Penn State Football: Longtime Equipment Manager Brad 'Spider' Caldwell To Retire After Over 30 Years Of Service
After 31 years on Penn State's staff Brad 'Spider' Caldwell will retire from his position as team equipment manager leaving behind a legacy not soon forgotten within the walls of the Lasch football building. The university announced the news early Thursday.
Having been a member of the staff since 1986, Caldwell and his wife, Karen, will be moving to a vacation home in Vermont, where he has accepted a position as Activities Director for the Fair Haven Union High School in Fair Haven, Vt. Among the duties of the Activities Director, Caldwell will be serving as the school's athletic director.
Caldwell will begin his new position on July 1.
"Words cannot begin to express the gratitude I have towards Penn State for all the opportunities it has given me through the years," said Caldwell. "The `Penn State Family,' from all the lettermen, coaching staffs, managers, countless alumni and fans, is what makes Penn State such a special place."
"I'd like to thank, first and foremost, Coach (Joe) Paterno, who became not only my coach, but a father and grandfather figure to me. He instilled in me the values and discipline that I carry with me today. Thank you, JoePa, for all the great memories. I'd like to also thank Coach (Bill) O'Brien, for letting me be part of two of the most special groups of players in Penn State history."
"Finally, I'd like to thank Coach (James) Franklin for giving me an opportunity to be part of his staff. The staff he has put together to lead Penn State to great things in the future made this a difficult decision."
Stories about the impact Spider has had on the lives of Penn State football players and fans will likely be told for days to come. From his smiling face found at every corner come win or loss, to his wife sewing the player's names to their jersey by hand, Spider will forever be a crucial and memorable part of the program's history. Anyone who has spent time around the program will have difficulty finding someone more loved and respected than Caldwell from players and coaches alike.
"Spider has been an invaluable and tremendous resource for me and our staff," said head coach James Franklin. "He has been a vital part of the Penn State football family for more than 30 years and I wish we could have him working alongside us for another 30 years. Spider will always be part of our family and I want to thank him on behalf of all the players and coaches he has worked with and helped. We are discussing honoring him, and what he has meant to Penn State and the football program, in a special way. We wish Spider all the best and look forward to seeing him again on the Beaver Stadium sidelines."
Caldwell began his association with the football program in 1983 as a student manager after spending his freshman year at Penn State-DuBois near his hometown of Curwensville, Pa.
He has been on the sidelines for 379 Nittany Lion games during his 31 years.