By Richie Juliano
Youngstown State University athletics has over 10 teams playing this spring semester. That means the equipment staff at YSU is working hard to stay on top of all the equipment needs of each team.
Tim Gallo is the assistant equipment manager at YSU and is now entering his 15th year with the staff. Gallo said they’ve been challenged this spring season.
“The workload has been a little bit extra this spring, but I’ve got some good student workers,” Gallo said. “It’s been challenging, but it has been okay.”
Programs competing now are: baseball, football, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s tennis, bowling, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming and diving and track and field.
Alvy Armstrong is the head equipment manager for the Youngstown State Athletic Department. The American Equipment Managers’ Association certified Armstrong in 2001. He mentioned what a spring football season has been like inside the equipment room.
“Doing football in the spring is a whole different concept,” Armstrong said. “I help out whenever I can, however I can.”
The YSU equipment staff has 10 student helpers this semester. With only two head equipment managers and 19 intercollegiate sports at YSU, both Gallo and Armstrong appreciate their student workers.
“The students are an immense help to me,” Armstrong said. “Without the students, the job would be undoable.”
“I would be lost and swamped without my students,” Gallo said. “All of them have been with me long enough to know exactly what needs to be done, and how I want it done.”
One of the student helpers in the equipment room is Tyler D’Antonio. He washes and dries many of the uniforms.
“Everything we do is in the equipment room — we don’t have to travel with the teams,” D’Antonio said. “It’s just a lot of washing and doing laundry, as well as handling all the equipment.”
Washing and drying uniforms everyday can be a repetitive process, but even mundane situations can create some fun and unique moments in the equipment room.
“We actually do have quite a bit of fun in our equipment room. It’s very open in here,” Armstrong said. “Sometimes you chase each other around with bats, but we all know it’s good fun.”
D’Antonio spoke positively about the relationships staff build while working in the equipment room.
“Sometimes we have fun with how we put things away or little things here and there,” he said. “It gets a bit repetitive, but we are able to have fun with each other just because we like each other.”
With the students working to prepare the uniforms and equipment, this opens up time for Gallo to work on the business side of equipment management.
“With the students helping me, it enables me to do more of the paperwork, shuffling, ordering and inventory,” Gallo said.
Gallo thinks very highly of his student staff.
“I would be willing to put up my kids against any other Olympic sports equipment students’ help,” Gallo said. “I just think they’re tremendous, and that’s the biggest thing I’ll miss personally when they leave.”