Scott Nodes, dedicating his time to Sun Devil Athletics since 1996

Sun Devil volleyball's ball retriever is beloved by many

The job of being a volleyball ball retriever is uncommon to many, but for Scott Nodes, it is a job he has held since 1996 with the ASU volleyball team.

Nodes works for ASU part-time as a ball retriever and assistant score supervisor for the volleyball team and the women’s softball program. Nodes arrived at ASU as a graduate student looking to obtain a masters degree in civil engineering. He now works full-time for a local government agency.

While attending ASU, Nodes noticed an advertisement calling for people to volunteer to help the Arizona Cardinals and ASU football team. Nodes was eager to work with the Cardinals but soon realized that the University needed help in other sports besides football, so he began working with volleyball.

“I came out here with no training, and we had a group of six people who didn't know anything about volleyball,” Nodes said. “We attempted to shag the balls at that time, and we didn't do a very good job.”

Those mishaps put Nodes and his co-workers in a bit of a predicament because the program needed to have a group of individuals that would consistently work the matches.

“I told my supervisor, 'We need to have a team of ball retrievers, not just random sign-ups,'” Nodes said. 

From there, the number of participants grew from six to eight to the current 12. 

Nodes said that the operation within each match has changed since he first began.

Nodes said that what makes this job so delightful is the positive feedback he receives from the players, coaches and parents.

“Every day we come out, we get complimented on what we do, so it makes it enjoyable,” Nodes said.

Whittany Horton, a Sun Devil Athletics events coordinator, who works closely with Nodes, noted that his best qualities include his knowledge of the facilities, customer service skills and the detail he puts into everything he does on and off the volleyball court.

“Some might find it unnecessary, but until you are standing there alone at an event and a guest comes up and asks you a question regarding a fact that Scott (Nodes) randomly briefed on, you will understand how important some random facts are about our visiting teams and our team,” Horton said. “Scott is very hard working and puts a lot of care in our events and everything he does for Sun Devil Athletics, and it really shows.”

That level of care from Nodes has been seen by ASU athletics, players, coaches and staff. Interim head coach Carlos Moreno pointed out just how appreciative he was of Nodes and his staff.

“Scott (Nodes) is one of a kind. He is a character, and he is just as a part of the show as everyone else,” Moreno said. "He's a great example because he works so hard, and he's so good at everything he does.”

Moreno said people should take notes on the way Nodes works, and that everyone should put that much passion into their jobs.

“He does it because he loves it, and I hope he stays around forever,” Moreno said.

As the season comes to a close for the Sun Devil volleyball program, Nodes and his staff will finish up their final weekend of the 2017 season as the team returns home to Wells Fargo Arena to take on No. 9 Oregon, Thursday, Nov. 9 at 6 p.m.

Reach the reporter at or follow @KellyB1459 on Twitter.

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