If you’re watching college football bowl games, or the College Football Playoffs, you may notice a similar appearance among the head coaches.
Several of them are wearing the same type of face mask. In fact, three of the four coaches in the College Football Playoffs (Nick Saban, Ryan Day and Brian Kelly) all wore the same style of mask during their last game action. With so many different mask variations out there, it’s interesting that so many in college football are going with the same mask.
It’s even more interesting because this mask doesn’t seem to be making as many appearances in other sports leagues, such as the NFL or NBA. We explain why that is in more detail below. We’ll also explain why a lot of college football coaches are wearing it, and what makes it so special.
What mask are college football coaches wearing?
College football coaches such as Nick Saban, Ryan Day and Brian Kelly are wearing the SHEMA97 Functional Active Mask. According the product’s website, the mask “uses high-performance nano fabric technology to protect the respiratory system from harmful substances and infectious sources.”
Part of the appeal of the mask is the fact others can still the face of the person wearing the mask from the outside. Another benefit, per the website, is “excellent sound transmission,” which is important for coaches so they don’t feel the need to pull their mask down constantly, which defeats the purpose of wearing it in the first place.
Why are so many college football coaches wearing the same mask?
The reason why this mask is so commonplace in college football is because it was created by one of their own. Auburn equipment manager Dana Marquez is the man behind the creation of the mask (along with a company in South Korea), and the SEC (where Auburn plays) ended up with 12 of its 14 schools using the mask.
From there, more and more college football coaches began using the mask. In an interview with ESPN’s Holly Rowe, Marquez explained what makes the mask great for coaches.
As we mentioned before, the ability to hear the person with the mask on is the primary benefit that makes this mask great for coaches.
“This is for helping people who have to wear a mask, like I do, all-day, everyday,” Marquez told AL.com. “The science behind it is pretty amazing…The idea was to find a mask that our players and student athletes are comfortable wearing.”