By Morgan Guyer
Once September rolls around, Maryville football fans can see the Bearcats take to the field on Saturday dressed in that classic green and white.
After months of training and preparation, countless film sessions and practices, the players are finally ready, but not without help. In the background, during these months, there is another group of people working to get the team back on the pitch. This is the Northwestern Missouri State Equipment Department.
Making sure the players look good is definitely a plus, but more importantly, the equipment department has to make sure the Bearcats are safe. Player safety has been paramount in the world of college football in recent years.
Tucker Peve has been director of equipment operations at Northwest since 2018, and he describes his department as one of the “teams behind the team.”
“We just try to raise the bar every year and put the team in a position to win games,” Peve said.
Peve has been with the department for eight years, working as a student manager while earning his undergraduate degree in business management and then earning his master’s degree in applied health and sport science. He’s excited for the 2022 season and can’t wait for Bearcat fans to see the new apparel, helmets and uniforms, and everything else they’ve been working on.
Outside of his work with Northwest, Peve worked as a part-time equipment assistant for the Kansas City Chiefs, was on the Pro-Bowl staff, and interned with the Baltimore Ravens. It’s now become almost a tradition for equipment staff to do internships for NFL teams. All of Peve’s five student interns have one of those internships this summer, along with one of his graduate assistants, Will Walker, who is enjoying his time with the Ravens before returning to Maryville.
“I just finished my first week with the Ravens for training camp, and I really enjoyed working at the NFL level,” Walker said. “The Ravens have done a great job making me feel at home. I’m excited for the rest of training camp.
Once back with the Bearcats in the fall, Walker is excited about the road trips where they can work to make sure the team feels at home. He feels like Peve and the rest of the staff helped prepare him for the next level.
“From the day I submitted my resume, Tucker has helped me every step of the way,” Walker said. “With all the knowledge he imparted to me, it prepared me much better to take the next step in a training camp like I am today.”
Outside of the NFL, another Northwestern gear graduate has found success in the industry. Former student-manager Brady Archer is now assistant director of equipment operations at USC, where he previously worked at TCU as a graduate assistant.
“Tucker showed me a lot of things honestly. He really showed me my passion for the industry,” Archer said. “He cares so much about his students, and also the players.”
Archer never knew he wanted to get into the equipment industry until he got to college. Now working at the Power Five Division I school, he is ready to take the next step in his career.
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