ORLANDO, Fla (UCFKnights.com) - When Scott Frost was hired on Dec. 1, the very first question he faced from a media member related to UCF's jerseys, and the questions eventually piled up from fans as well. A little more than five months later, UCF and Nike have announced a brand new look for the Black and Gold starting for the 2016 season.
UCF Football Head Coach Scott Frost
"I want our guys to feel good about what they're coming out of the tunnel wearing on Saturdays. I think it's important. It gives you some confidence. It makes you feel good, something you can be proud of when you're sporting the school's colors. As much as anything it's important for recruiting. Guys want to go to schools these days that are places where they can wear nice uniforms and look good on the field. We're going to try and provide that as much as we can for our guys."
"I called Phil Knight, he's been great to me my entire career at the University of Oregon. When we got to Orlando, I can't tell you how many messages we got about changing the uniforms, putting names on the back of the jerseys, getting up to speed with current looks that football players want to wear and Phil was great. We're going to get a lot of things from Nike and he's going to do a lot of stuff for us."
"This is the first design, and I'm sure these uniforms we're wearing this year will make it to next year. I don't think they will make it much farther than that. I want to keep moving the ball down the field with our uniforms and I think we will come up with some new things down the road. But with this first effort, I think we wanted something that was new and different but also played back to the tradition that UCF has had. So there's some obvious changes and some good ones, but we haven't really pushed the envelope yet."
Senior Graphic Designer - Nike Football Josh Iverson
"The unique thing for UCF is where it is and how the school is set up. So we really rally around that, just being in Orlando, the connection to the space program, mascot and the Pegasus (university logo). Those are a few very cool things to look at with UCF."
"Overall, very bold, very tough, high-contrast uniform that hopefully will look very tough on (the) field, but very fast."
"One of the things the school asked for was an interchangeable system that they could mix and match. Instead of having three or four uniforms, they have multiple, multiple combinations so you can create a unique look for almost every game. … Really it's almost an unlimited possibility set of uniforms that they have now."
The Relationship and Quick Jersey History
UCF and Nike first formed a partnership for the 2010 football season, and made a second change to the uniforms in 2013, a look that lasted through the 2015 campaign.
Since the football program's inception in 1979, UCF has worn several different uniforms, as well as 10 different helmets including two special helmets used for just one game.
Nike began by analyzing UCF's current uniform kit, which featured black, gold and white jerseys and pants as well as a white helmet. It then focused on its current Mach Speed uniform chassis as the base for UCF's next look.
About Mach Speed Chassis
-Four-Way Stretch Woven Fabrics - More durable, heavy-duty stretch woven fabric used in high-impact, low-stretch areas; lightweight stretch woven fabrics used in low-impact, high-stretch areas for increased mobility.
-Chainmaille 2.0 Mesh - Second generation, chainmaille mesh strategically placed to increase thermos-regulation, airflow and breathability.
-Laser Perforation - Stretch woven fabric laser perforated for ventilation without sacrificing fabric performance.
-Improved Fit and Range of Motion - Jersey armholes shifted and rotated forward; underarm mobility stretch gussets added; tailored hems and cuffs for less bulk and more comfort; new "Pro-Waist" hem and draw cord pant options.
-Nike Pro Base Layer Integration - New construction adjustments for less bulk and improved base layer integration; internal pad pockets for extra thigh and knee protection.
Up next for the Nike team was researching UCF to draw inspiration for the new uniforms. That research included respecting the University's past, location, mascots (Knights and Pegasus), former players and the football program's #UCFast, #UCFierce and #RiseandConquer mantras.
Nike delivered three key ingredients:
-Knights - Usually armored and on horseback, knights were a noble and elite class of warrior which served to protect a monarch or lord. They were highly skilled and battle-hardened. Knights later became associated with the ideas of chivalry: a code of conduct for the perfect warrior, sworn to uphold the values of faith, loyalty, courage and honor.
-Pegasus - One of the best known creatures in Greek mythology, the Pegasus is a winged stallion usually depicted as pure white in color. The Pegasus was chosen as the logo and mascot of UCF in 1968, and Knights of Pegasus was chosen by students in 1970.
-Aerospace - Located in Orlando near the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral, UCF was founded in 1963 with the mission of supplying personnel to support the U.S. space program in Florida.
A final piece of the puzzle was developing UCF's own custom number font.
(All images are renderings and could be subject to slight modification)
-UCF's bold look includes black, white, anthracite and pewter jerseys.
-Names are on the back for the first time since the 2004 campaign.
-"Rise & Conquer" is scribed inside the neckline on the back.
-The school's Pegasus logo is featured on both sleeves.
-UCF also will have black, white, anthracite and pewter pants.
-Four different helmets are available to the Knights: white, gold, anthracite and pewter.
-A double-edged sword rides down the middle of the helmet from front to back.
In all when looking at just helmets, jerseys and pants, UCF will have 64 different uniform combinations to choose from in 2016.