I first began working for Jim Livengood over twenty years ago and I owe much of my enjoyment of my work to him. He is such a great leader, but more important than that, he understands what life is all about! I could write a book about the impacts he has had on this business and people in it, but that is not my reason for mentioning him. He has been a wonderful mentor, and one of his important keys for success is to surround yourself with great people. That is something I have embraced and is the main reason I enjoy what I do so much. It is also the reason the Equipment Staff had such a successful football training camp.
Being the boss, supervisor, leader, head guy, or whatever you may want to call me, means I get a lot of credit for our success. I am smart enough to realize that our success comes directly from the people I have surrounded myself with! We are definitely a team within a team and we have built a very strong team.
It all starts with my right hand man, Tim Pfennig! The key ingredient in a right hand man is TRUST. Tim is definitely a person you can trust. In my thirty plus years in this business, I have developed a plan that seems to work for ourselves, the administration and our coaches. Tim has bought in to that plan and works tirelessly to make sure that we follow that plan down to the smallest detail. Another important characteristic to have is a GREAT attitude towards service. Tim has one of the best attitudes toward his work than anyone I have ever worked with. He is solid and dependable!
Benny Conger is the other full time person that works with football on a daily basis. Benny is the equipment manager for Men's Basketball and Baseball and those two sports are his main focus. He does a great job for those two sports, but he is critical in the success of our football team in relations to the equipment staff. His main function with football is over seeing sideline communications for our coaches during games. We use Coach Comm's wireless headphone system which has many functions that requires incredible attention to detail. Many teams travel two telephone technicians that handle these duties, but we do it with Benny and students. By the way, we generally have no problems when it comes to coaches sideline communications. Thank goodness!!!!! Benny also handles all of our training of students when it comes to helmet and shoulder pad maintenance. His time working for Riddell is so valuable. Did I mention, he is so fun to be around.
The most important thing that Tim, Benny and I do all year round is hiring and training student football equipment managers. As I mentioned earlier, I have a plan that seems to work, and that plan calls for student equipment managers to play a very important role in our success. Many times, one of the biggest hurdles for managers to clear is to understand just how important their roles are.
I am so excited about this upcoming season for a number of reasons, but I am thrilled about the 15 students we have brought in to our program as much as anything! One of the important things that has to happen is for them to get along with one another. This past few weeks have been so much fun and successful, and I have to give the majority of the credit to the group of student equipment managers. They work so well with each other, and they seem to get along. That makes such a big difference.
Now comes decision time for Tim, Benny and myself. Just like the coaches have been looking at the players to see who is going to help us win championships, we have been watching the managers to see who is going to help us provide the best service for our team, even when we are on the road. We typically travel 5 students with us when we travel to out of town games. The past few weeks has shown me that this process will not be an easy decision on who travels with us each week. Then, the harder part will be keeping the spirits up of those who do not travel.
I can not thank those around me in the equipment room enough for how smooth and fun the past few weeks have been. Every single one of them are incredibly important and have a role that is critical to our teams success. I look forward to the coming weeks when I can highlight each and everyone of them in our blog.
The only credit I deserve is surrounding myself with incredibly GREAT people!!!!!