1968  Panthers
(Authentic Reproduction)





Perhaps thinking that a change in uniforms would change the Panthers’ fortunes, Coach Hart returned to the more traditional Old Gold shell and added one-and-one half-inch Navy blue identification numerals on the rear of the helmet. Knowing he had to stop the bleeding and win a few games and play others in a competitive fashion, Hart again relied on his highly touted sophomore class. One of the knocks on the program had become the underachieving efforts of what was considered to be three outstanding Pitt recruiting classes. Denny Ferris returned from his '67 eye injury to lead the team in rushing, a task that was perhaps less impressive when viewed in the context of the team scoring more than two offensive touchdowns only once. Quarterback was left to 5'9" Dave Havern, a scrappy competitor who utilized 230-pound fullback Tony Esposito as a primary weapon although tight end George “Doc” Medich was effective at times. He was more effective on the baseball diamond, later becoming a star pitcher in the Major Leagues and a successful orthopedic surgeon. The third consecutive 1-9 season included a yield of a whopping 395 points, 63 against UCLA in the opener and 65 versus Penn State in the finale where adding a one-inch Navy blue center stripe to the helmet obviously did not help. Hart was fired at the end of the season and to his credit, he became a highly regarded athletic director at both Louisville and Missouri, being elected to the Athletic Directors Hall Of Fame for his innovative and effective work where he nurtured a number of proteges such as Terry Don Phillips who also became well-known AD's. Hart's son, Dave Hart, Jr. has excelled as the Athletic Director at East Carolina, Florida State, and Tennessee.

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