From the Archives: Uniform Norms, Transformed

In Terps Basketball’s 100th Season, See How Game-Day Looks Evolved
By Annie Dankelson | Photo illustration by Valerie Morgan / Student-athlete photos courtesy of University Archives and Maryland Athletics / Background photo by iStock

Over the past century, University of Maryland basketball has come a long way—not only in its number of wins, but also in the length of athletes’ socks and shorts.

With the program celebrating its 100th varsity season this year, University Archives took us on a revealing tour of how men’s game-day uniforms have changed. After sporting plain black jerseys, high socks and shorts with belts (!) in its first full season in 1910–11, Maryland sporadically fielded teams before returning to stay in 1923–24.

Since then, kneepads came and went, the awkwardly short shorts of the ’70s gave way to today’s baggier style, thick material evolved to feature sweat-wicking technology, and the logo of Terp-founded Under Armour appeared on the uniforms. UMD introduced elements of the Maryland state flag as well, whether the M flag logo, the M bar or simply its bold pattern.

Coaches’ preferences also played a role, says longtime equipment manager Ronald J. Ohringer ’85. Bob Wade liked the script font, while Gary Williams ’68 reverted to the block Maryland. Lefty Driesell incorporated gold and black jerseys into the red and white mix. Now, UMD under Mark Turgeon uses all four colors, with one addition: a commemorative patch on the back to celebrate this centennial season.

The Madness Ensues
UMD Basketball Revamps Midnight Tradition at One-mile Run

Any student who happened to be awake near then-Byrd Stadium at midnight 47 years ago would’ve encountered an unexpected sight: Amid the glow of cars’ headlights, members of head coach Lefty Driesell’s UMD basketball squad were running around the track.

In the wee hours of Oct. 16, the team and hundreds of fans revived that legendary pre-season event with the Midnight Mile at the Kehoe Track & Field Complex. The new one-mile run was a nod to that original Midnight Madness held at 12:03 a.m. on Oct. 15, 1971, the first possible day to hold practice that season. The run honored Maryland basketball’s 100th season and newly inducted Naismith Hall of Famer Driesell.

Several other colleges nationwide picked up Maryland’s idea as it evolved into a fan-fest type of event—at UMD, it’s now the wildly popular Maryland Madness, filled with a scrimmage, shooting contests and more. This pared-back version took the Terps back to their running roots.


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