Jay Terry has been an equipment manager for the Nebraska football team since 1997 and the Huskers' head equipment manager since 2002. A married father of two, his staff maintains the locker room — home and away — and is in charge of all the team's equipment needs. Yes, a sizable job. He lauds the hard work of his entire crew.
Are there any unique challenges attached to a trip to Ohio State?
"Not any different than any other road trip. We load the truck all the same. It's just that looking back on these last two weeks, you never know what the weather's going to be like, so we prepared for having propane so we could have our sideline heaters ready to go. We'll still take them, but obviously it doesn't look like we're going to need them. We're pretty thankful and feel fortunate."
You're a wily veteran. Do you have these trips down to a science?
"We have it down pretty well. But as you notice, with all of college football and all of college sports, there are just more and more people involved. When I started in 2002 with Coach (Frank) Solich, I packed sideline gear for the full-time coaches and that was it. Now, we pack for over 50 people. You have all your coaches, all your graduate assistants, interns, recruiting people, operations people, strength staff, training staff, doctors, video guys. Back in 2002, you just issued the coaches their sideline shirts and pants and said, 'Hey, make sure you're wearing this on Saturday.'"
What gets packed for all these people?
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"For staff and coaches, we have all of their hang-up clothes. When we go on the road, you have to take all the options, because you never know what the weather could be. It could change on the drop of a dime. So, they have a polo, a short-sleeved quarter-zip, a long-sleeved quarter-zip, a lightweight hoodie, a heavy hoodie, a long-sleeved compression shirt if it gets cold, and then their sideline pants. That's all the hang-up clothes. Then, in another trunk, we have their sideline shoes, their belts, a towel and a shower kit for after the game. So, we have three hanging trunks and two shoe trunks for staff."
You set up the Husker locker room at Ohio Stadium on Friday night. What all does that entail?
"We pretty much have it ready to go for the game. We put out the helmets, uniforms, cleats, shoulder pads. The trainers get their training room all ready to go. Some teams do it the day of the game for night games. I just like doing the night before, so if there are any major issues I can handle them over the night or the next morning."
Have you ever received any unusual requests from coaches?
"Nothing major. With Coach (Bill) Callahan, we always had to take a replica of the stadium where the (conference) championship game was at. So, we had a replica of Arrowhead (in 2006). It was in a plastic display box. We'd have to get the other team's decal, and after we beat them, we'd put it on the box. We'd pack that and carry it around. Just some of that motivational stuff that sometimes coaches do ..."
— Steven M. Sipple