Tech football on Monday released their newest set of football uniforms, a refresh coming four years after the beginning of the Adidas three-stripe/win era, one that came with the travesty of Buzz changing his shoes to a pair of sneakers. We knew this update was coming, as this refresh was planned three years after the initial set was released. For multiple reasons, which we’ll get into later, the new uniforms came a year later than initially planned, which means the next new set will likely debut in 2025.
In this new set, all the jerseys and pants were redone and the helmets were left alone. On the white uniforms, the gold numbers are metallic. The gold striping on all the pants and shoulder stripes are in the same metallic, closely resembling the helmet. The blue uniforms have white numbers, and the gold uniforms have blue numbers.
In a sense, what we have here is a simplification from the previous set. The team reverted to a more classic style that feels closer to the early 2000’s uniforms. The numbers and gold striping are metallic, resembling quite closely the same shade of gold on the helmet, at least as much as fabric can. The pants striping stops short of going all the way down, which made sense when the striping was a stinger, but with these it looks a little odd.
The shoulder striping is different on all three jerseys. The gold uniform is blue then white from top to bottom. The white is gold then blue. The blue is gold then white.
Honestly, almost everything in this uniform set works for me. I was trained in the ways of Paul Lukas and Uni-Watch growing up, and uniforms like this always passed with flying colors. The striping is simple and fits with the theme they are going for. It doesn’t have the issue the Russell uniforms had by having multiple shades of yellow. All of the gold striping is the same across the board. The helmets needed no change (unless you’re one wanting the comeback of the honeycomb shells), and got none.
The possible combinations are reduced as well, considering they have shown the white uniform only comes with gold numbers, unlike the previous set that had a blue or gold number options. That makes sense though, as the point of these uniforms seem to be a platform to let the metallic pop.
What Doesn’t Seem To Work
The initial images we saw the day of the uniform unveiling made the gold uniform and pants to look...not gold. If you listened to last week’s Scions of the Southland, you likely heard us just hammering how bad they looked. Why? Simply because, at least in that lighting, they didn’t look gold. It certainly didn’t look like the same shade of gold that the team wore in 2019.
This caught us by surprise because with the onset of the Adidas unis also came a commitment from the Institute to use Tech Gold more prominently and not dabble with the other shades of gold that had creeped their way into various parts of Tech’s identity. And these gold tops looked incredible! The whole modern take on Tech’s uniforms while also not overdoing it struck a fantastic balance. For me, as much as a uniform can, it represented what Tech is right now (new font, diversity in color, the stinger striping), while simultaneously maintaining elements that make Tech what it is (classic colors, the helmet). Just scroll back and forth between this picture and the gallery, and it’s clear the gold isn’t quite the same.
We asked Tech’s Assistant AD, Mike Flynn, about the seemingly new shade of gold to see if there was any reason why the team adjusted the color of the gold, amongst other questions regarding the uniforms.
FTRS: What were the motives behind changing the shade of gold? Especially after using a shade that matched the school’s official “Old Gold”?
Flynn: The uniform features the Tech Gold that was unveiled as part of our brand refresh in 2018. The “shade” difference that you’re referring to is due to colors having different appearances in metallic and non-metallic forms. For the first time since we began partnering with Adidas, we are featuring the metallic form of Tech Gold on a uniform (aside from the football helmets, of course).
FTRS: The gold jersey/pant threads though, at least from what the published images show, seem to be closer to the Calvin Johnson-era golds and not the previous set. Is that different shade meant to harken to the classic look with the rest of the uniform elements? A different reason?
Flynn: Tech Gold, as defined in 2018, is utilized throughout the uniforms. Any shade of gold is a very difficult color for manufacturers to replicate across materials and is also very susceptible to appearance changes due to lighting, which can also explain how it might look different from other uniforms. Also, I believe you’re referring to the jerseys that were worn twice in 2019 for comparison purposes. Those jerseys were not produced specifically for Tech like most uniforms are. Due to the quick turnaround time needed for production of those jerseys, they came from adidas stock and, therefore, were a slightly different color than uniforms that are produced specifically for GT.
FTRS: How did metallic numbers/striping become the style choice?
Flynn: The design process was a collaboration between adidas and GT athletics, including head coach Geoff Collins.
Interrupting here to emphasize that the gold uniforms we wore in 2019 are not Georgia Tech specific uniforms. For example, the Nike has to specially make the Philadelphia Eagles’ Midnight Green uniforms every season because it isn’t a stock color. That is not what Adidas did for us in 2019.
Plus looking at a video Bryce Koon posted on Twitter of the new unis at ACC Media day, the studio lighting may have in fact made the gold threads look more yellow than they will look on the field.
A closer look at the new #GaTech uniforms displayed here in Charlotte. pic.twitter.com/OZtve5G4el— Bryce Koon (@bryce_koon) July 20, 2022
So essentially, it’s both supply chain and just what Adidas had combining to spit out the gold we have now.
Back to Mike...
FTRS: What other concepts were considered?
Flynn: From the get-go, the concept was to harken back to a more classic Georgia Tech look and feel, while also embracing modern nuances.
FTRS: We know it was announced this refresh was originally going to come in 2021. Did covid push that back to this season?
Flynn: The normal cycle for football uniforms is 3-4 years. Supply chain issues have affected just about every apparel provider, so that was partially a factor in why we wound up being on the back end of that window. However, Adidas was also in the process of updating their material (Primeknit) and did not want to move GT, or any program, to new uniforms until that process was complete.
FTRS: Is the plan to use these indefinitely, or will there be another planned refresh? If so, is there a timetable?
Flynn: Like I mentioned above, there is normally a 3-4 year cycle for football uniforms. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean a new design at the end of that cycle. So TBD.
FTRS: Are any throwbacks planned?
Flynn: Stay tuned.
Jack: As a whole, this set is nearly an A+ for me if it weren’t for just how seemingly off the gold uniform was. I know that it’s not necessarily in Tech’s control, but because we know the “right” shade of gold is out there to better match Tech Gold. But, they hit the theme of the classic unis very well. This personally isn’t the direction I would’ve gone, but at the end of the day, there’s nothing wrong with a classic looking uniform. B+
Votes per letter grade by other FTRS staff (note, this poll was done before our interview with Mike Flynn):
A: 0 B: 6 C: 5 D: 1 F: 2
So, we’re averaging around a B-.
Ideas For The Future
On both Scions of the Southland and other places on Twitter, I saw people suggesting that the Reck be put on the helmet, which I think is a fantastic idea as a one-off alternate. Buzz on the helmet just doesn’t seem to work. Plus, it puts the character in a much more serious position than what it is when you run into him in person. He’s a total goofball nowadays. The Reck is perfect and fits in because of how synonymous it is with Tech gamedays.
Mike Flynn also confirmed that Tech has no plans to bring back the Honeycomb shells. Whether that’s a Collins decision or something else, who knows, but we were one of the very few schools that in theory could pull it off, and we totally did when we wore them. One can dream.
Flynn notably did not deny that throwbacks were coming. I personally didn’t watch any Tech football before the 2010’s, so I couldn’t tell you what we might be throwing back to. Let us know of ones you’d want to see back!