The 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!”
The Chips of Central Michigan carried their undefeated season into the last remaining Conference Championship week. The Chippewas earn a low seed for the National Championship and will contend deep into the bracket.
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Teams tied for their Conference Championship in the standings after this week will enter a one-week, head-to-head playoff Tuesday, November 14. If more than two teams are tied, the top two vote-getters will square off. Eleven Conferences could result in ties.
National Championship Bracket
- Helmet Bowl will announce the four regional, 16-team brackets and seeding during the week of Nov. 21-Nov.27.
- The National Championship Bracket will launch Tuesday, November 28.
Week 9 Ties
In the Missouri Valley, the Sycamores of Indiana State tied with the Illinois State Redbirds this week, but the half-point was enough to win the Conference.
The Mountain West saw a three-way tie between the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors, Nevada Wolfpack, and the Conference
winning San Diego State Aztecs. This Conference will be ultra competitive for Helmet Bowl II now that the Warriors are aware!
In the New England W&M Small College Athletic, the Merchant Marine Mariners have won the conference, but that didn’t stop the Coast Guard Bears and Springfield Pride from meeting them with the same number of votes for Week 9.
Question of the Week
There's been a sour taste in my mouth for 30 years whenever the Georgetown Hoyas are mentioned–probably dating back to when Patrick Ewing repeatedly put it to the Syracuse Orangemen (my family is from Upstate New York). But when Patriot League voters push forward this silver helmet with the simple blue G, I have to ask what is happening here? Colgate, with their simple script, at least makes it somewhat interesting with the ‘gate. The Raiders have a chance to tie the Hoyas, then beat them in the playoff week. what will happen?
Looking ahead to the National Championship bracket, the battle for the Presidents' Conference will produce a strong helmet. Either the Thomas More Saints or the Bethany Bison will win. Either helmet should be in the National bracket. The Saints sport a cool diagonal design with a thick silver stripe moving above a rich blue field from the jaw line to the crown of the head. Above it, the Saint. The Bison have a matt green helmet with a white outline of West Virginia on the side. Charging out of that state is the Bison. The problem is the Presidents' doesn't have enough votes to qualify its winner for the 64-team National Bracket. If you appreciate good helmet design, vote this week: http://helmettracker.com/helmet-bowl-i/presidents-athletic-conference/