Sunday, November 29, 2009

Wildcats Retain the Cup

It was very nice to have all the help for the game against ASU. Having all the managers there for a road game was very nice! I was also very happy that they were able to experience a victory over ASU.

As I mentioned earlier in a blog, it is also very nice to travel to Sun Devil Stadium and get the very friendly service from everyone involved with the stadium, the event staff, and their equipment staff! They treat us very nice. Mark Zimmer delivered sandwiches for our staff before the team arrived. All in all it was a great experience.

Once again, Tim, Benny and the managers did an outstanding job of having our team ready to play. Bob and Bob did another great job of getting our equipment to the stadium and home. It is easy to take them for granted, but they are outstanding and we are very fortunate to have them as a major part of our team! Thanks guys!!!!

These next few weeks will fly by! We have to get everything ready for a trip to LA, then start preparations for the bowl game. Of course this entire season has gone by very quickly. As they say, "time flies when you are having fun".

It was nice to finally have some breaks go our way in the game yesterday! Our team has had it share of bad breaks, and it was nice to have something go our way yesterday. I was especially happy for Alex Zendejas. What a GREAT Wildcat!!!!

Enjoy some pictures from yesterday's game:

Benny and Mike Reed put up a banner in the locker room before the team arrived:
This is how the coaches found their lockers when they arrived at the stadium:

Ben Hulka getting the equipment room set up:

This is how the players found their lockers when they arrived at the stadium:
Mike Reed and Jeff Gallego waiting for the team while sitting in the equipment room at the stadium:

Some of the managers waiting for the team to arrive from the hotel:

Coach Stoops addresses the team after the victory over ASU:

Colin Baxter, one of the real good guys on the team and starting center, holds the cup after the game:

Friday, November 27, 2009

We Are In the Locker Room

Tim, Benny and I left McKale this afternoon with 12 of the managers for Tempe. We left three behind with the team to run the walk through practice at Jiminez Practice Facility at 3pm. They will ride the buses with the team after dinner in the Arizona Stadium Club in Tucson. They will not arrive in Phoenix until a little later tonight.

Because the game is so close to Tucson, we are able to bring as many managers that would like to work the game. All 15 managers signed up to work the game. Even though we can only officially bring 5 of them (like normal), we tell them if they would like to "volunteer" they are welcome to work the game, but they have to realize working the game means they have to work as if they were "official". Luckily, we have GREAT managers and all of them wanted to be part of the team tomorrow!

As I mentioned in earlier blog, Sun Devil Stadium is an AWESOME venue for the visiting teams. The facilities are extremely nice and roomy, the customer service is second to none, but what I like the most is the security. With two people getting through security at the Whitehouse earlier this week, I hate to say all security is perfect, but I feel very good about security at Sun Devil Stadium.

We were able to get enough work done this afternoon that we do not have to get up at the crack of dawn to start work tomorrow. Of course it helps having the extra help too. The main reason we have to get their early tomorrow is to get Coach Comm set up early enough to claim frequencies.

Enjoy some pictures from work earlier today at Sun Devil Stadium:

Bob and Bob got the truck to the stadium this afternoon around 2pm:
Brophy Prep alum, Billy Worthington putting out laundry bags. Billy is our only Phoenix area manager on the staff:

Willie Salzman working on helmets, making sure all the screw are nice and tight for the game:

Mike Reed getting a screw driver out of his fanny pack:

Nice to have so many managers helping out on the road:

John Landwehr helping out by putting out player's laundry bags in their lockers:

Ben Hulka tightening up all the screws on the helmets:

Jordan Gobel, working hard as usual, polishing up a helmet. This is her first official road trip as a manager, which she really deserves!

Jeff Gallego working hard at cleaning a pair of shoes:

Ryan Ewalt getting ready to open up the buggy with all the laundry bags in it:
Coaches locker room before I set it up tomorrow morning:

Benny found a locker that would not open:
Benny and the managers work hard this afternoon to set up the locker room:
Jordan Bates loading laundry bags in player's lockers:

Michael Barnett, working hard with a small on his face! This is his first official road trip as a manager, and it is well deserved:

Nice big locker room; this is a before picture with all the trunks in the way:
Jack Banker cleaning a pair of shoes:
Sun Devil Stadium's visitor's locker room is very well designed and very spacious with nice large lockers:

Headed Up the Road

We are loading up the truck this morning, and around noon we will leave for ASU to set up the locker room at Sun Devil Stadium this afternoon.

I will try to upload some pictures of today's events later on this evening.

This is always a fun trip for me because the accommodations at Sun Devil Stadium are AWESOME, and their equipment staff bends over backwards to take care of their visitors. I know this because I have been going there for over twenty years. Heck, I even went there in the late 70's for a game when I was with the University of Houston. They were even First Class back then.

I know, I know. Many Wildcat fans do not like anything nice being said about ASU, but the truth is the truth. They have First Class facilities, and they treat their guest First Class too, even if you are a Wildcat, or a Cougar or anything else.

Back when Mike Chismar was running the equipment room, he always ran it First Class. Now he is running the whole show as Senior Associate AD, and now Mark Zimmer is continuing the tradition as Head Equipment Manager. He and his assistant, Paul Lopez do a fantastic job of taking care of the visiting teams. Actually, we are very lucky in the Pac 10, as most of the equipment staffs do a great job at that.

This game is special because of the rivalry, but it is especially special to me because of Paul Lopez being there. I was lucky enough to work with Paul at Washington State University years ago, and really lucky and honored to be his best man in his wedding. He is like a brother to me. He and I have been rivals now for 12 years.

Simply put, there is NO HATE for me when it comes to ASU!!!! But believe me, I want to win this game in the worst way tomorrow.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Each of us in the equipment room want to wish each and everyone of you that follow this blog a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Each of us have so much to be thankful for. I know each of us on the equipment staff at UofA have much to be thankful about! We are thankful for an administration that totally supports everything we are about and they give us the resources to do our jobs right.

We are also thankful for the administration hiring nothing but FIRST CLASS coaches!!! Our coaches are AWESOME to work with. I have been doing this kind of work for over thirty years and I have never felt more appreciated than how our coaches make us feel.

We are also thankful for working with GREAT student-athletes! I hear so many horror stories from other equipment managers about how they are treated by their athletes. Our student-athletes are such a joy to work with! We have many of them that stop by just to say hello and ask how we are doing.

We have so many other things to be thankful for too, such as relationships with companies like Riddell, Nike and others. We are so thankful that they make us feel special!

I would like to take this time to mention some personal things that I am thankful for. It starts with my best friend and wife, Cindy. She is without a doubt the best wife, mom, daughter and friend that anyone could ever hope for. I also have three kids that have put up with me and all my quirks and craziness for over twenty years. Cindy and the kids are the BEST!

I also am very thankful for the people that I get to work with everyday. Speaking of putting up with quirks and craziness. These poor people have to deal with me way too much! I hope they really know how much I love and appreciate them. I never have been very good at showing how much I care and appreciate people. I have had great people around me my whole career and I am very grateful and thankful for that!!!!

Again, I hope each and everyone of you have a GREAT day and a wonderful time with those you love.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Manager Spotlight, Ryan Ewalt

Today's manager spotlight is on El Paso, Texas native, Ryan Ewalt. Ryan transferred to UofA back in the Fall of 2007 from University of North Texas.

Ryan instantly became on of our biggest strengths among the student managers! He has outstanding work ethic and a great attitude about everything we do. He is also very popular among the other managers.

Because of his experience at North Texas with Coach Comm, we immediately gave him Telex responsibilities. We have relied on him heavily ever since and he has yet to let us down. Ryan is a very responsible young man and it shows in his work. That is why he helps with Coach Comm.

Ryan also works with the Quarterbacks and Coach Sonny Dykes. He charts each day at practice and gives Coach Dykes all the throwing and catching statistics immediately following practice. Once again, you can not do that job if you are not very focused and responsible.

Ryan finds himself on each and every trip. He is a great silent leader. He is a man with very few words. He is one of the few we have that you can rely on for each and every task we have.

When he is not in class, studying, or at work, he enjoys working out, playing football and baseball. He also enjoys shooting guns. He listens to Classic Rock music, and his favorite group is Lynard Skynard.

Of course, his favorite team is the Wildcats, but when he is not cheering for the Wildcats, he loves to cheer for the Texas Rangers and Dallas Cowboys.

Below are a few pictures of Ryan working as a student manager:

Monday, November 23, 2009

Oh So Close!

Well, things did not end up as we had hoped and worked hard for, but at least we still have two games left! Sometimes it just seems like you don't get any breaks in a game, and that is how it felt Saturday night. Oregon is a great team, but it took them playing a GREAT game, and getting all the breaks for them to beat us.

As usual, Tim, Benny and the managers did an AWESOME job of getting the team and locker room ready for the game.

The place was packed and the crowd was awesome. It was exciting times and was fun having all the attention focused on the game. It was just a bummer having the game end the way it did. Oh well, now it is time for two more exciting games.

Gameday bus was parked right outside of Oregon's locker room:

The Gameday crew was able to witness a great game:

Billy Worthington tightening all the screws on the helmets:

Willie Salzman working hard as usual:

Zack Risdon cleaning a pair of shoes:
Mike Reed making sure jersey is right on the shoulder pads:
Managers worked hard getting the locker room right before the team arrived:

Robert Lloyd making sure shoes are nice and clean:

Ben Hulka making sure the facemask are tight:
Mike Harlow getting R.J. Young's locker right:

Mike Harlow cleaning shoes before the team arrives:

Jordan Gobel getting helmets ready before the game:

Jordan Bates working hard as usual, and double checking the checklist:

Jeff Gallego gets the officials locker room ready before they arrive:

Team buses pull up right to the back door of the locker room:

Coach Stoops with Lisa Salters right before kickoff:

Governor parked right outside of our locker room:

Our Governor was at the game to support the Cats:

Team came out ready to play:

Myself and Terry Swartz of Nike before the game:

Zona Zoo was at the game in full force: