When people think of the Michigan Wolverines, one of their first thoughts is probably the iconic winged helmet.
Whether you’re a football fan or not, if you turn on the TV and see the Wolverines, you know exactly which team they’re based on the helmet. Going back to the late 1930s, Michigan had the winged helmet, and fans find it one of the sharpest helmets in all of football.
It depends on who you talk to, but different rankings rank the Michigan helmet in the top five of all college football helmets. Not only do rookies want to play in the biggest stadium in football, they dream of wearing winged helmets.
While some of the changes are huge, over the years Michigan has made changes to their helmet and you can see what’s up below.
The oldest helmet photo we could find. Coach Fritz Crisler wanted to spice up the solid color helmet by putting the corn winged feature on the leather helmet.
Michigan moved away from the leather helmet, and most Wolverines had a two-bar face mask on their helmets. The players had their number on the side of the helmet.
Coach Bo Schembechler created the helmet stickers Michigan fans know today. The stickers showed achievements in previous games or practices.
While the helmet decals remained for a few more years, Michigan went back to a basic look with just his corn-winged and blue helmet.
2011: Under the lights
In Game 2 of the season against Notre Dame in 2011, Michigan had an all-new jersey made for the first night game at Michigan Stadium. The helmets also had a twist by putting the numbers back to the side.
2012: Outback Bowl
In 2012, Michigan had another alternate jersey made to participate in the Outback Bowl against South Carolina. The helmets had a matte black finish on them.
Although it may be difficult to see, Michigan has added yellow flakes inside the corn portion of the helmet. The Wolverines also removed the numbers from the side of the helmet.
2013: 2nd match against Notre-Dame
Michigan wanted to add a little element against the Fighting Irish in the second game of the season in 2013. The Wolverines added some blue flakes on the blue part of the helmet.
During the 2014 season, the Wolverines made the corn a bit darker for the duration of the season. It may not be a big change, but there was a noticeable difference.
Welcome Coach Jim Harbaugh and Welcome Helmet Stickers. Additionally, the Wolverines darkened the corn again in 2015.
The corn got a bit brighter and the blue part of the helmet had a matte blue finish.
The Michigan helmet has a full matte finish – the modern college football look.