There is a group of people that makes the game of football possible but do not receive enough credit for what they do. The identity of this group of people and what they do would not have been known before reading this story. These people are the equipment managers for the football team. These people have big responsibilities both before and after practices as well as games.
The equipment manager’s responsibility during the week includes setting up and cleaning the equipment for practice. They also make sure both players’ and coaches’ laundry is washed, dried and put out for the next day. The last of their tasks is making sure the jerseys are ready for the game and making sure other equipment (gloves, pants, pregame attire, cleats, etc.) is ready for game day.
As for game day preparation, equipment managers make sure that field equipment like pylons, yard markers and field chains are set up for the 60-minute contest. They also make sure that the headsets that the coaches wear are up to par and ready to use. Other items on the sidelines being prepared include sideline trunks, kicker nets and the Coachcomm, which is important for the headsets that coaches use to work properly.
During the game, equipment managers make sure game balls are coming in and out of the game while having to hold a banner that keeps the opposing team from viewing play signals. Ball boys are essential to making sure the game runs smoothly.
Some of the better-trained equipment managers are on the field making sure that the Coachcomm is running smoothly for the coaches to be able to communicate from the press to the field. If the headsets are not working properly during the game, many problems arise for both the offense and defense who are trying to call plays or switch formations.
“One of the biggest challenges is time management,” Head of Equipment for Georgia StateAthletics Nate Simon said. “…for example, within a few hours, we could have some of our staff working football practice, some packing the 18-wheeler to make sure the team has everything they need for the game, etc. There are always different things that need to get done and I think that’s what makes it interesting because every day you’re doing something different.”
When being an equipment manager, there is a lot that goes into fulfilling the tasks at hand. The main part of being an equipment manager is being a team. There are times when things will fall about a day or two before the game. But as long as everyone on the team works together to get the job done, there isn’t a shadow of a doubt about how smooth the game will flow.
This job comes with a lot of perks and rewards so it balances out the tedious workload that comes with it. The intangibles vary from learning about teamwork and hard work to learning about how the week-to-week operations of a collegiate football team go. On the tangible side, they have the opportunity to earn nice gear and if the team achieves any postseason success managers can even earn a bowl ring.