The Michigan Football helmet is arguably the most iconic and recognizable piece of equipment not just in college football, but in all of sports.
The design consisting of a dark navy base and a bright maize wing began back in 1938 when a man by the name of Fritz Crisler arrived to Ann Arbor from Princeton University. As Crisler recalled, the plain black helmet prior to his arrival needed some improvement.
"Michigan had a plain black helmet and we wanted to dress it up a little," said Crisler. "We added some color (maize and blue) and used the same basic helmet I had designed at Princeton."
In addition to the enhanced visual appeal of the design, Crisler also believed that the wing design assisted the quarterbacks in being able to see the wide receivers downfield.
Since it's introduction in 1938, Michigan's winged helmet design has undergone several transformations that have largely remained true to the original. The most significant change occurred in 1969 with the arrival of former head coach Bo Schembechler. The man who would become the most revered head coach in Michigan Football history was ultimately responsible for the maize, football-shaped award decals that still appear on the helmets today.
While the award decals typically feature the profile image of a Wolverine, highlights from the first two days of fall camp have shown several other images now appearing on the award decals.