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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

After Fry retired in 1998, Kirk Ferentz took over the reins of the football program.

“He, likewise, has treated us like we’re part of the staff,” Riggan said. “He’s just good people.”

“Mike is a big part of our team,” Coach Ferentz said. “The thing that has always jumped out at me is that the truck is symbolic of the way Mike treats us. . . . It’s just absolutely spectacular. I tease Mike [that] you could perform surgery on it. Mike takes great pride in keeping that thing spotless.”

The coach said the truck helps spread the university’s name and football program through the areas in which it travels.

“It’s great advertising for us,” Ferentz said. “The detail of the graphics and the artwork on the truck is splendid.”

He also said that it’s always a kick to see the truck waiting for the team.

“We’ll get off the plane, and the truck is sitting out there on the tarmac,” the coach said.

And he heaped praise on Riggan’s dedication to the university and the team.

“Mike’s truck is very representative of the type of person he is,” Ferentz said. “He’s so well-grounded, so committed, so supportive. He’s all about supporting the Hawkeyes. . . . I wish all our players were as committed as he is. We could all learn from him.”

Riggan said the movement of the football gear can be an arduous one.

“We haul everything from the jock straps to the gym shorts. We arrive on Thursday afternoon and start loading the stuff that we can while the team practices — the trainer stuff, communications equipment, video equipment. After practice, their shoulder pads, helmets [and other personal gear] go into the players’ bags, which are the last things to go on truck.

“We drive to the hotel where the team is staying and unload stuff there,” he said. “Then, we go to the stadium and help unload gear in the locker room and set up all of the lockers . . . for them,” he said, adding that this is done so the players have the gear that is needed for a practice walk-through on Friday.

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