UD’s big reveal: Flyers will wear new jerseys with old colors Friday

Dayton will show off new look during game against SMU

Fans of Marianist Blue, or Columbia Blue, or baby blue — whatever you want to call it — will bask in their favorite color Friday night at UD Arena.

The Dayton Flyers will wear new jerseys with the old UD colors during the second game of the season against Southern Methodist. UD teased an announcement about a return to a shade of blue that was last the school’s dominant color in the early 1990s on Tuesday and made it official at 7 p.m. Thursday.

Dayton sophomore forward DaRon Holmes modeled the new jerseys, standing at center court at UD Arena for photos taken Wednesday.

Dayton fans have sought a return to the old color in the form of throwback jerseys for years. Why did it happen now?

“We tried to get it going a couple of years ago,” said Dayton Senior Associate Athletics Director Robby Poteat. “We were looking at them in 2019-20, and then COVID happened, and it kind of fell apart. It was tough to get a normal set of jerseys, let alone an extra set. The stars have to align. The answer is much more basic than fans want. If the players and coaches want them and they’re on board, you’re like, ‘OK, let’s give it a shot.’ I know it’s been a fan favorite for a number of years.”

UD didn’t know the uniforms were arriving until this week.

“It’s honestly luck it happened this week,” Poteat said. “We’re thankful, and we’ve got an opportunity with a Friday night game against SMU, so let’s let it rip.”

Fans can buy their own version of the uniform through Dayton’s website for $69.99. Fans can pre-order them, and they’re expected to be available Nov. 18.

The uniforms the Flyers will wear Friday differ from the normal home uniforms in several ways. White is the dominant color of the home uniforms. Marianist Blue is the dominant color for these. The old interlocking UD logo adorns the waistband. There are red and white stripes on the sleeves and collar and at the top and bottom of the shorts.

Poteat said UD worked with templates provided by Nike in designing the new look.

“We always try to think about what’s in the best interest of players,” he said, “and then you go from there. College athletics, what’s different between this and any Fortune 500 company is there are two populations of customers. You have your fans, season-ticket holders, supporters, alums and their connection to the institution and what they remember as special — whether it’s this color jersey or this logo or this mark. Then there are the students, student-athletes and the prospective student-athletes who have to choose you. That’s probably an equally, if not more, important product. You always circle around their opinions and what they want.”

The Marianist Blue never truly disappeared at UD. The top of the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception at the center of campus is painted that color. Until the three-year renovation project at UD Arena began in 2017, the logo with the old colors adorned the Tartan surface under the court at UD Arena.

Poteat said UD considers Marianist Blue a minor color. The university website lists two darker shades of blue as well as two shades of red as the school’s primary colors.

“If you look hard across athletics, you may see you may see it in baseball a little bit,” Poteat said. “We’ve allowed some of our teams to use it with travel gear or warm-ups and things like that, but it hasn’t been a primary color obviously for some years.”

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