Hokie Stone helmets are a bizarre fashion statement for Virginia Tech, a uniform concept that makes its players look like the exterior of the buildings on campus.
The school unveiled the flashy new helmet design this week, one that makes the helmets look as if they were crafted with limestone bricks. It was met with some head scratching by critics.
There is a rationale behind the Hokie Stone helmets, however. The design adorning the helmets is the same “Hokie Stone” used as the facade for the buildings on the college’s campus. The university actually produces about 50 tons of Hokie Stone a week, and its quarry has been an integral part of Virginia Tech and its history.
From the university’s website:
“Facilities Services has operated a university owned quarry since 1869. The ashlar patterned stone facades (Hokie Stone) used on campus buildings are constructed of native limestone quarried and surfaced by Facilities Services personnel. Virginia Tech’s local quarry produces 25 to 50 tons of stone each week to support the supply for new buildings on campus.”
— Andy Bitter (@AndyBitterVT) September 19, 2013
Critics admit that the quarry and its limestone may play a big role in Virginia Tech’s history, but say the ugly looking Hokie Stone helmets aren’t the best way to honor it.
But those at Virginia Tech are standing behind the bizarre design.
“When you look at this helmet, it’s not flashy, but it means a tremendous amount to this university,” coach Frank Beamer said. “The outside world may have to do a double-take, but the Hokie Nation will know exactly what it is: Hokie Stone. And it’s something we’re proud of. The reason I like it, is because it represents what this program and this University are built on.”
Virginia Tech will unveil the Hokie Stone helmets at this Thursday’s game against Georgia Tech.