Marketing junior spends summer as Cardinals equipment manager

Computer information systems junior Trent Vande Krol, 20, studies at the W. P. Carey School, and worked as an equipment manager for the Arizona Cardinals during their training camp. (Photo by Diana Lustig)

Marketing junior Trent Vande Krol studies at the W. P. Carey School and worked as an equipment manager for the Arizona Cardinals during their training camp. (Photo by Diana Lustig)

Marketing junior Trent Vande Krol woke up each morning this summer at 5:45 a.m. and made the 10-minute walk between the Renaissance Hotel and the University of Phoenix Stadium. He walked to the empty field and prepped it for practice.

As the Cardinals’ equipment manager, Vande Krol worked closely with the team’s kickers during practices. His position, however, required him to do much more to support the players.

“We did a lot of laundry,” he said.

The equipment staff was in charge of washing the team’s jerseys and game pants, as well as clean and organize their lockers. In addition to the locker room duties, Vande Krol said he and his colleagues had to help get the field ready for the practices.

“We put all the pads out and set up the entire field,” he said. “They roll that field in and out every day for practice. It’s crazy!”

Vande Krol worked 14 hours every day, except on the rare occasions players had the day off. Even then, he still had to work at least six hours.

“It was a cool experience, and I got a ton of overtime, so it wasn’t so bad,” Vande Krol said.

During the training camp, one of the equipment staff quit. Vande Krol decided to recommend one of his close friends, Eddie Schmidt, for the job.

Schmidt, a former ASU student, said working with the Cardinals was quite the experience.

Dealing with move-in and getting ready for the start of the semester, Vande Krol had to leave his job as the equipment manager. Schmidt stayed a few days longer and took over Vande Krol’s position with the kickers.

Schmidt said the players told him he had some big shoes to fill.

“(Vande Krol) was really good with the players,” Schmidt said.

The two of them said their favorite experience overall was getting to know the Cardinals as more than just players, but as actual people.

“Larry Fitzgerald is one of the most respectable people you will ever meet,” Vande Krol said.

Vande Krol is working at the Tempe campus Bike Co-Op, where he repairs bicycles, and at Sun Devil Stadium, preparing the field for games. His job at the stadium is one of the reasons he was able to get the job with the Cardinals.

Kaylyn Vande Krol, his younger sister, said it was almost unbelievable hearing her brother say he was going to work for the Cardinals.

Kaylyn said he was a completely different person in high school compared to how he is now. She still remembers him never going out with friends and being extremely dedicated to his schoolwork.

“It’s amazing to see him grow into a new person,” Kaylyn said.

She said Vande Krol gets out a lot more, especially because of his best friend.

“He has completely broken out of his shell,” she said. “A lot of things he does I think is so cool.”

She recalled a recent time when her brother took her to a canal, near a golf course, to kneeboard, an idea which Vande Krol and his friend got from Red Bull.

“They have their own wakeskate winching team,” Vande Krol said. “It’s basically a machine with a rope attached to it that reels you in so you can wakeboard across ponds and canals.”

Using a winch of their own, they were able to kneeboard in this canal.

Vande Krol and his friend are always looking to do the next big thing.

“We made this thing called a drift trike,” Vande Krol said. “It’s basically a little kid’s three-wheeler, only we made it out of a bicycle frame with a welded bar in the back and put wheels on it with PVC pipe around the wheels, so it slides real easily.”

Vande Krol and his best friend also got the opportunity to tryout to be on a show, where the cast drifts cars, called “Octane Academy,” he said.

Vande Krol said this was an exciting experience, because he likes fast cars. In California, they had to tryout in a supercharged, manual Ford Focus.

He said they basically had to drive the car as fast as they could through the track the “Octane Academy” had set up.

“We didn’t make it in,” Vande Krol said. “There were guys who were way more experienced than us.”

After changing his majors a few times, Vande Krol said he is finally excited about majoring in marketing.

“Ideally, if I got my dream job, it would be an event coordinator for Red Bull,” he said.

However, Vande Krol said he would not mind getting a job on Red Bull’s marketing team.

 

Reach the reporter at jmhobbs@asu.edu or follow her on Twitter @jamiemhobbs