The Arizona Wildcats will take the field this fall with a new look that harkens to the state's mining past.

The Wildcats will wear copper helmets as part of an alternate uniform, athletic director Greg Byrne told the Star. Byrne wouldn't say when the UA will debut the new look, only that copper is "an option going forward." Nike will likely produce a special uniform to wear with the new helmet.

The Wildcats will primarily stick to their color scheme, which includes navy and white helmets, Byrne said.

Copper "is something that's strongly tied to our university and our state, and certainly fits within the historical context," he said.

The UA did not consider any darker tones.

"Anybody can do black," Byrne said.

The helmets, which took six months to develop, mark the most significant change to Arizona's look since 1981, when the team unveiled its now-familiar white helmets with a "block A" logo.

First-year coach Rich Rodriguez hinted at uniform changes when he took over last winter but said they probably wouldn't come until 2013. Coaches frequently change their team's uniforms when they take over programs: Mike Stoops, Rodriguez's predecessor, ushered in navy helmets in 2004.

On StarNet: A high-resolution image of the helmet was not available. See the copper helmet, and keep up to date with the Wildcats in the offseason at: azstarnet.com/finley