The Chipps were the only team to finish the Conference Championships undefeated as they battered through the MidAmerica Conference. Now, they battle the San Diego State Aztecs in the Helmet Bowl I National Championship Semi-finals after defeating the Coe Koehawks, Stout Blue Devils, Greenville Panthers, and the Wayne State Warriors. They are the only #1 Seeded team to make it so far in the National bracket.
In November, Helmet Bowl interviewed Central Michigan Equipment Coordinator Michael McPike. Here is that story.
Central Michigan Chippewas field a team of 115 players in the Maroon and Gold and its up to Equipment Coordinator Michael McPike to make sure each have the gear they need.
“I love getting to work with the student athletes—helping them out to reach their goals every day,” Michael tells Helmet Tracker. “For me, it’s the opportunity to continue to be a part of a team and help the coaches out as well. That’s fun.”
Michael has served four head coaches at CMU since arriving in 2005. He now leads a team of 13 student managers. Past student manages have graduated to begin their own careers in the equipment rooms of college programs across the nation. Michael says he introduces those who are interested in building a career to the Athletic Equipment Managers Association (AEMA), where he earned his certification in 2000.
Other former student managers under McPike work in marketing, logistics, and other businesses.
“I’ve had quite a few successful in coaching and administration.”
For Michael, it started during the filming of a used car advertisement.
After playing high school football, he enrolled at Bowling Green University and looked to somehow continue his involvement in the sport. Head coach Gary Blackney was shooting the ad when Michael wandered into the area during freshmen orientation. “He told me some of the opportunities there were with the football program and I wanted to work with the equipment,” Michael said. “From there, the biggest thing is that I have gotten a chance to work with some great equipment guys, learn things, and pass them along.”
Michael mentions Joe Sharp at Bowling Green, where he earned a degree in Business Administration, and Lester Karlin at Virginia Tech, where he earned a Masters of Science in Education with an emphasis on health promotion.
“I consider them, and those who work for me, family.”
Michael worked at Florida International University, then moved closer to home 12 years ago to work at CMU.
“It’s been a great ride here!”