The Charlotte 49ers have checked off most of the boxes necessary for a collegiate football program making its debut this fall.
They have a head coach (former Wake Forest defensive coordinator Brad Lambert), a stadium (the recently completed McColl-Richardson Field) and a future FBS home (Conference USA, likely joining in 2015 after two years as a FCS independent). One missing ingredient? Uniforms.
That issue was resolved Saturday night at a silent auction, when Lambert revealed the new green (for home games) and white (for away) threads.
The 49ers could have gone in a multitude of different directions considering the university sports four colors (green, white, gold and black) but they decided to stick to the basics.
“We wanted to try to keep it simple,” Lambert told the Charlotte Observer. “We looked at some ideas that were just too busy.
“Decisions like this that we’re making are somewhat permanent, so you want to make sure you get it right.”
Lambert also understood who the target audience was for the uniforms should be, saying, “One of the things that you want to do it try to look through the eyes of an 18- or 19-year old. What’s it going to look like to them and are they going to be excited about it?” Selling recruits on a program that didn’t even exist until a few years ago will be tough, so the coaches will need every edge they can get.
There was obviously some enthusiasm for the uniforms, which sold for $3,000 each during the auction. Other items included golf with the coaching staff and a chance to be honorary coach at next year’s spring game.
Judging the uniforms from the perspective of someone a little older than 18? They look good. The 49ers, who play their first game on Aug. 31 against Campbell, are blessed with some sharp colors, and Nike took full advantage of them. The piping and sleeve accents add a little bit of style without going over the top, and there is nothing offensive about the font used for the numbers. I’m sure as the program gets older it’ll start to incorporate all-blacks or all-golds, but for a fledgling team embarking on their first campaign, this is a nice start.