Athletics BeginBeing over 200 years old, Athletics at UNB goes back to the late 1880s with Football (what is Rugby today) and Track & Field.
With no moniker, UNB Athletics chose red and black as their colours and teams were simply referred to as 'UNB'. On occasion, they were referred to as 'The Hillman', because of the campus's position on a hillside, as well as the 'Red'n Black', but mostly as 'UNB'.
UNB was the only Maritime university to adopt red and black as their colours at the outset of the 20th century. An interesting side-effect of this colour choice is it makes looking at old pictures a challenge as dark red appears black in most photos.
Prior to a 'logo', teams would design their own uniforms with a mix of colours, stripes and sashes (called 'bends'). No real standard is evident in team pictures of the area, there is a mix of stripes, solids, bend dexter ('to the right') and bend sinister ('to the left').
The use of mixed colours and stripes also applied to the hockey team.
1910 - School's First LogoIn 1910, the school adopted a 'linked' logo of block letters - and 'N' and 'B' linked by a large 'U'. This style was becoming the emerging design standard of its time (examples shown; Notre Dame, North Carolina & Boston College). This logo would be used on and off for the next 50 years. These logos were hand-made and as such each one was a little different. Each letter would be cut from fabric and sewn onto the jersey by hand. The most noticeable difference was in how the creator would curve the bottom of the 'U', sometimes it was a graceful curve, other times it was more abrupt.
1939 - Art DecoSome teams updated the logo on their own over time. They continued to use the 'linked' idea, but chose a font that was more in-tune with current trends. Art Deco - Streamline Moderne was the trend in the late 30's and early 40's prior to World World II. Some teams used this version of the logo until the 1948 refresh.
1943 - Hockey Sets Their Own PathAfter World War II, with the lifting of war-time rations, new fabrics became available as well as assembly ideas (new stitching patterns). The jerseys from the mid 40's didn't use the linked logo, but instead went with a white background and mid-level tri-stripe and a bulls-eye logo which incorporated details from the school's official seal. The seal was also the main graphical element in the C.O.T.C. (Canadian Officer Training Corp) cap badge. This style was unique to the hockey team.
1948 - Logo RefreshPete Kelly started in 1948 as the school's first full-time Athletic Director and at the same time, the 'linked' logo was refreshed, the "U" was simplified and all three letters were taken from the same font family, Copperplate Gothic. By the 50s, multi-coloured fabrics and new printing options had become available; Screen-printing and heat transfer vinyl (HTV). The best example of this is the 1958 jersey below with a HTV linked UNB letter graphics, striped duel-colour shoulders and white arms and torso. The 1966 example is the linked UNB logo, created from a mix of felt/Tackle Twill and Chenille fabric, on the Women's basketball outfit.
1958 - Red Devils are BornIn January 1958, the sports writers of The Brunswickan (UNB's student newspaper), unilaterally started to assign names to each of the school's main athletic teams (of the day). The name chosen for the hockey team was "Red Devils". Despite having a moniker, the Athletic Department and Team did not officially use this name on any jersey. Instead, the team chose to use a clean 3-letter "U N B" as three equal sized letters across the jerseys. This became the 'default' jersey for most teams, not just hockey, going forward. The 3-letter "U N B" would remain on the hockey jersey, in some form or fashion, until 1988-89.
The most exceptional alternative is the 1965 "New Brunswick" jersey with each player's number on the right shoulder - quite a modern look for the mid-60's. This idea would return in 2012 with the team's black 'third' jersey (also note the Red Devil logo on the shoulder).
The department did embrace these 'unofficial' team names on jackets, shirts and marketing material. The picture below from 1967 shows two players sitting in the stands with team jackets (the one in the middle is Jim Morell). Other teams did embraced their names for their jerseys; Red Raiders for Basketball and Beavers for swimming.
From Students to SchoolPrior to Pete Kelly being hired, Athletics was funded and managed by students via the Student Union. There was an Athletic Council as part of the Student Union and teams had to submit budgets for financial support. There are numerous Brunswickan and Daily Gleaner stories in the 1900s to the 1940s of special funding requests for train tickets for teams to participate in out-of-town playoff games.
With Pete arriving in 1948, the school started to take an interest in managing athletics and eventually took over the entire athletic endeavour and created a formal Athletic Department, with its own budget, under the faculty of Physical Education. Despite this change in the management of athletics, there was no new 'name' for the program and each team continued to market the unique name given to it by The Brunswickan in 1958.
Red Shirts For AllHaving unique names for each team created some challanges on the national scene. It wasn't something Canadian Press (CP) was aware of, so when UNB's Men's Soccer team won the school's first CIAU National Team Title in 1980, the CP registered their name as the school's moniker in their datbase - Red Shirts. For years to come, whenever a UNB team made a trip to a national event, it wasn't uncommon to see stories, in other city's papers, about the Red Shirts playing hockey (Red Devils), basketball (Red Raiders or Red Bloomers) or field hockey (Red Sticks). This would become one of the motivations for a 'common' name later on.
1983 - The First Team LogoHead Coach Don MacAdam is responsible for the first logo that adopts the "Red Devils" moniker. The graphic below was used on team jackets and shirts starting in 1983 (sample shown is a jacket worn by 1985/86 head coach, Doug MacLean), but it did not appear on the jersey at this time. It does make an appearance later in 1988.
This logo is also used on UNB's '83/'84 AUAA banner hanging in the AUC.
This logo also appears on UNB's Camo Jersey V2.
1988 - Devil Centric JerseyThis jersey is the first to have a 'Devil' inspired logo as the main design element. This logo was created by Head Coach Rick Nickelchok in the fall of 1988. This logo remained on the jersey until 1993-94 when it was replaced with the Varsity Reds shield logo (not all team jerseys were changed over in 1992 when the new 'shield' logo was announced). It's also interesting to note the player's number is on the right shoulder, similar to 1965. Also, the 1983 logo makes its first appearance on the jersey - placed on both shoulders.
This logo can be found on the team's 1992 & 1993 MacAdam Division banners and the Mark Jeffrey retired jersey banner hanging in the AUC. It is also on UNB's Camo Jersey V3, UNB's 7th Championship Ring and as a helmet sticker in the past few years.
The same logo, without the devil, was used on the '60, '62 & '64 banners made at the same time as the MacAdam banners just mentioned and on one arm of UNB's Camo Jersey V4.
The 'Devil' from this logo appears on UNB's Camo Jersey V2 & V4 and on the shoulder of the 2012 3rd jersey.
1991 - A New Direction - Varsity RedsIn the fall of 1991, the UNB Athletics Department set out to establish a single 'brand' moniker for UNB Athletics. Up until that time, each team had developed its own name and logo. In some cases the name had been created by the team and in others by local press or fans. The names in use at that time were...
The VoteStarting in October '91 and ending in early January '92, students and alumni were encouraged to choose one of four possible selections for a common moniker. The choices were ...
- Red Lions
- Red Mariners
- Varsity Reds
The winner was announced on Friday January 29th, 1992 - Varsity Reds. The breakdown of votes was presented as a percentage of support, with Varsity Reds taking the majority of votes with 66%.
The LogoThe Athletics Department worked with Kiers Communications Group to come up with a logo that would work with this new moniker. The new logo was presented in the fall of '92 - a shield with the name UNB Varsity Reds along with a 'flash'. UNB Hockey won their first national title wearing this logo.
The original 'base' jersey colour was white or red with black shoulders. The base jersey, along with arm stripes, have changed every few years. Notice on the mid-90's ROAD-1 image that the shield’s outlined is black - later, in the early 2000s, the outline returned to red (ROAD-2). Also in the early 2000s, the team changed the base jersey to the Ottawa Senator's 3rd jersey colour scheme of that era (shown in HOME and ROAD-2).
2007 - Unofficial 'Swoosh' LogoIn 2007-08 the Hockey team changed the graphic on the jersey to a stylized UNB with a swoosh under the name. This logo draws a lot from American collegiate logos (e.g. New Hampshire, Maine and Wisconsin). This logo was not officially adopted by the Department. This concept was close to becoming the next iteration of the department's logo, but the logo was hard to embroider when small, the swoosh didn't allow for a lot of characters, so 'Basketball' became 'B-Ball' and when the logo was used on a team jersey, the text was changed or abbreviated to 'V-Reds', which really isn't the program's name, but was becoming the common description for the program.
All of the teams used this logo for a few years before moving entirely to the newly released 2009 version.
The hockey team continued to use this logo beyond 2009 and won five titles wearing this graphic.
2009 - Next GenerationOn August 31st, 2009, UNB Athletics announced a new Varsity Reds logo created by Cory Pacione of Creative Juices. This new graphic, based on the font Vibrocentric, was simpler in style and presentation and came in three colour options.
Despite the introduction of a new logo, the hockey team continued to use the 'Swoosh' graphic. The new logo was eventually added to the jersey's shoulder.
2018/19 - Rebrand - "REDS"In August 2018, the Department announced a new moniker for the Athletics program - REDS, dropping the 'Varsity' and the core of the graphic would be a strong letter 'R'. UNB's Director of Athletics John Richard says they had difficulties at times with the word "Varsity", as some students saw it as elitist and exclusionary. The new logo, which features UNB's trademark red, white, and black, is a circle, which the university says "binds UNB Reds from around the globe, and ties the Reds past and future together, with a modern 'R.'"
The samples shown below are the Primary Logo, Standalone 'R' variant and the 3rd version "REDS" with 'University of New Brunswick' over top.
For the 2018-19 season, the new logo would be added onto the existing 2017-18 base jersey. Standalone 'R's would be added to each shoulder. Also - the team would wear white helmets rather then black, which had been the trend for the past few years. On the player's helmet - an 'R' sticker on the right-side and a UNB Red Devils logo (1988 version) on the left-side. The UNB Swoosh logo is embroidered on the player's right leg.
For the 2019-20 season, an entirely new base jersey was selected with black shoulders and red trim as well as vintage stripes on the arms. An 'R' on right shoulder and a New Brunswick flag on the left. Names would be white on a red name bar. The helmet would remain white with the same stickers as the previous season.
In both seasons - black helmets are worn on the road with a red jersey with the same stickers.
Third JerseyUNB has two 3rd Jersey's which have a base colour of black.
2012/13 Black 3rd JerseyIn 2012, UNB Hockey introduced their first '3rd' Jersey. It was a throwback jersey based on some vintage themes. Across the front, rather then "U N B", it would be the written words "University", in all-caps san-serif font, with "New Brunswick", in a larger scripted serif font (Hancock Regular). On the shoulders is the red devil and pitchfork from the 1988 Red Devils logo. The player's number is on the front (player's lower right)
This jersey generally only saw ice-time in the pre-season on US road-trips and was not worn in the regular season often. It was worn as UNB's 'road' jersey in the 2016 University Cup. UNB won 3-1 over St. FX as the visitor wearing this jersey - likely became the first "3rd jersey" to be worn in a Championship win.
2018/19 Black 3rd JerseyIn the fall of 2018 (October 12th in Moncton vs UdeM), UNB Hockey introduced their second '3rd' Jersey - a 40th Anniversary Edition of the 1988 jersey. "U N B" spans the front with a devil and pitchfork skating out of the 'N'. The shoulders have both 'Reds' logos; the primary R & Circle on the left and the alternate standalone 'R' on the right. The helmets have the primary logo on the right and the 1988 Red Devil logo on the left. Note that Marcus McIvor's "C" is above the shoulder line rather then below - an interesting choice, leaving the front unblemished and clean.
This jersey saw mixed action during the regular season with the 'red' version of the jersey when UNB was required to wear 'darks' (AUS dictates 'darks' on the road before Christmas and at home after). It has been a big hit with the fans. UNB wore this jersey as their 'road' jersey at the 2019 University Cup. They won 4-2 over Alberta as the visitor wearing this jersey - likely becoming the second "3rd jersey" to be worn in a Championship win and the second time by the same team.
Ever Wonder ...Certainly the logo the school first choose wasn't the first one created! Have you ever wondered what else was proposed? What is shown below are some of the alternative ideas for the 1991 logo that were presented to the department.
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