Kevin Sumlin has put an emphasis on embracing the Arizona Wildcats’ tradition since taking over as head coach in January.
One of the first phone calls he made after taking the job was to legendary head coach Dick Tomey. Sumlin also retained Chuck Cecil as an analyst, and invited other alumni to spring ball.
“We want you around the program,” he told them. “It was an exciting time when you guys were here, and we want to make it an exciting time again.”
Having former players around the program can rekindle that spirit, Sumlin said Wednesday at Pac-12 Media Day, but there is another way to commemorate the glory days, too.
“We might even have a uniform or two down the road with a throwback deal. ... We’re looking for those days,” he said, referring to the Desert Swarm era of the early 1990s.
Sumlin wasn’t so specific as to when the uniforms could be introduced.
“Maybe, sometime,” he said. “Maybe not this year, but I think there is one coming.”
Arizona’s uniforms have been a point of contention in recent years. The team has made gradient a staple of its uniform design, as well as shoulder stripes, and three different colored helmets (including red ones that look like tomato cans) — elements that are far from traditional.
Some people like the new look. Many others don’t. But Desert Swarm throwbacks surely will be something that will unite the fanbase if they are done correctly.