History of USC . Football Helmets

The USC helmet, like the USC soccer uniform, is a classic American sportswoman and college football player. The Trojan logo is iconic. The uniform is a simple look in pure, sharp colors that speak to the traditions and prestige of the USC program.

Like Penn State, Alabama, and other tradition-rich college football programs, USC does not need an alternate uniform. The original is the best and always will be. No need for changes.

However, the USC helmet was not always the same. A simpler, simpler helmet before the 1960s gave way to a red helmet in the 1960s, and then the Trojan emblem in the 1970s. The Trojan horse logo was a little bigger in some years, and a little smaller in others, but it’s unbelievable to have anything else on a USC helmet these days.

Simply know that it wasn’t always the exact same look.

For more information on this fun little dive into USC football history, visit the full USC Archive On the Helmet History website.

Another note: The cover photo for this story is from 1993, in case you were wondering what the current year is.

Enjoy the set of photos below:

1938 . season

The annual Rose Bowl Festival ended, USC victorious, defeating Duke University 7 to 3 in front of a crowd of 91,000 spectators, during a downpour in Pasadena, California on January 2, 1939. Dan Hill, #35, Duke Center runs around the finish after intercepting a pass. (AP Photo)

1950

Frank Gifford of the University of Southern California. (Photo by University of Southern California/Getty Images)

1962

End Hall Bedsall of Southern California (19) jumps high to take a good 23-yard pass for the USCs’ fifth touchdown against Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl, January 1, 1963, Pasadena, CA. Half-back Jim Nettles (26). Then the bed sole slipped off the end area and a fan grabbed the ball. It was taken from him. USC won, 42-37. (AP Photo)

1965

November 20, 1965; Los Angeles, California, USA: file photo; Southern California Troy coach John MacKay with receiver Ray Cahill (26) on the sidelines during the 1965 USC-UCLA game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory credit: Long Photography-USA TODAY Sports

1967

October 14, 1967; South Bend, Indiana, USA; file image; The Trojans of Southern California run behind OJ Simpson in a game against Notre Dame at Notre Dame Stadium. USC defeated Notre Dame 24-7. Malcolm Emmons USA Today Sports

1968

November 30, 1968 Los Angeles, California, USA: file photo; Southern California Trojans running back OJ Simpson (32) holds the ball against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish during the 1968 season at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory credit: Long Photography-USA TODAY Sports

1969 (CFB Centenary)

November 22, 1969 Los Angeles, California, USA; file image; Southern California Troy quarterback Jimmy Jones (8) against the UCLA Bruins at the Los Angeles Coliseum. The Trojans defeated the Bruins 14-12. Mandatory credit: Darryl Norenberg-USA TODAY Sports

1970 rose pot

This is how Southern California quarterback Bob Chandler took a pass from quarterback Jimmy Jones and danced around and past three Michigan defenders to score the touchdown that gave USC a 10-3 win at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Jan. 1, 1970. Chandler breaks Moore’s tackle, then overtakes On Barry Pearson (29) to the finish zone. (AP Photo/David F. Smith)

1972

December 2, 1972; Los Angeles, California, USA: file photo; Southern California Trojans running back Sam Cunningham (39) jump over the pile against Notre Dame Fighting Irish at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory credit: Long Photography-USA TODAY Sports

1974

date unknown, 1974; Los Angeles, California, USA: file photo; Southern California Trojans quarterback Pat Haden (10) with offensive coordinator John Robinson (centre) and head coach John McKay (left) during the 1974 season at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory credit: Long Photography-USA TODAY Sports

1976

November 20, 1976 Los Angeles, California, USA: file photo; Vince Evans quarterback Southern California Troy (8) under center against the UCLA Bruins during the 1976 season at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory credit: Long Photography-USA TODAY Sports

1978

September 23, 1978 USC Trojans RB Charles White (12) v Alabama. Malcolm Emmons USA Today Sports

1979

November 24, 1979 Los Angeles, California, USA; file image; Southern California wide receiver Kevin Williams (12) holds the ball against the UCLA Bruins at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory credit: Long Photography-USA TODAY Sports

1985

1985: Tailback Fred Crutcher of the USC Trojans runs down the field during a game against the Stanford Cardinal at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California. He won the match 30-6. Mike Powell / All Sport

1988

September 24, 1988: USC Trojans quarterback Rodney Pitt calls out the rhythm during a game against the Oklahoma Sooners at the Los Angeles Coliseum in Los Angeles, California. USC won the match 23-7. Mandatory credit: Stephen Dunn/All Sport

1990

November 20, 1990 Los Angeles, CA, USA: file photo; Southern California Trojans run back Chad Morton (7) in a game against the UCLA Bruins during the 1999 season at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Longitudinal Photography – USA Today Sports

1994

November 12, 1994: Linebacker Jeff Cobb of the USC Trojans runs on the field during a game against the Arizona Wildcats at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California. USC won the match 45-28.

1997

September 6, 1997: Wide receiver R. Jay Soward holds the 18th USC football after he catches a Trojan during a 14-7 loss to the Seminoles of Florida at the Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California. Mandatory credit: Todd Warshaw/All Sport

1998

October 3, 1998: Wide receiver R. Jay Soward No. 18 of the USC Trojans runs with the ball during a game against the Arizona State Sun Devils at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California. The Trojans defeated the Sun Demons 35-24.

2002

LOS ANGELES – SEPTEMBER 2: Quarterback Carson Palmer #3 of the USC Trojans looks forward to handing teammate Sultan McCullough #4 against the Auburn Tigers at the Los Angeles Coliseum on September 2, 2002 in Los Angeles, California. USC defeated Auburn 24-17. (Photo by Harry He/Getty Images)

2004

PALO ALTO, CA – SEPTEMBER 25: Matt Groteogeed #6 and Lova Tatubo #58 of the USC Trojans celebrate on the field during the game against the Stanford Cardinal on September 25, 2004 at Stanford Stadium in Palo Alto, California. USC defeated Stanford 31-28. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

2006

LOS ANGELES – NOVEMBER 18: Tailback CJ Gable #25 of the USC Trojans holds the ball against Brandon Mippany #52 and the California Golden Bears during the game November 18, 2006 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California. The Trojans defeated the Bears 23-9. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

2009

November 28, 2009; Los Angeles, California, USA; Southern California Trojans running back Joe McKnight (4) runs the ball against the UCLA Bruins during the second half at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Defeat Southern California UCLA 28-7. Gary A. Vasquez – USA TODAY Sports

2012

November 10, 2012; Los Angeles, California, USA; Southern California Trojan nose tackle George Oko (90) tackles Arizona State Sun Devils quarterback Taylor Kelly (10) at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. USC defeated Arizona 38-17. Mandatory credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports

2015

26 Sep 2015; Tempe, Arizona, USA; Detailed view of a Southern California Trojan helmet against the Sun Devils, Arizona at Sun Devil Stadium. Mandatory credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

2017

December 29, 2017; Arlington, Texas, USA; Overview of the 2017 Cotton Bowl logo on the back of Southern California Trojans long snapper Jake Olson helmet at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

2019

LOS ANGELES, CA – SEPTEMBER 7: Defensive tackle Dallen Wade Berry #50 of Stanford Cardinal presses Kidon Sloves #9 of USC Trojans while throwing a pass in the fourth quarter of the game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on September 7, 2019 in Los Angeles. Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

2021

September 25, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; USC Trojans quarterback Raesjon Davis (9) celebrates after being intercepted in the second half of the game at United Airlines Field at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

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