Helmet sticker

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Helmet stickers, also known as reward decals and pride stickers, are stickers that are affixed to a high school or college football player's helmet. They can denote either individual or team accomplishments.


ESPN says the practice of awarding helmet stickers is often wrongly credited to Ernie Biggs, also a trainer at Ohio State under legendary coach Woody Hayes.[1] They instead claim that the practice of awarding stickers began with Jim Young, former assistant coach at Miami in 1965, two years before they were used by the Buckeyes.[1]

An even earlier[when?] attribution is given to Gene Stauber, freshman coach at Nebraska (1955–1957) by head coach Pete Elliott.[2] Stauber routinely used stickers throughout his tenure as assistant coach at Illinois (1960–1970), as a 1962 photo of All-American linebacker Dick Butkus indicates.[3] The stickers stem from fighter pilots marking their planes with stickers after kills and/or successful missions.[4]

Current usage[edit]

Division I FBS colleges[edit]

  • Arkansas: Hog Head logo
  • Akron: Blue Star (unconfirmed)
  • Buffalo: White State of New York
  • Clemson: Paw Print
  • Duke: Grim Reaper (only for defensive players)
  • Florida State: Tomahawk (tomahawks given for academic achievements have "ACADEMIC" written up the handle of the tomahawk)
  • Georgia: White Bone (football excellence) and Black Bone (academic excellence)
  • University of Illinois: State of Illinois (on left side for on-field performance) and Illini Victory Shield (on right side for doing things right off-field)[5]
  • Kent State: Golden Flashes logo
  • Louisiana Lafayette: Fleur-de-lis/Gold Fleur-de-lis
  • Louisiana Monroe: Maroon Star/Warhawk Talon
  • Michigan: Football with wolverine in the middle
  • Michigan State: White Block "S"/Javelin
  • Nevada: Axe
  • Northwestern University: White Wildcat
  • Ohio State University: Buckeye Leaf
  • Pittsburgh: "Pitt" logo
  • Purdue: Train
  • SMU: Pony logo(only on white helmets)
  • Stanford: Axe Blade
  • Toledo: Yellow Rocket
  • Western Michigan

Division I FCS colleges[edit]

  • Alabama A&M
  • Florida A&M: Snake Heads
  • Fordham University: Ram Head
  • Illinois State: Reggie Redbird
  • North Carolina A&T
  • Youngstown State: White Star
  • New Hampshire
  • Butler: Dog Bone
  • South Dakota State

Discontinued usage[edit]

  • Air Force: Lighting Bolt
  • Appalachian State: Josef
  • Arizona: Wildcat Paw
  • Arkansas State: "I Will"
  • Baylor: Green Star
  • Bowling Green: "BG" logo
  • BYU: Gold Cougar (Personal Goals) and Blue Cougar (Team Goals, Wins)/"HC"(used only on throwback helmets)
  • California: Football (football with big C and "WIN" on it, Growling Bear head ('70s))
  • Central Michigan: Yellow Block C
  • Cincinnati
  • Colorado: Buffalo
  • Eastern Michigan
  • East Carolina: Skull Pirate Logo
  • Florida Atlantic
  • Fresno State: White Bone, Yellow Bone, and Black Bone
  • Georgia State: Panther, a block "M" (standing for magnanimatas, or "greatness of spirit" in Latin), and a gold star for academics
  • University of Hawaii: Warrior helmet and cross spears [6]
  • Houston: White Paw
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky: White Wildcat Paw/Blue Wildcat Paw(only on white helmets)
  • Louisville: Cardinal
  • Marshall: Green Horn
  • Maryland: Red Turtle and Yellow Turtle
  • Memphis: Tiger Paw
  • Miami(Ohio): Star/Tomahawk
  • Mississippi State: White Bone
  • Missouri: Tiger Paw
  • North Carolina State: Wolf Fang
  • New Mexico State: Aggie "A"
  • North Carolina: Tar Heel
  • Northern Illinois: White Bone
  • Oklahoma State: Cowboy
  • Rice: Owl
  • Rutgers: Sword
  • San Jose State
  • Southern Miss: Eagle
  • South Carolina: Gamecock foot with spur
  • South Florida: Green Bull Logo
  • Temple: Diamond
  • Tennessee
  • Texas Tech: Red Star [7]
  • Tulane: Fleur-de-lis
  • Tulsa: Skull and Crossbones
  • UConn: Huskie/"C" logo
  • UCLA: Blue Bear Paw
  • Utah: Utes logo
  • Utah State-Block letter 'A'/Bull
  • Vanderbilt: Ship Anchor(only on gold helmets)
  • Western Kentucky: "WKU" Red Towel logo
  • West Virginia: Musket
  • Wyoming: Small Bucking Horse