Golden Flashes put the 'Golden' in helmets for first bowl game in four decades

By Allen Moff | Staff Writer Published:

The Kent State Golden Flashes were more golden then ever when they entered Ladd-Peebles Stadium for Sunday's GoDaddy.com Bowl, sporting their gold helmets with the hotly anticipated decals on the front and back.

While the Flashes have been practicing in their gold helmets, which are actually their old blue helmets painted gold, the design of the decals was kept a secret until Sunday.

The gold helmets featured a large 'K' decal on the back and a pair of eagle eyes on the front, while the sides were left blank.

The gold helmets were head coach Darrell Hazell's personal reward to his players for earning the program's first bowl bid in 40 years.

Hazell concocted the gold helmet idea while taking an overall inventory of Kent State's football facilities after he first took over the program nearly three years ago. He found an old gold helmet buried in the back of the equipment room, had it cleaned and later placed it in a curio cabinet in his office.

"I said this is gonna be the helmet that represents us when we get to a bowl game," said Hazell.

A replica was then stationed in the team meeting room right above the water fountain, so the players would see it every day.

The players used the helmet as motivation to earn their first bowl bid in 40 years this season, and were eagerly anticipating its unveiling on Sunday.

The idea for the helmet's look actually came from former Kent State Deputy Athletic Director Tom Kleinlein, who is now the Athletic Director at Georgia Southern. Kleinlein came up with idea for eagle eyes on the front of the helmet, while Hazell implemented the 'K' on the back.

No word on if or when the gold helmets will ever be worn again.

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