History of the USC Football Helmet

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1956: Pick a Number

After playing with the diamond, Jess Hill’s final season at USC in 1956 saw the Trojans adopt white helmet numerals.

With those helmets, the Trojans won one of the school’s biggest wins over racism. An Austin hotel the team was set to stay at before playing Texas turned out to be segregated, leading Hill to pull the team out of town and into an integrated hotel. They beat the Horns 44-20.

That year, USC went 8-2 and finished second behind Oregon in the Pacific Coast Conference, after losing out on the Rose Bowl following a 7-0 loss to the Ducks in Portland.

Following Hill’s departure after the season, the Trojans wore the most radical helmet in school history.