“I basically help set up the locker rooms and make sure the players have what they need for games,” he said. “It’s anything from making sure socks and shoes are out to undergarments, uniforms, warm-ups and I get to the locker room facility early to make sure the players have what they need to go out on the court or the field.”
Wasson started as a student manager in football and resumed a full-time role after graduation as an Olympic sports equipment manager. Later, he was named assistant football equipment manager under Tom Kalinowski, who is the school’s equipment manager. His current job is “more of an administrative role.”
“I still travel with football and assist them as needed, and I wouldn’t be in the spot I am now if it wasn’t for the head football equipment manager, Tom Kalinowski. He’s basically the Bill Keightley of football. He’s been here 30-plus years.”
Since he’s been at the school, Wasson said, the biggest attribute of his job is forming relationships with players, coaches and administrators. He said meeting new student-athletes on a year-to-year basis and being around them helps “keep me young.”
“The relationships have been developed through the years for a lifetime is very rewarding,” he said.
Wasson also likes being around a football program that’s “on the rise.” The Wildcats will make a school-record fifth consecutive bowl appearance on Jan. 8 in the BBVA Compass Bowl against Pittsburgh in Birmingham, Ala.
“To be part of the process and get to the point we want to be in a few years has been special,” he said. “It’s been great to be part of seeing the change of the culture with Kentucky football and Kentucky athletics. I really believe that started changing when (athletics director) Mitch Barnhart came on board.
(Former coach) Rich Brooks started changing the culture of Kentucky football and winning games. It’s been fun, but I don’t think the work’s done yet. We’re always working hard to advance the (football) program.”
Wasson credits his success and advancement at the school to Kalinowski, Barnhart and former deputy athletics director Rob Mullens, now the athletics director at the University of Oregon.
“I’m very, very fortunate to work in an administrative capacity at the same school I attended,” he said.
Wasson also receives a hand of support from his wife Bonnie.
“I’m very fortunate to have a wife that understands the demands of an equipment manager,” he said. “You have early morning days and late nights. She understands that and I am very blessed to be married to a strong woman that understands the demands of my career.”
Contact Keith Taylor at email@example.com.