The football flashbacks convinced Ryan Lysaght he couldn’t live without football in his life any longer.
You know the kind? When the team looks unstoppable. When they march downfield, making play after play until pay dirt. Ryan knew what that was like. He knew the teamwork involved. He knew the work in practice that made such a moment possible. He knew the brotherhood it all created. He wanted back in–and not for a moment or just for a college job, but in for life, for a career.
At Taylor High School outside of Cincinnati, Ryan was team captain his senior year. The Yellowjackets broke .500 for the first time in decades.
His junior year he had fractured his sternum and had to sit out. His senior year he broke his hand during camp and everyone thought he was out for weeks. Instead, he taught himself how to snap the ball left-handed.
“Football taught me how to deal with adversity and the challenges we will face, whether in sports or whether in life,” Ryan says.
His guidance counselor suggested he check out Ohio University, a school in Athens, Ohio that boasts nearly 30,000 students, but each one of them feel like they go to a small college.
His freshman year he was drawn, of course, to Peden Stadium and the flashbacks began.
““I instantly missed it. I needed to get involved or do something with the football program.”
He emailed the Athletic Director and soon he had a volunteer job in the locker room.
“Ryan has been a dedicated and loyal student-equipment manager here at Ohio University,” says Equipment Manager Matt Morton. “Ryan goes above and beyond what most managers would be asked to do. When he wasn't in class, he was in the equipment room doing anything he could to keep the team and the room running smoothly.”
After working up his seniority, he switched his major to communications studies and redirected his career goals.
“What I really want to do is work with equipment and work in football when I graduate.” That graduation is a few months away, and Ryan is ready. He interned with the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Cincinnati Bengals.
“That was great. Growing up near Cincinnati, I never thought I would have worked with the team.”
It’s that camaraderie that draws him — that and the opportunity to be a part of a winning team.
“Our job in the locker room and equipment room is crucial to the success of the football team – from the practices to the games – whether it’s making sure the equipment is there or the field is ready – every little thing counts. I want to be a part of that.”
Morton even handed a bunch of his own duties to Ryan during one season when he suffered back problems. “In his second and third seasons, Ryan transitioned to another important manager position on the offensive side of the ball, quarterbacks. This position required him to take point on script meetings, assigning practice duties to his fellow managers, and making sure the offensive side of the ball was running smoothly and efficiently at all times.”
Ryan knows his communication skills will also contribute to a winning team.
“I can help get everyone on the same page almost 100 percent of the time. That is what I would like to focus on wherever I land after I graduate.”
Ryan plans to take the Athletic Equipment Manager Association certification test within the next year. And Helmet Tracker is there to help by offering him the opportunity to win a scholarship that will cover the expenses of the test.
“Ryan is passionate about wanting to work in equipment management as a career and profession,” confirms Morton.
Ryan certainly has the right attitude to start the journey toward winning with any team he joins.
“As equipment managers, we have a certain ability that allows us to always care for or put others first before we acknowledge our own personal self.”