Equipment Manager for Purdue Football
Surrounded by lockers full of cleats and "an unreal amount of shoes," Barry Boyd's gold and black customized Nikes fit right in. After having worked with many teams, all of which have taken him to a bowl game, Boyd is now Purdue's equipment manager for football.
Adorned in Boilermaker colors, Boyd is ready to share some of that bowl game luck with Purdue and is prepared to repair and replace everything from gloves and chinstraps to helmets and jerseys.
What does your job entail?
We make sure all of our football players have everything for games and practices. Before game days, we clean and repair helmets and make sure shoulder pads are fresh. We prepare anything the players and coaches may need for the upcoming game. We do our best to make sure the players are comfortable and look good.
Just like the team, we make sure the coaches have everything they need. Some coaches may prefer a visor versus a hat or a pullover versus a jacket, but it's all about individual comfort. On game days we kind of live by the saying, "The team that looks good and feels good, plays even better." We do our best to be prepared for anything and everything.
How did you become involved in a career like this?
Honestly, I was an engineering major, but my senior year of high school I met the equipment manager from Oklahoma State University, and he told me to give him a call if that was something I'd like to do in college. I sent my resume to him and ended up working with the football team throughout college. Through that experience, I got two NFL internships and one with the U.S. Naval Academy. It's such a great experience working in college football.
What's your favorite part of game days?
When the team takes the field. Then you know it's game day. The fans are roaring, the band is playing, and I can relax because for at least the next five minutes because everyone has everything they need. Everything's coordinated just right. Everybody's excited. That's a great feeling for me.
What happens if a piece of equipment is damaged during a game?
We make sure it gets replaced or fixed. For example, during one game, Caleb TerBush's jersey was ripped, so once the offense came off the field, we switched him into his backup jersey before the next offensive series. No one really expects to rip their jersey, but I think having two jerseys for our quarterback that day gave us an edge.
For away games we take a 52-foot semi for our equipment. Things may never leave the semi, but we always have to be prepared. We have to have everything. We bring big sideline fans if it's hot and sideline heaters if it's cold. We bring tights for the players even if it's not supposed to be cold. We have backups and backups for the backups.
Has there been a moment that stands out in your mind as being unique to your experience at Purdue?
At the first team meeting I attended, I was introduced to all the guys, and they all introduced themselves and welcomed me. It was great. We actually have a lot of people from my home state of Florida, so there's that undeniable bond, but everyone has been very welcoming from day one.