Thursday, December 31, 2009

Home Sweet Home

Well, they said you will have nights like that, and man, did we have a night. What was a GREAT week in San Diego, with GREAT weather, turned into a rainy awful night at Qualcomm Stadium for the Wildcats.

The team charter arrived back in Tucson early this afternoon to a very nice warm sunny weather. As nice as our hotel was, and even with all the GREAT hospitality from the Red Coats, it is still nice to be sitting at home.

Below are pictures of our day yesterday at Qualcomm.

Jordan Gobel gets tape on shoulder pads:
Jordan Bates helps out with coaches locker room:
Jack Banker puts out game socks:
Billy Worthington puts out game socks:
Ben Hulka and Zac Risdon put out game pants:
Jordan Gobel sews patch on Earl Mitchell's jersey. We just got the patch the morning of the game. Earl was named Sholar Baller.

Billy Worthington puts out game pants:

Willie Salzman pulling a jersey before the team arrived:

Zac Risdon putting out game pants in lockers:

John Landwehr pulling a jersey of a pair of shoulder pads:

Ben Hulka working out of the make shift equipment room in the showers before the game:

Mike Harlow helping out with coaches:

Jordan Gobel getting players lockers organized:
Ben Herman, equipment manager at University of San Diego, helped us out on game day:
Michael Barnett helping me out with the coaches locker rooms:
Jeff Gallego helping out Keola Antolin with his pads:

Tim Pfennig helping out Chris Gronkowski with his jersey and pads:

Jeff Gallego and other managers took the blue helmets out of the players lockers and put them in a cart:

Blue helmets put in the cart so we could put them on the truck before the team arrived:

How the lockers looked before the team arrived:

The much anticipated white helmet:

Team leaving field after pregame:
Team in locker room before kickoff:

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Game Day is Here

Well, you can feel the excitement. All of us are extremely excited about the game against the Huskers tonight, but it is starting to sink in too that we have to pack up the hotel room tonight after the game so we can go back to Tucson tomorrow.

As I have stated all week, this Holiday Bowl has been extraordinary! Everything has been perfect and fun. I know the coaches, players and managers have all told me that this week has been a blast.

The managers have worked very hard, and they have done a great job! Yesterday morning they loaded up everything at USD and then after the luncheon, we moved in to the locker rooms at Qualcomm.

We will leave the hotel this morning at 11:30 for the stadium. All of us are very excited about the day!

Enjoy some pictures from yesterday's events:

Entrance into Qualcomm Stadium with sign saying the game is SOLD OUT:
Me with Nebraska legendary coach, Tom Osborne:
Scene at the really nice Holiday Bowl luncheon:

Benny Conger, Tim Pfennig, and his wife, Jenny at the Holiday Bowl luncheon:

Players turning in their jerseys to the managers at the convention center after the luncheon:

Nebraska's equipment truck:
Bob and Bob doing their GREAT work. These guys are the BEST!

Our truck getting situated at loading dock at Qualcomm:

Michael Barnett getting player bags into the locker room area at Qualcomm:

Michael Barnett excited about being in Qualcomm at the Holiday Bowl:

Lockers in the coaches area:

Mike Harlow and Benny Conger putting up name plates in defensive locker room:

One of two coaches locker rooms at stadium:

Getting everything in the locker room at Qualcomm:

Willie Salzman working in Qualcomm locker room yesterday:

Zac Risdon carrying in player bags at Qualcomm:

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Holiday Bowl ROCKS!!!!!!!!

Yesterday was one of those great days as a Wildcat! Coach Stoops stated it better than anyone yesterday. He said it was very cool that we started this journey in Fort Huachuca with the Army soldiers in August, and we are ending it with Navy and Marine Corp soldiers at a great bowl game! I just think it is so cool that our football team can associate itself with our country's absolute best, the men and women of our armed forces.
Once again, the Red Coats of the Holiday Bowl did an outstanding job by putting together the Navy and Marine Corps Luncheon aboard the USS Makin Island Ship. This ship is an impressive assault ship that was commissioned just this past October 24, 2009.
Everything about this bowl game is so AWESOME, but for me, the highlight is this luncheon. It was that way for me 11 years ago, and it remains that way for me today. As I was talking to the coaches and players at practice yesterday, many of them feel the same way. It just seems to me that everything the Holiday Bowl people do is a HOME RUN.
Yesterday was our last practice at USD. I can not say enough about the AWESOME staff at that beautiful school, headed up by Andy Fee. It is one thing to have a beautiful facility that is more than functional, but then to top it off with people who truly care that their visitors have the best of the best! These guys are incredible! Just like the Red Coats, those guys at USD bent over backwards to make sure our experience was the absolute best, and man, did they succeed. They are a class act!!!!!
Today we are moving everything over to Qualcomm Stadium and begin setting up for tomorrow's big game. I can not believe how fast this time has gone. Bob and Bob will move the big rig over to Qualcomm after today's Kickoff Luncheon at the convention center.
The managers are handing out the game jerseys here at the hotel before the luncheon. After we get all the jerseys back, then we head over to Qualcomm.
The last thing I want to do is jinx a GREAT week, but so far this has been such a great experience. Tim Pfennig, with the help of Benny Conger and the 15 managers, have hit a home run every time they have stepped up to the plate! As I have mentioned before, Tim has been with me for 8 years, but only 2 with football. I moved him into that position when he had zero experience with football, and today he has become one of the best football equipment managers I have worked with, and I have had the privilege of working with many great ones! He and his guys have excelled all year!
Below are some pictures of yesterday's luncheon on the USS Makin Island: