In the basement of Franklin & Marshall’s Mayser Center, a sea of blue surrounds Robin Wert-Eller as she sits at her desk in an athletic equipment room. Along one wall, neatly folded lacrosse uniforms await the student-athletes who will don them this spring. In the middle of the room, clean basketball uniforms are ready for inventory. And most prominently, a blue “Diplomats” logo greets all who use a large mobile shelving unit that fills one side of the room.
As coordinator of athletic equipment operations, purchasing, and wellness, Wert-Eller says there is no typical day in this hidden area of Mayser, where she leads a variety of tasks to help keep F&M athletic operations running smoothly. The equipment area—which encompasses four rooms in a hallway on Mayser’s west side—is where uniforms are laundered, stored and organized; strategic planning for athletic equipment needs takes place; and repairs are made to existing equipment.
F&M teams get new uniforms every four years. Wert-Eller works closely with coaches and a range of vendors to get the best deal for each of F&M’s teams. Discounts often depend on how early you order, she says.
And this semester, Wert-Eller is busy planning a new equipment area in Shadek Stadium, which is scheduled to open sometime next fall. She envisions a satellite equipment shop in the stadium for football and men’s and women’s lacrosse—the details of which are coming into view.
But for now, Wert-Eller and the students she works with will continue to spend most of their time in Mayser. They’ll make sure all uniforms are ready for the next practice or game; fix helmets, pads, and other equipment; use a heat press to attach numbers onto uniforms; and do everything they can to make sure student-athletes and coaches look good wearing Diplomat blue.