hitting a record sixty-three yard field goal against Ohio State. He then went on to a storied multi-time All Pro career, kicking from 1982 through 2004. Soph DE Carl Banks was the standout on a poor defense. The final year of Waters' time as head coach was predictable based upon the 2-9 record of '82, a defensive disaster that future NY Giant stalwart LB Carl Banks could not sidetrack with his brilliant play. Even with teams running to the other side, Banks was the first non-kicker to be a three-time first-team All Big Ten selection. At the end of the season, Waters was fired and George Perles came back to his alma mater to restore the glory of Michigan State football, making them a regular bowl participant.

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