Published Jul 1, 2006 12:00 AM
Four team managers — and one lucky staffer — see Bruin sports up close and personal
When you come out to cheer Ben Olson and Chris Markey at a UCLA football game, are you thinking about whether their Adidas cleats fit properly? Are you concerned about whether UCLA pitcher Hector Ambriz's baseball uniform is sparkling white, or whether Noelle Quinn and Lindsey Pluimer of the UCLA women's basketball team are properly motivated before a game?
Such details may not be important to you, but they're crucial to dozens of hardworking staff and student team managers in the UCLA Athletics Department. These unsung heroes, toiling behind the scenes, make sure everything runs smoothly so that athletes can concentrate on their play and fans can enjoy the competition.
It's hard work for minimal pay — partial or full scholarships for student managers — but they're in it to be closer than anyone but the coaches and athletes to the sports they love. They don't mind doing the team's laundry at 2 a.m. ... or explaining to airport security why they're carrying contraband tennis racket repair kits ... or nearly being trampled on the sidelines by thundering, 230-pound linebackers.
In fact, the five individuals you'll meet on these pages — four student managers and one volunteer staff member — insist that their grueling hours are more than compensated for by the perks of the job, including entrance to the games; the best views in the house; free UCLA athletic gear; and special friendships with athletes, coaches and fellow staff. It all adds up to an unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime experience.