Xavier Magazine

A Trophy Life: Staying in Gear

sensibaughChad Sensibaugh offers career advice you don’t hear everyday—“I interned for seven seasons before I got a full-time job.”

But since that first full-time gig as assistant equipment manager for the Seattle Seahawks, he now has an equally rare perk—a Super Bowl ring.

Sensibaugh’s personal path to success didn’t come with a playbook. He graduated in 2008 with a degree in sports management from a university not known for football, and truth be told, baseball was his first love. As a freshman, he tried out as a walk-on. He wasn’t picked, but they asked him to hang around and help out. He also worked at Xavier’s ticket office and landed a job working at a training camp for the Cincinnati Bengals.

“I busted my tail because you want to make a good impression and you never know where it could lead to.”

It led to a full-season paid internship. And a maxed-out schedule.

“Once football starts, from training camp to the final game, from an equipment standpoint, it’s a seven-day week.”

There’s an easy description for what the equipment manager is responsible for—everything. Everybody from players, coaches, trainers and other personnel have their own specific equipment needs. Down to rubbing the footballs in very specific ways.

”Some quarterbacks prefer a perfectly smooth ball with all the ‘pimples’ rubbed off.”

Watch Sensibaugh at work preparing footballs from his days as an intern with the Cleveland Browns.

And come game day, he says, the players are depending on your skills and the whole world really is watching. “You take pride in it. You’re responsible for how things look and work out there on the field on every play.” And if you’re really, really lucky, at the end of the season you get a ring for your efforts.