At first, it was simply economics. David Glass needed a job, needed money for school, and needed for it to be enjoyable.
Sports, he thought, would be the perfect fit.
Ten years later and David is overseeing equipment management for 33 sports at one of the nation’s most recognizable universities. Most know it by it's initials—MIT, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
“We are run very professionally with great leadership,” he said. “Our programs are full of very strong leaders who do such a great job juggling academics and athletics. We have a great staff, and it is reflected in our work everyday.”
Now, athletics surely do take a backseat to academics at MIT. David says the emphasis on school work gives the athletes that much more incentive to do well on the field, ice, and court.
“Here, practices are limited to 5 to 7 p.m.,” he said. “And, during midterms and finals, there is no play and no practice. We shut down.”
David grew up in western Massachusetts, played football, baseball, and basketball for the Pittsfield High School Generals, and went to Westfield State University to play baseball. When he wasn’t on the mound, he was in the equipment room, hanging out.
Work Study and Going Beyond
Having a work-study program lead David to choose athletics and, as he says, luckily enough, he got assigned to the equipment room. There he hung with his fellow athletes and learned the ropes (and got some sweet swag!).
“When I started, I was really interested in brands and how they worked. I thought I wanted to be a salesman—sell Nike, Under Armor—that sort of thing.”
Head Equipment Manager at Westfield State University, Kathy Saltis, remembers David reaching beyond the assignments he was given as a student manager.
“Even as a student in the Equipment Room, Dave was a gear guy,” Kathy wrote. “He made a point of knowing what was on the market and how effective it was.”
At Springfield College, he earned his graduate degree in sports management. “Now, my goal is to be an athletic director.”
Through the Equipment Room
The path, as he sees it, leads straight through the equipment room. He served an internship at Assumption College where he worked with every aspect of the athletic department—from compliance to budgeting, from preparing the fields to equipping the players.
“From there I got a job as the head equipment manager, plus the coordinator of all the camps and clinics, at Stonehill College,” he says. “They added Head of Operations and Head of Home Events. I was doing all three and was there for three years.”
When the job at MIT opened up in the fall of 2015, he jumped. “I was on vacation and got a call, and now I’m here, and I love it. I have three full-time assistants and work closely with the administration, but what I enjoy is the administration of the teams and all that surrounds them. It’s like being a CEO.”
“I love working in the equipment room,” David says. “I’ve always loved the fact that you work so closely with the athletes—you watch them grow throughout the season. I have mentored some, and it’s fun.”
Hunting for Certification
When he’s not working, David enjoys hunting deer and turkey and going to the beach.
Now, David is prepared to take the Athletic Equipment Management Association’s certification exam in June during its national convention in Atlanta. “For someone in our field it is a great honor to have certification,” he says.
And, his first equipment room boss, Kathy from Westfield State, has stayed in touch. “As a professional in the field, Dave continues to pay attention to innovations in the world of sports equipment and protective gear. He asks a lot of questions and uses his resources to figure out what works and what doesn’t.”