Tennessee uniform history
After several years with Adidas, highlighted by the debut of grey alternate uniforms, Tennessee moves to Nike this fall. While we haven’t seen what the Swoosh has in store for the Vols, we have designed a few Nike concepts in hopes of how they might look.
Tennessee began wearing its familiar shade of orange in 1927 and its been the color of choice since on gamedays. White numerals, similar to how the Vols’ uniforms look today, were added nine years later.
During the 2009 season, Tennessee brought back its black alternate jersey (for the first time since 1920) with contrasting orange accents against South Carolina. Black was actually the Vols’ primary uniform color from 1911-1920. Orange pants, now used at home with orange jerseys as an alternate and on the road at times, made their debut in 1977.
The Vols have worn variations of the same helmet since 1965 when the ‘Power T’ became the primary logo. When you see the recognizable white shell and orange decal with an orange stripe, you know it’s Tennessee. During the second half of the season in 1965, the Vols added a black cross in the middle of the ‘Power T’ to commemorate three assistant coaches who died in a car accident that October.
The only major change to Tennessee’s helmet look over the last half century came at the end of the 1973 season when the Vols used two orange stripes around a single white stripe during their final three games. Tennessee changed from grey facemasks to white in 1985 and hasn’t altered the look since.
Tennessee’s preferred road option is a monochrome all-white look and has been for several decades. Pants have varied with stripes or no stripes, but the combination hasn’t. At times, the Vols do bring out orange pants as a road alternate.
Current preferred uniform combinations