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Sunday, April 7, 2013

Behind the Scenes: Dan Rickbeil

Dan Rickbeil is in his seventh year as Minnesota State equipment manager

For Minnesota State Athletics, game days start early and end late for Dan Rickbeil and his staff.

Making sure that everyone looks good and and everything's working properly is a full-time job for the Maverick equipment manager and and his army of student workers. Getting prepared for a home game takes a lot of time and effort from the equipment room and the Worthington, Minn., native does his job with equal parts elbow grease, comedic give-and-take and mechanical know how.

MavBlog took a few moments to do a Q & A with one of MSU's most integral pieces to the puzzle.

Please tell us a little about your background. Where did you grow up, where'd you go to school, what sports did you play, etc.
Rickbeil says: "I grew up and graduated high school in Worthington, Minn. I played hockey, football, golf, and also did a lot of waterskiing and downhill skiing. I went to college here at MSU."

Tell us about your family.
Rickbeil says: "
I have been married to my beautiful wife Angie for almost eight years. We have three amazing children - Eliana is five and ready for kindergarten, Claira is three and loving preschool and Kian is 1½ and loves playing with and teasing his big sisters. I also have three brothers and three sisters. My younger sister, Anne, played hockey here at MSU.

What did you do prior to becoming the Head Equipment Manager at Minnesota State?
Rickbeil says: "
I was a golf course superintendent at Red Lodge Mountain Resort in beautiful Red Lodge, Montana."

In general, what does your job entail?
Rickbeil says:  "
Ordering, issuing, fitting, inventorying, repairing and laundering equipment and uniforms. Setting up fields, courts and locker rooms for game day.  It’s not equipment management, it’s preparing athletes to succeed."

What's the best part of your job?
Rickbeil says: "W
orking with great people and helping athletes succeed."

What's the worst part of your job?
Rickbeil says: "P
oor communication and last minute “EMERGENCIES”.

Do you think there's any misconceptions about being an equipment manager?

Rickbeil says:  "S
ome think that all I do is laundry, they don’t see or appreciate the behind the scenes things or long hours. I have heard a coach in the past say that I work a “thankless job.” The only time it is thankless is when people don’t see or appreciate what we do. Slowly, I think that more and more actually understand what I do and they would have to do if we did not have an equipment manager. Though there are many that do understand and appreciate all that we do and the time that we put in."

Who's got the biggest feet in the athletic department?
Rickbeil says: "
Staff: Chris Brunkhorst, Strength & Conditioning Size 15
Athlete: Michael Bernarde, Football size 17."

Any funny stories about requests from coaches or student athletes?

Rickbeil says: "
Steve Robinson, one of our football players, tried to tell me on a Saturday morning in Duluth that someone got under the bus and stole his helmet. He had me going until he came back and said they took his pants too. Figured out pretty quick then that he had forgotten them in his locker back at home."

Any tips on getting a grass stain out of a pair of baseball pants?

Rickbeil says:
"Right water temp and right chemicals. Don’t dry it until the stain is out."

If someone wanted to be an equipment manager, what advice would you give them?

Rickbeil says: "G
et involved early and be ready to work extremely long and odd hours."
Thanks Dan!  It's great to be a Maverick!

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