Notre Dame Football Student Managers
Many would agree it is pretty hard to pay attention to anything other than the game when you’re watching Notre Dame Football. However, if you look on the field during pregame and timeouts, if you watch the sidelines during the game, and if you happen to stick around after the band plays at the end of the game, you have probably noticed a crew of students decked out in matching gear (many of them in shorts — it’s tradition!) and running from one place to the next, doing one thing after another. These busy individuals are the Notre Dame Football student managers, and they are key to the success of Notre Dame Football.
Each year fourteen sophomores, seven juniors, and three seniors compose the team of Notre Dame Football student managers. From the group of fourteen sophomores, the seven juniors are chosen for the following year. Similarly, from the group of seven juniors, the three seniors are selected to oversee all of the younger student managers. With Notre Dame Football’s senior weekend upon us, we wanted to take a moment to recognize the hard work of the three senior managers. While they may not be suiting up in pads and helmets each weekend, they are no doubt a major part of the team.
Quinn White spends most of his time during game week with Head Football Equipment Manager, Ryan Grooms, and Assistant Football Equipment Manager, Adam Myers. Ryan and Adam tell Quinn everything that must be done in the equipment room throughout the game week, whether it be a home or away game. Quinn is then responsible for delegating responsibilities to all of the younger managers. He then makes sure everyone gets out to the field to setup for practice. Once at practice, Quinn explained, “My job is to make sure practice goes smoothly, especially on the offensive end. I’ll talk with the GA’s, usually Coach Welsh and he’ll say, ‘This is what we’re going to do,’ and I’ll make sure everything gets done. Then I’ll go with the quarterbacks, Coach Martin, and Coach Kelly for the remainder of practice.”
On Game Day, Quinn handles the entire field setup, ensures pregame goes smoothly, manages field clean up, and oversees packing up the truck after the conclusion of the game. As a full-time student, Quinn no doubt has his hands full. However, he wouldn’t give this job up for anything.
“It’s an unbelievable experience to be out on the field. Some of the places I’ve been the last two years are really unbelievable,” said White. More importantly for Quinn, he is overwhelmed by the opportunity he has had to be part of something so special. “Notre Dame football is recognized everywhere you go and I knew I was never going to play here, but to be a part of the program and what is Notre Dame Football has to be my favorite part of the job.”
Daniel Byrne acts as the liaison between players and coaching staff. “A lot of my job has to do with attendance. So on a Tuesday I’ll get here and I’ll start tracking attendance of our players so that they’re in position meetings on time. Calling them, texting them, making sure everyone is here early so that we can get our meetings running officially,” explained Byrne. With a roster including 107 student-athletes, Daniel has a big job to do to ensure everyone is where they need to be on time.
On Fridays and Saturdays of game weekends Daniel is with the team at the hotel recording attendance for all meetings and meals. Daniel is also responsible for bed check. Daniel’s role requires him to spend most of his time interacting directly with the players and coaches, giving him a unique perspective.
For Dan, the best part of the job is getting to know the guys beneath the helmet. “Our players are pretty tremendous guys. They just treat all the managers really, really well,” said Daniel. “They’re always willing to call us out by name and ask us how we’re doing. To me, that’s really the best part. Going to team Mass and seeing the spiritual side of our team is also really incredible. Getting to know each student-athlete off the field has been pretty tremendous.”
Scott’s duties require him to spend most of his time working with Ryan, Adam, and Quinn in the Equipment room. Scott works together with Quinn to delegate responsibilities to the younger student managers and manage the overall logistics of practices, game preparation, etc. While being a student manager for the Notre Dame Football team offers Scott a lot of great opportunities, what he’s loved most are the unique experiences he has had. “It’s incredible traveling to all of the cool places: to Ireland, out to USC, and — in a week — to Stanford,” said Scott. He is also incredibly grateful for his Notre Dame monogram, an honor recently bestowed on him and his fellow senior managers at the Fall Letterman Jacket Ceremony. “A monogram at the University of Notre Dame is a big deal.”
For many student managers, both past and present, each individual has a unique memory they designate as their favorite moment as a student manager. Scott explained, “My first game is my favorite moment. We were playing Michigan State, I was on the 20-yard line on Michigan State’s sideline and George Atkinson busted out and ran down the sideline right past us and I said, ‘Man, this is awesome.’ I was on the sidelines for the first time and it was just a cool experience.” While Scott’s first game made him realize how spectacular his role as a student manager is, there is no doubt his last game will hold similar significance.
For the three senior student managers, the final home game will be an opportunity to look back at an incredibly unique and rare opportunity. It will also be an opportunity to look ahead and recognize they will forever be a part of Notre Dame Football history.
Quinn, Dan, and Scott would like to express their deep appreciation for their bosses, Ryan Grooms and Adam Myers. “They do a tremendous job with making us feel a part of the program. They treat us w/ the utmost respect. They have high expectations of us but their also very thankful of the work we do and they’re very good at what they do as well.”