A day in the life of a football manager

[media-credit name=”Boyd R. Langley” align=”alignright” width=”741″]On Saturdays in the fall, the attention is focused on all that goes on in between the dashed lines; the excitement and tradition of college football. But what most people don’t notice are the many moving parts that make up a college football game, including the many student football managers that are vital to the health of the program.
Chris Paroli, a fourth year Business Administration student from Charleston, South Carolina is the head football manager for Tech and loves every minute of the job.
“I am a laid-back person, but when I get around football and sports, I get in the zone and become intense,” Paroli said.
Paroli’s grandfather, a high school football coach in North Carolina, and coach of many of Tech’s recruits, first got Paroli interested in the job and was instrumental in helping him get the position which is based highly on connections and recommendations. As the only senior, Paroli was named head manager this year. The first step in Paroli’s position begins with his vital role in practices.
“We basically are, in my opinion, the glue to practice,” Paroli said.  “Everything is very scripted, and we make sure that it runs efficiently. We let the coaches coach, the players play, and we make sure they don’t have to worry about the other stuff.”
But the manager’s job is far from just being a practice liaison, as the weekday grind encapsulates a large portion of the manager’s expectations. Managers are expected to attend practice every day, including the 3:45 to 6:30 Tuesday and Wednesday practices that include a heavy load of laundry after each session.  Game days are even more intense, usually requiring a nine hour workday that begins four hours before kickoff. On the day of the game, Paroli leads a group of managers that lay out an identical uniform set for each player, help coaches with pregame warm-ups,  and hold numerous jobs throughout the game including towel duty, replay booth assistance, and in-game phone connection between the coaches in the press box and players.
“I really appreciate all the hard work the other 11 managers have put in. We have a lot of fun together and I thank them for their efforts,” said Paroli.
The pace is very hectic and can get very stressful, but it’s an experience that has enabled Paroli to meet many people that have impacted his life positively.
“The coaches I’ve worked for know me on a personal basis, and its really cool to develop some of those relationships. There have been some really great players that I’ve been able to meet and know. It’s been a really cool experience with that, working with guys that at one point you were watching on television,” said Paroli.
Although Paroli did not grow up a Jackets fan, he cannot imagine having to watch a game from the stands.
“I’m such a huge sports fan. I bleed Yellow Jacket gold now,” said Paroli.
With Paroli’s combined love for the game and the Jackets, there is no place he belongs more than on Grant Field.