Saturday, November 29, 2008

Saturday Practice

Well, we all meet back on campus later this afternoon after a couple of days off. There were some good games to watch, but I am still looking forward to watching the Civil War later this evening. Of course the OU/OSU game will be fun too. We should be getting off of the practice field in time to see most of those two games.

This Civil War game is important to many teams because of the bowl implications. Of course we would like for Oregon State to win, mainly because that should get two Pac 10 teams in the BCS (that is in case SC can handle Notre Dame and UCLA).

This last week should be interesting.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

I would like to wish everyone who reads this blog (all 2 of you) a very Happy Thanksgiving Day! All of us have so much to be thankful for, and I am not going to bore you with a list of all that I am thankful for.

I am looking forward to having my daughter, Natalie, fly home for a few days from San Antonio! I am looking forward to sitting around and watching sports on TV. A little hoops, and a lot of FOOTBALL.

I do have to mention one thing that I am especially thankful for, my wife Cindy!!!!! Anyone who knows me, knows that I am darn lucky to have someone as good as her put up with something like me. Wow, am I lucky. Thanks Cindy, for EVERYTHING!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Wednesday, and Getting Excited!!!!

Well, I walked in this morning and we had managers everywhere it seemed doing there helmet and shoulder pad maintenance. In the past we would simply give the managers a deadline in which they had to have their weekly maintenance done, and they were required to come in on their own time between classes to get it done by deadline.

We changed that, among many other things, to where they had to come in at assigned times to do their weekly maintenance. This has worked out much better! One, it teaches the managers about responsibility and accountability. Too many times they would come in at the last minute and rush through the job. Because safety of the players is our number one priority, we felt that each manager should have a designated time to do the job and not have to rush.

I am very proud of the managers and the job they do towards maintenance. They totally understand the importance of the maintenance and they do a great job for their players.

We have practice a little earlier than normal so those wanting to fly home for Thanksgiving can catch a flight and be home in plenty of time. Today is the last day of classes for the week. Unlike some schools, UofA only lets out for Thurs and Fri of Thanksgiving week.

I am really excited about the games to watch on TV this weekend, starting tomorrow with the Texas Longhorns and Texas A&M Aggies. It wouldn't be Thanksgiving at my house without having the TV tuned into the Dallas Cowboys game.

But I am really excited about Friday's line up, especially JT's Buffaloes going to Lincoln to get Bowl eligible, then Paul's big game with the Bruins later that night. You know I will be on the edge of my chair watching those two!!!

Saturday's games are exciting too! What a Civil War this year. Wow, that game has so much to it. Of course most of us in the equipment room have become Sooner fans because of Coach Stoops, so we are looking forward to that big game too.

For those of you traveling today, please be careful.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Not so Normal Tuesday

One of the favorite days for any equipment manager is Picture Day!!! It is one of those days you just need to show up with a smile on your face and joy in your heart. Kill the players with kindness. Otherwise, any great equipment manager could fool around and have a cranky day.

Coach Stoops has decided to make today our team picture day. We will put out the players uniforms while they are at position meetings and then all of us will meet over at the stadium for the 2008 Arizona Wildcat Football Team picture. The only real challenge was getting the coaches clothes to and back from the cleaners from Saturdays game.

After the fun in the sun team picture, we get to have practice!!! Yep, might as well wear that smile and keep that joy in your heart all day.

It is hard to believe that this upcoming game is the last regular game of the year. The old saying, "Time flies when you are having a good time" has never been more true. It just seems like a few weeks ago that we were fitting our new players and getting ready for training camp.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Monday of Open Week

At some point I wanted to blog about the specifics of the student managers day at work, each day of the week. One of the main reasons I started this blog was for potential student managers having a tool to use so they can see exactly what it is like to be a student manager at the University of Arizona.

This week is a very unusual week. For one, we do not have a game this week, so it is what we call "open" or "bye" week. Secondly, it is Thanksgiving week. The plan at this point is to practice today thru Wednesday and take Thursday and Friday off. We will then come back on Saturday for practice.

Today, the managers will come in at 2:30pm and start working on a checklist of things that must get done today.

A couple will check in all of the coaches clothes, including belt, socks, shoes, making sure we have everything turned in so we have it for next game. We will then take the coaches clothes to the cleaners. We will clean their shoes and launder their socks.

We will then check in the jerseys and pants which were cleaned immediately following the game by Zach Cook, our full time laundry person. When checking them in, we will check for "TBS" (to be sewn) on both pants and jerseys. Anything that will need to be sewn will be sewn right here in our equipment room. We will also use a checklist to see who will need new game socks for next game.

We will get a list from Erick Harper, Director of Football Operations, later that will let us know who will be wearing full pads at practice today. Some Mondays see Redshirt players and others who may not have seen many plays the previous Saturday, scrimmage a little after a short practice.

The biggest thing we will get finalized today is making sure everyone has a place to go on Thursday for Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Well, the ending of the game did not turn out in our favor, and it was a tough defeat. It was a very close game throughout and it looked like we had pulled off another victory. The Beavers are a very good team and they pulled out a close victory over us, 19-17. They kicked a field goal on the last play of the game. Now our attention will be focused on the Sun Devils for the next two weeks.

Once again, Tim, Benny and the Managers did a GREAT job getting the team ready. These guys work incredibly hard, and when the team loses, they lose too. Just like the players and the coaches, these guys work hard too. Below are some pictures of the preparation on game day against the Beavers. Using a checklist of duties that have to be done before the team leaves the hotel, the managers do things like clean shoes, double and triple check helmets, chinstraps for maypops, pull jerseys on to taped shoulder pads, and much more. Here are some pictures:

Adam Knapp double checking one of his players helmet over in the overflow locker room.

Willie Salzman cleaning a pair of shoes before the game.

Mike Harlow getting out a pair of shoes that he will clean with Super All.

Jordan Bates working hard to get a pair of shoes looking as good as possible. Jordan is a first year manager from Florida.

One of my favorite guys, Josh Reitzenstein, from Beverly Hills, CA. Josh is in his last season as a manager. Those who know me very well know that I like to joke around and pick on people that I like alot. Well, Josh gets alot from me, but it is because I like him so much.

Two of my favorites! Two great guys, who I hope gets to experience something only a few of us have ever been able to do, go to the ROSE BOWL. Couldn't happen to two better guys. Hard working Steve McCoy (left), and Arnold Alcantar. Congratulations on the win, and a GREAT season.

Adam helping out with Coach Mark Stoops and the DB's during pregame.

Ronnie doing his best Joe Montana with the O Line during pregame.

Managers, Jeff Gallego, Robert Lloyd and Willie Salzman catching up and shagging for the QB's and WR's during pregame.

Mike Harlow helping out during pregame.

Willie catching up for Bryson during pregame.

Coach Stoops catching up with Coach Riley before the game.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


Well, I just got done watching ESPN Game Day and that show always gets me excited about what I get to do on Saturdays in the fall. I do not need a TV show to get me excited, but that show always adds to the excitement.

We have been very fortunate this year to win six games up to now and that always helps too. We will have our hands full this afternoon against a GREAT Beaver football team. They are very well coached, and we have had a tough time with them in the 11 years I have been here.

One of the things I do like about playing the Beavers is that I get to see two of my favorite Equipment Managers in Steve McCoy and Arnold Alcantar. Not only are they great equipment managers, but they are fun guys to be around.

We found out yesterday that today's game program has a feature on the equipment staff. They interviewed Tim and Ronnie Platt and they did a nice job of describing what we do on a day to day basis. The article even mentioned our blog and gave the address to the readers. Maybe now we will have more than Tuffy and Paul looking at it from time to time. Actually I have been pleasantly surprised at how many are peaking at my poor writing skills.

Well, I had better get going. We are showing up at the stadium at 11am this morning for a 5pm kickoff. We have to make sure we have time to get the red jerseys and red pants put in each players locker. The players really seem to like the all red!

I look forward to watching the Apple Cup while setting up the coaches locker room. I only wish JT was here to help and watch the game with. I would have thought he would spend his off day with bigwen and watch the Apple Cup. We could talk politics too!

Hopefully I will have some fun things to write tomorrow about our seventh win along with some pictures.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Friday Home Games

Beginning this year, we started taking all of our gear over to the stadium for home games on Thursday evenings. It has made a real difference in our time efficiency. Ever since Head Coach Mike Stoops arrived here, we started dressing over at the stadium as opposed to walking over from McKale. Since we started doing that, we had managers managing the equipment room and locker room all day Friday. Starting at 8am we have a manger over there all day Friday. In the past they would just be there when facility maintenance people came through there. It was simply a way to know what was going on over there. Now with the equipment over there, they spend their hour over there setting up their players bags that are dressing for the game. This has made Friday nights much better. We are out of there very early now on Friday nights.

With security outside of the equipment room all night, and the fact that we have an alarm system, we feel very good about having equipment over there. We still get to the stadium early regular time on game day, just in case, plus we just like being at the stadium on game days.

Trunks are left in the middle of the locker room from Thursday night.
Another shot of the trunks. The only trunks we bring over are the sideline trunks.

This is part of the equipment room over at the stadium. It is very small, but does the job.

This is the front portion of the stadium equipment room. Has a window that opens up to players locker room. Again, very small but it serves its purpose.

The managers are responsible for setting up their drafted players during the day on Friday when they are not in class. The pads with blue on them have two way tape on them.

Another shot of the lockers before they are set up by mgrs

We wear Riddell CPX pads only for shoulder pads.

Our home locker room at the stadium has 64 lockers in the main locker room, then we have an overflow for the few extra they we may suit up.

The managers will polish up the helmets as part of their locker set up.

Ryan Ewalt, of El Paso Texas is polishing up his players helmet.

This is Ryan again setting up one of his players locker.

This is Ryan looking for something in the equipment room.

Ryan is one of our managers that goes on every trip. He is an excellent worker and is our lead student manager for Coach Comm/Telex system.

Ryan is a Psychology major that wants to work for a federal law enforcement agency after graduation.

This is yesterdays Spotlight Manager, Adam Knapp, enjoying a little lunch before his duty over at the stadium.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Adam Knapp, Student Manager Spotlight

Today I am featuring one of my all time favorite managers, Adam Knapp, from right here in Tucson Arizona out of Canyon Del Oro High School. Adam is one of those guys you just like being around. He is a lot of fun.

He is a History major that still is not sure what he wants to do when he gets out of college. This is his last year and will be going through Senior day presentation at the ASU game. I sure will miss having him around. He is a very sharp guy that I love talking to. I really respect his opinions.

Last couple of years he has accompanied me to the Pac 10 equipment managers meeting in Las Vegas where he has been a van driver for us. He sure made me proud the way he handled his responsibilities while at the meetings. He is a very responsible young man. The other equipment managers from the other Pac 10 schools thinks very high of him too.

Adam has worked with Coach Mark Stoops and the DB's while out at practice. He also coordinates all the special team sessions out at practice. Our former Special Teams Coach, Joe Robinson still thinks he is the best manager he has ever had for coordinating special teams practice for him.

His favorite food is Chicken Fettuchini Alfredo and he loves Country music. His favorite artist is Garth Brooks. His favorite movie of all time is Boondock Saints. He is an avid Miami Dolphins, Houston Astros and Phoenix Suns fan. His hobbies include Video games and other sports.

I will really miss having Adam around and I will follow him in whatever he decides to do after graduation.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Our Trip to Eugene to Play the Ducks

Willie Salzman of Palo Alto, CA making his third trip of the year. Here he is busy setting up the locker room before the team arrives.

Here is Willie making sure the balls have enough air in them after the flight up to Eugene.

Here is Tim working with Ronnie Platt of Southlake, Texas and Jeff Gallego of Tucson making sure everything is done on checklist and double checking every ones duties for during and after the game.

Here is Ronnie making sure Tim is doing everything correctly.

Ronnie is getting ready to write the pregame schedule.

Here is how the managers set up each locker in Autzen's visiting locker room. Note some players have two jerseys. That is for the players that have to go out in jersey only during pre game warm up. Because we tape the players jerseys to the pads, we just give them their back up jersey to wear during that short time out in pregame.

Ben Hulka of Chicago Illinois is setting up the Coaches Telex system for the game.

Ben is putting new batteries in each beltpack for the coaches headsets.

We had three of these heaters on our sideline to help keep the players warm. They worked well.

Jeff Gallego working hard as usual. This was Jeff's third trip of the year and he is pushing trunks from the locker room to the sideline.

The coaches locker room there is very small. We only put 10 coaches in the actual coaches locker room and put the other 8 out in the main locker room. Very tight space!!!!

Benny helping Ryan move a table. Ryan is one of the student trainers and he is one of the best I have ever been around, not to mention a GREAT guy!!!!!

Benny is looking at the heater. Probably trying to figure away to see if he could use it to help build a rocket.

More locker set up. The lockers are very spacious and nice. The set up though is not conducive for moving around. Once the team arrives it gets very crowded because the locker room itself is long and skinny.

This is the shower area in the very small and tight coaches locker room. As you can see, I set up in the shower area with their extra gear. Because the weather is colder than we are use to, I have all kinds of extra stuff packed for them so they are comfortable.

This it the entrance into the visiting teams locker room. It is very nice to have it so close to the field. The entrance is directly behind the endzone which is very nice.

This is the pressbox at Autzen Stadium

This is the large video screen at Autzen

This is the Field Turf field at Autzen. This is the view from our entrance doors into the locker room.
These are the luxury boxes at Autzen.