Game Worn - 1959




Only a broken collarbone, suffered during the seventh game of his senior season in 1955 prevented Don Meredith of Mount Vernon, TX High School from being named All State for the second consecutive year. As the most highly recruited QB in the state, he reportedly told Bear Bryant that he would play anywhere for him EXCEPT at Texas A&M. The fun-loving All State basketball player and gifted athlete could not accept a four year stint at an all-male environment so he went to SMU to play for coach Bill Meek. Meredith became the starter mid-way through his sophomore season and set and NCAA record for pass completion percentage. He was the leading passer in the Southwest Conference in 1957 and 1959 but a weak supporting cast kept the Mustangs at 4-5, 6-4, and 5-4-1 in Meredith's three years at the helm. Meek gave the Ponys the unusual distinction of wearing a white helmet with a blue center stripe flanked by red stripes and blue numerals on the sides for their home games and alternating it with a red shell as shown here for their road games, from 1957 through 1961.

This wonder piece of SMU history was a gift from the equipment guys in the early 60s.  This RK4 helmet is completely original from the painted white bordering stripes that show us the 32 hole ventilation, to the 6 point suspension, internal concussion padding and neck support.

The 1959 season was to be Meredith's zenith but the predicted Conference championship eluded him. With Abilene High School stars HB Glynn Gregory and future Baltimore Colt DB Jim Welch (at FB for SMU) who led the Eagles to three consecutive state high school titles, the SMU attack was high-powered but future KC Chiefs star Jerry Mays could not find enough defensive help to do more than put a scare into the conference leaders. After Meredith graduated for the Dallas Cowboys, the bottom fell out with the Mustangs falling to 0-9-1 in 1960. By 1962, Hayden Fry, a young Arkansas backfield coach who was credited with developing Lance Alworth, had become the new SMU coach and a new era had begun.

Thanks to John and Ken!