Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Spring Ball Continues

John Landwehr wearing the fanny pack in the middle of the picture:
Well, we are probably a little more than halfway through our 2009 Spring Football practices and our Spring Game (scrimmage) will be this Saturday.

I realize I tend to be a little over positive when I reference our football team, but this Spring Football season has been fun to watch. I think the main reason is because I see the potential in having another good season next year.

I think the other reason I am so excited is because our managers are AWESOME. The nine managers we have coming back from this past fall are nine of the best I have ever worked with! In addition to those nine, we have a good number of very interested people who would like to join the student manager staff.

Some of these are existing students at the UofA, and others are from high schools from around the country. We have a couple of existing students that are showing interest, and they have joined us in helping out with Spring Football. Those two guys seemed to be great fits in joining our staff next August.

One of the two guys is Jack Banker who has been working with Benny in the equipment room helping him with Men's basketball and Baseball. Jack is from Indiana and would be a wonderful addition to the Football Student Manager staff. Jack is a freshman.

The other new person is John Landwehr. John is from Rancho Murieta California and a transfer from Loyola Marymount University.

Tim and I are going through a large list of candidates for the remaining spots to be filled. Just this morning we got a letter of interest from a guy in Texas, and we just interviewed an existing UofA student this morning originally from Chicago. It is hard not to get excited about any potential student manager from the windy city. We have had numerous managers from Chicago and vicinity and ALL of them were exceptionally good. She has agreed to join us the next few practices to observe exactly what we do each practice.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Paul Lopez turns 40

One of the things we got to do during Spring Break was go to Phoenix and spend the weekend with one of the all time great football student managers, Paul Lopez. You see, Paul turned 40 years old this past Monday, and his lovely wife Mary Ann (UofA Wildcat graduate) was nice enough to throw a great weekend of activities for a bunch of us to celebrate Paul's birthday. Paul is equipment manager for football at Arizona State University and he was a student manager at Washington State University while I was there.

One of the events was a round of golf at one of the two VERY NICE Troon golf courses at the Wildhorse Pass Hotel she works at. We played the Devils Claw course, and lets just say, it ate Paul's lunch, birthday cake, and anything else of his. The good news is that our good buddy JT was there to console Paul's bad day. JT Galloway is the Director of Equipment Operations at University of Colorado in Boulder. JT also attended WSU in Pullman and worked with me here at UofA for about 6 seasons. He was my right hand man and was darn good at it.

Along with the golf, we all went to the Diamondbacks and Angels spring training game at Diablo Stadium in Tempe. We also went to dinner at Don and Charlies Restaurant in Scottsdale. We had a party too at Paul and Mary Ann's very lovely home.

It is always fun to get together with friends. JT was nice enough to come to the festivities all the way from Boulder Colorado!!!!!

Birthday boy, Paul and his great golf swing:

from left to right: Tim Pfennig, JT Galloway, Wendell, Paul Lopez

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

What a GREAT Spring Break

The past week or so has been AWESOME! I am going to try and blog about a few of the things that happened during Spring Break time.

None of it would have been possible without an awesome staff. When I first started working for Jim Livengood over twenty years ago, the first thing he told me was that the most important thing for me to do was to surround myself around GREAT people.

One of the best hires I have ever made was bringing back Armando Altamirano to the Arizona Equipment Staff!!!!! I have always believed that the number one attribute or characteristic to be a successful Equipment Manager is ATTITUDE. Armando has the perfect attitude, which makes him so valuable.

He assist us in so many ways. He is still working on things such as email and email attachments, but he does so many other things which helps all of us. In addition to watching the window to assist coaches and athletes, he helps pack the travel bags for basketball and baseball. He also helps put away the laundry, fold towels, and check in numerous packages daily. He has counted thousands of t-shirts, coaches polos, caps, etc.

He and Zach made it possible for myself, Tim and Benny to be out during the break time. Without those two we would not have been able to take some time to do what we love to do when we are not at work.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Spring Break visitor

It is always fun to see former players, especially when they bring their families with them when they come back to visit.

Ray Wells and his wife brought their son, DJ, back to see us again this Spring Break. I met DJ last spring when they came back to watch Spring Football Game.

DJ has really grown up since last year. What a GREAT looking kid. He just turned 5 years old recently. He sure makes UofA gear look good.

DJ and I went out on the McKale floor and shot some hoops. His dad Ray are in town for the Willie Williams track meet.

Ray is like most of the Wildcat football players, GREAT people! Ray was fortunate enough to play some ball in the NFL.

What a beautiful family!

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Along with Spring Football this time of the year, comes time to order equipment for next year. Tim, Benny and I are putting our heads together to come up with how to break down our helmet order for next year.

It looks like Riddell has hit another homerun in the helmet design department. Their new helmet, Revo Speed, seems to be a huge hit already. All of the players we have put it on loves it, and many of our players are requesting it for next year.

Comfort seems to be the favorite part on the players. It has the same concussion reduction technology as the original Revolution, which is the most important part of the helmet.

Along with the CPX shoulder pads by Riddell, we feel very comfortable with the protection our team will have once again.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


This time of the year is so exciting with Spring Football, and Championship basketball. Then on top of that, this past Monday was reunion time which had me reflecting on all the great people I have had the pleasure of knowing and working with.

Well, with reunion of good ol' Wazzu times and with keeping the equipment room tv turned on to Championship Week of basketball at all times, it made me think of one of the best of all times: Brad Wilson.

I thought some of you would enjoy the picture of Coach Wilson that I have posted on today's blog. I can only hope he did not learn getting on to the refs from me!!!!!

One of my favorite words that I use a lot everyday is PASSION. This picture says it all. Besides being passionate, Brad is one of the most extraordinary people I have ever had the pleasure of working with. He has the whole package.

As of press time today, I have not got an update from him as how his Raiders have done in the Washington High School State tournament. All I know is that he has OWNED Brewster this year.

One of the best times I have had in my life was when a few of us surprised him at a home basketball game against Brewster. It is way past time for all of us to get together again!

Hopefully one of these days Coach Wilson can hire me so he and I can work together again.

He has a beautiful family and is doing great at Lake Roosevelt High School in Washington.

Go get em coach!!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Reunion Day on Monday

It seems that everyday at McKale is awesome, but yesterday was one of those GREAT days!

It was like old Washington State University days in McKale. First of all, one of the all time great equipment managers, Jeff Bopp showed up for a day visit. Jeff and I have been able to work with one another at both WSU and here at UofA. He is currently an assistant clubhouse attendant for the Seattle Mariners. This is his second season with the big club. We shared many good stories and laughed a lot. He went with myself, Tim, Benny, and my son Tyler for lunch at one of our favorite restaurants on the south side, Guillermos.

After lunch, Mike Price came walking in the equipment room hollering for a jock strap. I knew he was in town with his defensive staff to visit with our defensive staff. He hung out for awhile and then went to practice. Again, many stories were shared. Along with Coach Price was Brian Zeches and Jim Clark, who were at WSU with all of us. Brian Zeches is the son of Coach Jim Zeches who was on Coach Price's staff at WSU.

It was great seeing both Bopper and Coach Price. Both of them mean so much to me. I would not be where I am at today without Jeff; and I would not have had the chance to be part of a Rose Bowl without Coach Price.

What a day!!!!!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Saturday Practice number 3

Saturday mornings practice was awesome. The weather could not have been any better. It was our first practice of spring to go full pads.

We have so many good battles going for different positions. It is a lot of fun to watch. We have two new coaches now and they are awesome! Our players seem to be adjusting to them very well.

On a different note, Benny had an eventful day yesterday. He was in the equipment room helping Tim out with football issues while getting the baseball team outfitted and ready for a 2pm game with Massachusetts. Immediately following the baseball game he came running in the equipment room for a quick shower and change into his suit and lucky black shoes for the basketball game against Stanford.

Benny is very lucky to have such good help around him, mainly Zach Cook and Jack Banker. Zach is a superstar in the making. Even though he still has a lot to learn and still needs some experience, in the end he will be a GREAT equipment manager. We are very lucky to have him on our staff. Banker (as we call him) is a freshman from West Lafayette Indiana that has worked for us from day one he was on campus and has NEVER disappointed us once. He is one of those rare kids that come along every so often (not often enough) that seems to have the whole package. It is very obvious he has had a GREAT up bringing from his parents.

All in all, yesterday was so much fun. As our title says, We are the luckiest people in the world.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Spring Practice number 2 today

After a disappointing loss last night in hoops, it excitement time again knowing we have football practice this afternoon.

I hope to get some pictures up of today's practice.

We have a GREAT group of managers this spring and they are doing an awesome job. As mentioned earlier, we have a few new guys joining us this spring to see if they like being a manager.

We have had some former players visit the equipment room this week. It is always great to see those guys. Most of the NFL guys seem to enjoy coming back and working with Coach Edmond during their off season.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

First Day of Spring Practice

First day was awesome! We were a little rusty at first, but after just a little bit of rusty with their drills, the players picked it up and our first practice was a huge success.

The managers did a great job, especially after losing 6 seniors. With only 9 managers back from the fall, and adding a few that would like to managers next year, we had a great practice.

We have a new running back/tight end coach, Seth Litrell, from Texas Tech. He is going to fit in very well with everyone else. He is very low maintenance, and fun to be around.

We have today off from practice, and scheduled to go again tomorrow. I had alot of fun visiting with Ted Miller of ESPN who was covering practice. I enjoy reading his blog 3 or 4 times a day. He covers the Pac 10 College Football for ESPN.com

Hopefully I will start having stuff to blog about again.