The winds of change continued to blow for the East Tennessee State University athletic department.
Less than a month after the school was readmitted to the Southern Conference, ETSU unveiled its new athletic logos as part of a new branding initiative Wednesday at the Carnegie Hotel. Beginning this school year, ETSU’s teams will be represented by the basic “E” logo that incorporates the outline of the state of Tennessee as part of the letter. It’s the same E in the university’s overall logo, which was unveiled in April.
There are also secondary logos, one of which includes the “E” logo as part of ETSU and the other a profile of a new Buccaneer.
In front of a packed house at the Carnegie’s Grand Soliders Ballroom, school officials also announced that they had reached an agreement for the ETSU men’s basketball team to play all of its home games at Freedom Hall Civic Center.
Part of the festivities included showing off a football helmet and selling licensed ETSU merchandise. Student-athletes and coaches from several teams modeled new uniforms and practice gear.
Richard Sander, ETSU’s athletic director, said the school had looked back and counted at least 126 different logos representing the university though the years.
“This would be like Coca-Cola or McDonald’s having 126 logos,” Sander said. “We just can’t move forward like we want to more forward. These new logos, helmets, uniforms and images are part of a new era for ETSU athletics. The familiar Bucky logo of the last decade will always be part of our history and it represents an era that was extremely successful for our program during our time in the Atlantic Sun Conference. But today, we are looking ahead to even more success in the Southern Conference and beyond, and our new logos and branding approach will be a part of that mission.
“To incorporate the university’s new logo into our athletic brand make sense for many reasons, but the biggest is to help visualize the identity that we all want to share on this campus. We are all Buccaneers and now our athletic teams will compete under the same banner as that of our students, faculty and staff.”
Tennis coach Yaser Zaatini took the stage and enthusiastically showed his team’s practice tee shirts. Zaatini’s team left the Atlantic Sun Conference by winning the last eight league championships.
“I’m truly excited,” Zaatini said. “Everything that’s new ... I love the look. I love the identity. I love the way that one single letter describes so many things. We’ve been through a couple of logo changes, but I think we got it right.”
For football coach Carl Torbush, it was another step toward the reality of having a program restarted. The Bucs don’t play until the 2015 season,
“We got at least one helmet now,” Torbush said with his usual style of humor.
In all seriousness, the helmet was one of the main focal points of the event. The dark blue helmet with the gold “E” logo also includes gold flecks in the paint.
“I think it turned out great,” Torbush said. “This is our brand and this is what we are. It’s eye catching,” Torbush said. “The closer you get up to it, with the gold specs, the better it looks.”
While uniforms and practice garb were unveiled for some teams, football uniforms were not part of Wednesday’s festivities.
“There’s a lot of things we can do with the uniform to match the helmet,” Torbush said. “The next thing will be the uniform. I know we’ve got a lot of nosey signees that were on the internet all day long trying to see what’s going on.”
East Tennessee State University unveiled the new look for its athletic teams Wednesday in a news conference, using the university's new "E" logo featuring the shape of Tennessee and a new version of the Buccaneer mascot.
ETSU athletics also announced that the Bucs would play their home basketball games at Johnson City's Freedom Hall Civic Center next season.
The images below are ETSU athletic logos of the past, as well as the new uniforms and football helmets.
Keep visiting JohnsonCityPress.com for more on the new Bucs.