Red and White – A New Maryland ‘Tradition’

Terps fans who believe today’s uniforms represent tradition should know that the early years saw the team clothed in a variety of colors, from gray and maroon to black and gold.  When Harry C. “Curley” Byrd hired Clark Shaughnessy to coach the 1942 football season, Shaughnessy superstitiously insisted on changing the uniforms to the red and white team colors he had used at Stanford and the University of Chicago.  On September 27, 1942, Maryland opened its season versus the University of Connecticut sporting the new colors, and rolled to 34-0 victory.

Johnny Gilmore catches pass vs. Connecticut, 1942

Johnny Gilmore (#48) catches a pass vs. Connecticut, 1942. From the 1943 Terrapin yearbook.

When Shaughnessy left after the 1942 season, the team again donned black and gold uniforms, as had been the tradition up to that time.  They returned to red and white in 1946, when Shaughnessy returned for a second stint as head coach.

Clark Shaughnessy, 1946

Clark Shaughnessy, c.1946.  From the 1947 Terrapin yearbook.

When University President Byrd hired the now-legendary Jim Tatum in 1947, Tatum kept the red/white color scheme, because it reminded him of his coaching roots at Oklahoma.  It was reported that when Shaughnessy was told late in his life that Maryland was still sporting the red and white, he was astonished.

To see more online images of Maryland football, please visit University AlbUM.

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One thought on “Red and White – A New Maryland ‘Tradition’

  1. Tatum kept the red and white jerseys, but made the helmets white with a black and gold stripe, thereby placating both camps. Of course, it helped that red, white, black and gold are the colors of the state flag as various Terrapin teams have reminded us, particularly over the past three years.

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