Welcome to the MVictors Uniform Timeline where below you will find a descending timeline of changes to the Michigan football team uniforms over the years.   Originally drafted in January 2013, this project is a work in progress.  A huge thanks to Dr. Sap (Steve Sapardanis) for much of the detail especially during the Bo years, and Craig Barker of The Hoover Street Rag for sending over many of the bowl logos, and to Brandon Ho’s epic online jersey collection.   Do you have any updates?  Edits?  Tweaks?  Send me an email, tweet at me or post below..

Update October 2015: I’ve indexed the changes by decade so that pages will load better:

2000-2009 – Click here
1990-1999 – Click here
1980-1989 – Click here
1970-1979 – Click here
1940-1969 – Click here
1867-1939 – Click here

November 14, 2015 | Bloomington, IN | vs. Indiana
HELMET: To honor Chad Carr (the grandson of former head coach Lloyd Carr) who is battling terminal brain cancer, U-M players write messages on their helmets #CHADTOUGH.  FB Joe Kerridge’s helmet:

Chad Tough Joe Kerridge

October 31, 2015 | Minneapolis, MN | vs. Minnesota
HELMET: The helmet of Jabrill Peppers contains helmet stickers affixed inside the winged helmet stripes.  The first time in U-M history anything has been placed inside the stripes:


September 12, 2015 | Ann Arbor, MI | vs. Oregon State
HELMET: Helmet stickers, awarded following Utah game, appear on the winged helmet for the first time since 1994:

Michigan Helmet Stickers 2015
Effectively this is copy of the 1985-1994 (Version #3) helmet sticker, with a blue ring around the oval and a darker maize tone.  There are two versions of the sticker, one facing left, the other right.
JERSEY:  Blue tone on home jersey is darker.
PANTS:  Maize tone on home pants is darker.
De'Veon Smith Items removed from home uniform in 2015:

  • Block M from back neckline of JERSEY
  • Block M on PANTS (it had appeared since 1993)

September 7, 2015 | Ann Arbor, MI | Press Conference
HELMET: At Monday press conference prior to Oregon State game, Harbaugh responds to a question from a handsome blogger and confirms that the helmet stickers did indeed return in 2015, awarded after the Utah game.

September 3, 2015 | Salt Lake, City UT | vs. Utah
JERSEY/PANTS:  All-white jersey and pants combination return for first time since 1976 Orange Bowl and include with maize and blue stripes on end of sleeves and down the side of the pants.  Design mimics road uniform design worn for the 1973-1975 seasons.  Maize and blue tones are darker [this is confirmed with U-M equipment staff].


Items removed from away/road uniform:

  • Block M from back neckline of JERSEY
  • Block M on PANTS (it had appeared since 1993)

PANTS: Certain players (fewer than half) also wear thigh pads featuring an embossed Block M design:

HELMET:  Wings painted with a darker tone of maize than previous seasons:

August 13, 2015 | Salt Lake, City UT | via Twitter
APPAREL CONTRACT:  Michael Jordan tweets a short video in which he appears and states, “I’d like to introduce my first football team to the Jordan family.  Go Blue.”
Michael Jordan Tweet
Later, on September 2, 2015, Michigan AD Jim Hackett confirms the “Jumpman” logo will appear on the 2016 uniforms:  “(The Jumpman logo) is on the uniform,” Hackett said Wednesday. “I’ve seen the design.”

July 28, 2015 | Ann Arbor, MI | Press Release
LEGENDS/JERSEY:  Via a press release from the athletic department:

The University of Michigan Athletic Department announced today (July 28) plans to take the jerseys associated with the Michigan Football Legends back off the field. Gerald Ford (#48), Tom Harmon (#98), Desmond Howard (#21), Ron Kramer (#87), Bennie Oosterbaan (#47) and the Wistert brothers (#11) — Albert, Alvin and Whitey — will have their jerseys retired in a ceremony against Ohio State on Nov. 28.

At this time, Howard’s No. 21 jersey will officially be retired. Howard’s was the only jersey of the six that was not formally retired at Michigan prior to the implementation of the legends program.

July 6, 2015 | Ann Arbor, MI | Press Release

NIKE and Michigan
APPAREL CONTRACT: Via press release: “The University of Michigan has reached an agreement in principle with NIKE to become the Wolverines’ official athletic footwear, apparel and equipment provider to 2027, with an option to extend the deal to 2031. The partnership will commence August 1, 2016 and will see NIKE supply all 31 of U-M’s athletics programs with uniforms, footwear, apparel and equipment.””

March 31, 2015 | Ann Arbor, MI | The Michigan League
APPAREL CONTRACT:  Via the Michigan Daily.  While addressing a group of 20 students at the Michigan League, AD Jim Hackett acknowledges U-M is reevaluating the apparel sponsorship:

We’ve organized — this is a secret — a project team to look at the question of, there’s really three players: Adidas, Under Armour and Nike.

..After the completion of the fireside chat, Hackett told the Daily that if Michigan aims to switch from Adidas, it will have to do so by the end of the year.

SHOES:  During the meeting Hackett adds, “All the shoes are going to be black, he’s making it more conservative, Harbaugh-esque..”

October 11, 2014 | Ann Arbor, MI | vs. Penn State
The the adidas ‘Go Blue’ TECHFIT football uniform in unveiled with the following notes:
JERSEY: Description from the athletic department:

The jersey and pants feature metallic blue, laser-cut stripes that shine under the lights while ultra-light, no-sew metallic numbers stretch with the jersey, and the compression base layer features the Michigan “M” on the bicep and “GO BLUE” across the chest.

Photo from pregame:
Norfleet sizing up
SHOES:  Most of the Michigan players also wear all-maize shoes:
The maize kicks

October 30, 2014 | Ann Arbor, MI | vs. Appalachian State
HELMET:  Nosebumper, unchanged since 1985 when the manufacturer name was replaced with a label reading ‘MICHIGAN’, now features an embossed block M:

Michigan Football Helmet - Nosebumper HELMET: Maize paint is a darker shade in 2014 – analysis and comparison here.
LEGENDS:  WR Devin Funchess relinquishes the #87 Ron Kramer jersey/patch to wear the iconic (but not Legend) #1 jersey.  To start the 2014 season the #11 (Wisterts), #87 (Ron Kramer) and #21 (Desmond Howard) are not on the roster.
Devin Funchess - Michigan (Kelley Kuehne -

August 8, 2014 | Ann Arbor, MI
JERSEY/PANTS:  The U-M athletic department announces the team will wear “the new ‘Go Blue’ TECHFIT football uniform’ against Penn State on October 11, 2014.  More from adidas here.

February 12, 2014 | Ann Arbor, MI
MISC:  Michigan announces the hiring of equipment manager Brad Berlin to replace longtime (1974-2013) equipment manager Jon Falk.


December 28, 2013 | Tempe, AZ | Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl vs. Kansas State

JERSEY:  Team wears white jerseys with sponsor patch on left chest.  Note an accommodation was made to keep the Legends patch in the same slot, as the sponsor patch was set just over the left collar:

IMG_6861 gallon unitimeline

November 30, 2013 | Tempe, AZ | vs. Ohio State
SHOES:  Several players wear adidas shoes with a blue block ‘M’ on the heel – one style has a maize wrapping around the ankle, another with a maize stripe around the back:

1 Block M shoes



October 19, 2013 | Ann Arbor, MI | vs. Indiana
HELMET: Team wears pink ribbon for Breast Cancer Awareness:

Michigan helmet ribbon

October 5, 2013 | Ann Arbor, MI | vs. Minnesota
HELMET: Team wears helmet sticker that reads ‘LHS’ on the back of the helmet in honor of the late Lucas Higgins Stenavich, the son of former offensive tackle Adam Stenavich.

LHSSeptember 7, 2013 | Ann Arbor, MI | vs. Notre Dame
LEGENDS: Tom Harmon’s #98, retired after Harmon’s final game after the 1940 season, returns to the field.  QB Devin Gardner switches from #12 to #98, and dons the Legends patch.Gardner 98


September 7, 2013 | Ann Arbor, MI | vs. Notre Dame

JERSEY: A larger Block ‘M’ inserted above the nameplate below the back neckline.
GLOVES:  Team wears gloves with large maize block ‘M’ on palm.

2013 Uniform

August 27, 2013 | Ann Arbor, MI

LEGENDS: U-M athletic department releases names of players that will wear the open Michigan Football Legend jersey/patches for 2013:
* Tight end Devin Funchess:  #87 Ron Kramer
* Defensive back Courtney Avery: #11 The Wisterts
* Wide Receiver Jeremy Gallon: #21 Desmond Howard
April 13, 2013 | Ann Arbor, MI | Spring Game

Spring Game 2013 (Ann Arbor, MI)
JERSEY: Team wears special homeplate-shaped patch on left chest, reads ‘CS Mott Children’s Hospital, Spring Game’.
JERSEY: During spring practice quarterbacks wear orange Nike-manufactured Oregon State jerseys with black numbers with Adidas logo sewn on (left).  During Spring Game, quarterbacks wear Adidas manufactured orange jerseys (right):

Devin Gardner Orange


January 1, 2013 | Tampa, FL | Outback Bowl vs. South Carolina
HELMET:  Helmets were painted with matte finish for the first time in team history:

Matte JERSEY: Maize numbers with blue outline on white jerseys.  Blue covering on shoulders; sponsor patch on left breast.


Note: Unfortunately in the sunlight the bright maize on the white jerseys made it nearly impossible to identify the numbers from a distance (including on TV):


November 10, 2012 | Ann Arbor, MI | vs. Northwestern

LEGENDS: Michigan officially unretires the #11 jersey of the Wistert brothers – Francis Albert, and Alvin.   Safety Jordan Kovacs becomes first player honored with the #11 and wears the Legends patch on his jersey.   Albert “The Ox” Wistert, the only living brother, attends the game and is honored prior to kickoff.

The Wistert Brothers #11 - Michigan Football Legends Patch

November 10, 2012; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines safety Jordan Kovacs (11) and linebacker Jake Ryan (47) celebrate a defensive play against the Northwestern Wildcats in the fourth quarter at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE

October 13, 2012 | Ann Arbor, MI | vs. Illinois

LEGENDS: Michigan officially unretires the #48 jersey of former Michigan center, President Gerald Ford.LB Desmond Morgan (left) is honored with the #48 and dons the Legends patch:

Morgan legends

Gerald Ford #48 - Michigan Football Legends Patch



September 15, 2012 | Ann Arbor, MI | vs. Massachusetts
LEGENDS: Michigan officially unretires the #87 jersey of Ron Kramer.  TE Brandon Moore first player honored with the #87 and wears the Legends patch on his jersey the rest of the season.

Ron Kramer #87 - Michigan Football Legends Patch

September 8, 2012 | Ann Arbor, MI | vs. Air Force
HELMET:  Helmet numbers removed for remainder of 2012 (and beyond)
JERSEY: The words ‘MICHIGAN’ sewn below neckline on back of jersey:

LEGENDS: Michigan officially unretires the #47 jersey of Bennie Oosterbaan.  LB Jake Ryan becomes the first player honored with the #47 and wears the Legends patch on his jersey.

Jake Ryan

Bennie Oosterbaan #47 - Michigan Football Legends Patch

November 10, 2012 | Ann Arbor, MI | vs. Northwestern

HELMET: Helmet numbers return from 2011 season, however, but font is more of a block style and color is a brighter shade of maize—a closer match to the maize uniform color.  Helmet also includes a special Cowboys Classic logo sticker on the back of the helmet:

HELMET:  For 2012 (and continued in 2013), Michigan unveils “a new paint technology on the maize wings on the helmet in order…” and “create a more durable surface.”   Note that the paint also included gold “flecks” or flakes – clearly visible in person, tough to see on film or in photos:


JERSEY:  White road jersey with maize across the shoulders and down to the sleeve. Blue piping will separated the maize from the white on the jersey. A blue block ‘M’ appeared on the sleeves, numbers were blue.
PANTS: Maize pants, block block M on left thigh.
GLOVES: The Wolverines’ adizero Smoke gloves will featured lyrics to “The Victors”
SHOES/SOCKS: Striped socks with maize block ‘M’.


January 3, 2012 | New Orleans, LA| Sugar Bowl vs. Virginia Tech
JERSEY: White (road) jersey with two blue stripes on each shoulder, a blue neckline and a blue block M on the upper right chest, Sugar Bowl logo with sponsor patch on left chest.


October 15, 2011 | East Lansing, MI | vs. Michigan State

JERSEY:  Unannounced to the public, U-M swaps uniforms after warm-ups in East Lansing to a white version similar to the Under the Lights/Notre Dame jerseys.  Upper left breast has block ‘M’,   maize and blue stripes on shoulder, blue numbers on chest over white.
PANTS:  White pants, blue block ‘M’ on left thigh.

2011 Michigan uniforms vs. Michigan State

September 10, 2011 | Ann Arbor, MI | vs. Notre Dame
JERSEY:  Special ‘throwback’ uniforms revealed and marketed prior to the 2011 season.  Jerseys feature a large block ‘M’ on mid-chest, mini jersey number on left chest, maize and blue striped sleeves
SHOES/SOCKS: White with blue block ‘M’ on socks.
HELMET:  As part of the throwback look, helmets have gray facemasks and more importantly, helmet number decals.  For unknown reasons the maize shade on the number decals is darker than the maize on the wings and stripes.  (They are worn for the remainder of the 2011 season).
LEGENDS:  Michigan Football Legends program begins.  Current players will wear the jersey numbers of former U-M standouts.  On this day Desmond Howard’s #21 enters the Legends program; WR Junior Hemingway wears #21 with a honorary patch on the jersey breast.

Desmond Howard #21 - Michigan Football Legends Patch


September 3, 2011 | Ann Arbor, MI | vs. Western, MI
JERSEY:  A block ‘M’ added on back neckline of home jerseys.

September 18, 2010 | Ann Arbor, MI | vs. Massachusetts
HELMET:  Team honors Michigan legend Ron Kramer with #87 helmet sticker.  Kramer had passed away the week prior.


For more:

2000-2009 – Click here
1990-1999 – Click here
1980-1989 – Click here
1970-1979 – Click here
1940-1969 – Click here
1867-1939 – Click here

Follow MVictors on Twitter


  1. Pingback: The Canary Disaster of 1928 | | Michigan Football Blog

  2. In 1981 the “dramatic” football jersey changes concerned two key changes:
    1. the numerical font on their new Champion jerseys
    2. the size of the mesh holes on the jersey were enlarged (used in some, but not all games).

    I don’t know a standard source for numerical fonts for football jerseys. I use this key:

    Michigan’s jersey numeral font change in 1981 was most evident with jerseys having numbers 2 and/or 7 on them. All other numeral fonts looked the same as previous years.

    From 1969 to 1980 the number “2” on Michigan football jerseys reflected Varsity Classic C.
    Harlan Huckleby 1978: (See No. 2)
    Butch Woolfolk 1980: (see No. 2)

    In 1981, the numeral 2 was represented like the Varsity Classic D font on Michigan football jerseys.
    Here is Butch Woolfolk against Iowa in 1981 (Notice No. 2 is Varsity Classic C)

    Butch Woolfolk December 31, 1981, Bluebonnet Bowl vs. UCLA (notice No. 2 is Varsity Classic C)

    In 1981, the numeral 7 was represented like Varsity Classic B:
    Example: QB David Hall, Michigan 1982:

    Eventually Michigan standardized on Varsity Classic A font in 1984 forward.

    Few teams ever used the 1969-1980 Michigan jersey font again. But in 1994 you can that Penn State did:
    Kijana Carter, PSU TB:
    Kerry Collins, PSU QB:


  3. Pingback: The Uniform Changes Since Bo Era | | Michigan Football Blog

  4. Pingback: The Winged Wizard: Russ Hawkins and Capitol Varsity Sports |

  5. Pingback: Legends Update: Avery #11 (Wisterts), Funchess #87 (Kramer!), Gallon #21 (Desmond), #98 ??? | | Michigan Football Blog

  6. Pingback: Calling Them Crisps (Michigan 59, CMU 9) | | Michigan Football Blog

  7. Pingback: 1867-1939 Michigan Uniform Timeline |

  8. Pingback: Little Brown Jug Champions | Dr Sap’s Decals |

  9. Pingback: Little Brown Jug Champions | Dr Sap’s Decals |

  10. Pingback: Sights and Sounds: Fate, Cruelty and Our Share | Michigan 29, Gophers 26 |

  11. Pingback: Scarlet Knight Knockout | Dr. Sap’s Decals |

  12. Pingback: Scarlet and Prey: Michigan 49, Rutgers 16 | Sights and Sounds |

  13. Pingback: Double OT Hoosier Champions | Dr Sap’s Decals |

  14. Pingback: Sights and Sounds: Michigan 48, Indiana 41 (2 OT) |

  15. Pingback: Leaving Happy Valley Happy | Dr. Sap’s Decals |

  16. Pingback: Sights and Sounds: Michigan 28, Penn State 16 |

  17. Greg - MVictors

    Thanks Larry and thanks for the Oosterbaan pic. Next step will be to build out more of the deeper history (50s and earlier) and it’ll be a challenge. If you have a shot of the canaries I’d love to see it!


Comments? Do it, do it: