You can see him pacing behind the bench at men’s basketball games, shagging foul balls and dodging traffic on Paul Bunyan Drive at baseball games and working the sidelines at women’s soccer and football games. His name is Reid Nichols (@bsumanager on Twitter). Primarily the men’s basketball equipment manager, the senior from Golden Valley, Minn. has put blood, sweat and tears into Bemidji State Athletics the past four years, so we sat down with him and a few that have gotten to know him to get some incite on his experiences and what Reid has brought to BSU.
How did you get started?
I saw a flyer freshman year hanging up on the door in the Fieldhouse. I thought that would be kind of cool. I went to Armstrong High School and my senior year we made it to the state championship, even though I wasn’t a student manager, I love that feeling of being on a team, winning and being apart of something good.
What is a typical game day for you?
I get to the gym around 7-8 a.m., clean and get the gym set up. Just be there, ready to go. I probably vacuum the locker room three or four times in a game day. It gets dirty a lot, especially after shoot around and pregame meal. I’ve got to make it clean and ready for the game.
What is the easiest and hardest part of your job?
I guess just watching the game (is the easiest). If it’s not during a timeout my job is done. The timeout is kind of stressful. People recognize that the most.
Why do you like to get involved in other programs at BSU?
I just like helping out other sports. I like learning other sports. It can’t just be basketball.
Do you have a favorite moment as a manager at BSU?
Last Friday, when Dermaine hit that buzzer beater to win the game, that was pretty sweet to be a part of that on the sideline.
Do you like traveling?
Yeah. I like traveling a lot. I like seeing the different courts and different atmospheres. It helps going to other places to see what other managers do. Learn from what they are doing and incorporate it into your game, so you can be the best.
What’s the hardest part of doing your job on the road?
The early mornings. Usually the night in between the first and second game I’m up all night getting laundry done and getting the uniforms ready for the next game.
Do you have a dream job and what are your grad plans?
My dream job is to be an equipment manager with an NBA team. But I know I have to work up to that. I’m majoring in sport management. I’m currently looking at equipment room internships, mostly in the south right now, Florida and Georgia State. Maybe graduate school. I’m just trying to get more experience so I can get that dream job.
Head men’s basketball coach Matt Bowen
What has Reid brought to the program during the last four years?
Reid has been a tremendous help to the entire team, but probably to my two assistants and I more so than anyone else. You just tend to take for granted that the laundry is always done, the scoreboard is always out and the balls are always out. Everything is always set up, the locker room is always clean and the players are always taken care of. He is invaluable to our entire process in making our jobs and the players’ jobs easier. He just has a tremendous amount of passion for Bemidji State basketball and Bemidji State athletics in general.
Bryce Tesdahl, senior guard on the men’s basketball team
Reid is a guy that has a routine, do the guys mess with him sometimes?
I think we try and do a little too much sometimes just to push his buttons a little bit, but he enjoys it and we enjoy having him around. He is definitely a routine guy, especially game day. From the time he wakes up, if he gets sleep that night, he is going 100 percent and he probably sweats more than we do on game days.
How is your relationship with Reid and how will he be missed next year?
Reid and I have gotten closer every year. He is a fun kid and will do anything for our guys. He is probably one of the most hard-working people I have ever been around. He takes very good care of us and does his job exceptionally well.
Just having him around. Just having Reid. He is a big part of our program and our team. We love him like he’s one of our teammates. I don’t know if there is a guy that works harder when it comes to filling water bottles, staying up to 3-4 in the morning doing our laundry or getting up at 6 a.m. to rebound basketballs for us. It means a lot and just having that all-around, hard-working attitude will definitely be missed.