Northwestern University

1978 Wildcats
(Authentic Reproduction)



Former Northwestern back-up QB and DB Rick Venturi had been an assistant at his alma mater and then coached against it as the LB coach at Purdue and DB coach at Illinois. With his dad Joe an Illinois High School Hall Of Fame coach, he was raised within the profession but there were reservations in some quarters about his youth and lack of experience. The thirty-one year old introduced a pro-style attack but the scoreless tie against a terrible Illinois team in the opener indicated that the team hadn't yet mastered it. The offense remained miserable, despite QB Kevin Strasser's school passing records, scoring in single digits in six of eleven games. Soph LB Chuck Kern had plenty of opportunity to set a new season record for tackles and S Pat Geegan was All Big Ten for a defense that yielded 440 points. Less than 15000 fans saw the 'Cats drop the last game to Michigan State by a lopsided 52-3 score to finish the season without a win at 0-10-1. Like many new coaches, Venturi changed the uniform, returning to the white helmet that had not been worn by the team since 1967. He added a purple one-inch center stripe, the connecting "NU" letters of the familiar Northwestern logo in purple, and a contrasting purple mask.

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