1966 Sooner
(Authentic Reproduction)



Gomer Jones' resignation after an undistinguished two year reign brought a definitive end to the Bud Wilkinson era. A bright new period was expected with the hiring of Jim Mackenzie. Some supporters wanted former OU QB Darrell Royal who would not leave Texas. Others wanted Georgia coach Vince Dooley, some Tennessee's Doug Dickey. The school got Mackenzie, a Bear Bryant coached tackle at Kentucky in their glory days and the right hand man and assistant head coach to Frank Broyles at Arkansas, an emerging national power at that time. He hired a very strong, young staff including his former college roommate Pat James from the Alabama staff, Kentucky assistant and 1967's Cincinnati head coach Homer Rice, Arkansas assistant Barry Switzer, and Chuck Fairbanks. Mackenzie tried to superbly condition the squad to make up for a lack of talent. The rigorous spring program resulted in the squad's loss of over 1000 pounds of bodyweight and perhaps a dozen athletes who quit. It paid off as the Sooners upset Texas, their first win over them in nine seasons, and Big 8 Conference champion Nebraska to close out their season with an improved 6-4 record. The future looked even brighter due to the recruiting efforts of Makenzie's dynamic staff and the change to red helmets with an eye-catching interlocked OU on each side, a change which made the upgraded OU red jerseys seem even brighter. The jerseys had permanently added the Northwestern style sleeve stripe so with their new uniforms, the Sooners were excited about their future with Jim Mackenzie.

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