Mississippi State University

1966 Bulldogs
(Authentic Reproduction)




Although the exact origin and meaning of a logo purportedly designed for a student project by a Mississippi State undergraduate has been lost to time, it was a design that featured a capital “M” with a swirling two-headed arrow through and around it and was both approved by the MSU Office Of Public Affairs and utilized as an official logo for a number of university related applications. The logo may have originated within the aerospace studies program and was used within the pages of the Reveille yearbook, on stationery, displayed on the bass drum of The Famous Maroon Band, and for the 1966 football team, on both sides of the new MSU football helmet. Davis altered the helmet, maintaining the maroon shell with front and rear white player identification numerals, but he replaced the bulldog head decals with white decals depicting the “M with arrows” that was part of the university traditions from the mid-1960’s through the mid-1970’s. Feeling pressure from alumni, boosters, and the administration, Coach Davis also revamped his staff for the ’66 season and converted 6’5” receiver Don Saget to quarterback. Nothing worked for the team as they finished at 2-8 and as they did in 1965, closed the season with six consecutive losses. Leading tackler and All SEC linebacker D.D. Lewis and DB Johnny Woitt managed to stand out on an inadequate defense. The offense, shut out in four games, was equally challenged despite the rushing ability of SEC return leader Marcus Rhoden, drafted by the Saints, whose ninety-five yard kick return beat Southern Miss 10-9. Halfback Andy Rhoades ran well until injured against Houston and Conn Canale was one of the fill-ins. Two weeks after the season ended, University President Dr. William L. Giles dropped a bombshell, firing both Head Coach Paul Davis and Athletic Director Wade Walker. Boosters, faculty, and fans had been torn about the direction of the program and on December 10, a decision was made to make these sweeping changes. Giles stated, “The most interesting thing about this was the timing. The final change was announced as we went into recruiting…but it didn’t take us long to realize that we had to be honest to the recruits. In order to be honest, we had announced the change before signing them.” This event which included the absence of an athletic director and head coach for approximately one month was considered a major factor in literally burying the next few seasons as the other SEC schools were able to secure almost all of the state and area’s top talent, leaving the Bulldogs’ cupboard bare. President Giles added, “Paul Davis is an expert on defensive football, but the running of the team and organization is something else.” This comment was prophetic as Davis served as the defensive coordinator and assistant head coach at Auburn from 1967 through 1980 and then returned under Pat Dye from ’87 through ’90, with coaching stops at Alabama and Temple in-between his Auburn stints. Walker became the AD at his alma mater and did wonders at Oklahoma, building new facilities and increasing the budget significantly and effectively.

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