They say all things must come to an end. Wittenberg’s head football coach, Joe Fincham, has officially confirmed the football team will be retiring their Adidas football uniforms of 15 years.
For Division I college sports teams, players all receive free gear from head to toe; but for Division III teams, it’s a different process. The first set of Adidas uniforms the football team purchased was acquired through a fundraiser the team created.
“Like many of Wittenberg’s athletic teams, our budgets do not cover many of our day-to-day operational needs.
“Each player raised about $170 to buy a home and away jersey and then donated the jerseys to our team,” Fincham said.
The team then purchased similar game pants over a span of three years until the whole team had game pants. As needed, the uniforms were replaced over the past 15 years.
“We have made good use on a fundraiser from many years ago,” Fincham said.
The change to new Under Armor uniforms was facilitated by Athletic Director Gary Williams. The cost of these uniforms will be covered mostly by funds raised from alumni events over the years.
“Two years ago, our department joined the Kollegetown Team,” Fincham said. “This put the majority of our teams in Under Armour for the 2015-2016 season. Football, due to the size of our roster, was the last to go. Our team basically got a discount price on all our gear such as uniforms, shoes and all other clothing items.”
Switching to Under Armour clothes allows the team to have the uniforms for a longer life span and will reduce the cost over time.
Recruiting was also high in consideration, as shoes and clothes affiliations can serve as an attraction to incoming student-athletes looking at football programs.
The talk of changing uniforms wasn’t the only cause of anxiety. The tradition of the Wittenberg football uniform was also a concern for Fincham.
“Maintaining the brand developed by coaches like Edwards, Maurer, Murphy and Neibuhr was important,” Fincham said. “While there have been subtle changes over the years, such as the tiger being removed from our helmet decal or the winged W added to the shoulder of our jersey, the basics remain the same: two stripes on helmet, jersey and pants. There is no fad type colors such as black or grey. Only the classic red and white are part of the uniform. The only noticeable change in our new uniform will be a contrasting color of the neckline.”
To view the new uniforms visit @CoachFincham on Twitter.