When New Mexico coach Steve Alford suggested creating a jersey that incorporated an old-school Lobos logo and the color scheme the school used to wear in the '70s and '80s, associate athletic director Brad Hutchins set to work making that vision a reality.
The result is an unusual throwback jersey that incorporates pieces of several former looks. There's an older Lobos logo worn primarily in the 1960s and '70s. There's an outline of the state of New Mexico. And there's the familiar cherry, silver and white colors with a hint of turquoise, a primary school color in the 1970s and '80s.
Seniors Drew Gordon, A.J. Hardeman and Phillip McDonald modeled the jerseys on Wednesday afternoon at a news conference and the entire team will don them for the first time Saturday when New Mexico hosts Wyoming.
"They wanted a way to honor the past," Hutchins said. "We've done traditional throwbacks in the past. In 2005, I did a turquoise jersey from 1970 and in 2006, I did a replica from the 1966 team. We just wanted to do something a little different this year, something that spanned a couple decades rather than just one era."
Reaction to the jerseys has been mixed on TheRedMenace.com, a New Mexico-themed sports site.
Said one commenter: "The players' expressions look like kids' faces when they get underwear for a birthday present. Ugh!" Countered another, "My 13-year-old son looked at the picture and said "Those uniforms are sick! I want one!"
Enough people seem to agree with the 13-year-old to please Hutchins. Since New Mexico released pictures of the jerseys on Facebook on Monday, it has sold several hundred replica jerseys and almost 400 T-shirts with the same design.
"If you look at the Albuquerque Journal today, we were on the front page of the regular paper and the sports paper showcasing the uniform design," Hutchins said. "We're pretty excited about the exposure we've gotten. We think it has been well received."
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