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4/9/2012 4:30:00 AM Write a Letter to the Editor Write a letter to the Editor

Fleets Move College Football Gear for Pride’s Sake, Executives Say

“It’s not convenient to shuttle the equipment any other way except for a truck and trailer,” England said, referring to the home games.

For the bowl game, however, both trailers were needed because more than football equipment had to be transported.

“We carried personal things, like strollers, to [the Hyundai Sun Bowl] because a couple of the guys [coaches and assistants] had kids,” England said.

The truck also is used during the off-season.

“From January to August, it runs in Southern California,” England said. “It benefits us to have a high-profile truck in an area that is not familiar with us and, from a [player] recruiting standpoint, we want to get the school’s name out there.”

England said that factoring in the equipment, fuel and drivers, helping Utah is “a pretty significant investment, [but] we felt it was worth it.”

And Sharitt is happy that the carrier feels that way: “The truck we had before was too small for our needs. Our new truck is very impressive. We’re in the big time now because we have this awesome truck.”

Michael Riggan, president of TanTara Transportation Corp., has been transporting football equipment for the University of Iowa since 1985. He became involved with the university when a friend — Ed Huff, who ran Hawkeye Moving and Storage — asked for his help. Huff began hauling Iowa football gear in 1983.

“He asked me to go on a trip with him to haul the equipment, and I was hooked. It was just an awesome feeling,” Riggan said.

“In 1987, I bought a tractor to use with [Huff’s] trailer, and [we shared] expenses until Ed retired around 2008,” Riggan said.

Now Riggan, who drives the “Hawk Hauler” with his son, Jeff, picks up the entire tab.

“I’ve been fortunate where I can afford to do this,” the elder Riggan said.

Riggan, whose oldest daughter earned a bachelor’s degree from Iowa, said he has always felt welcomed by the Iowa staff.

“Former [head football] coach Hayden Fry made us feel like part of the team,” said Riggan, who was, and still is, struck by a feeling of camaraderie. “We had sideline passes and, since that day, I’ve been on the sidelines of every away game that I’ve gone to.”

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