Sept. 9, 2005
Kevin Smith, a senior from Indianapolis, literally walks a mile in Coach Bowden’s footsteps during every Seminole football game. Who is Smith you ask? He is Bowden’s right-hand man while the Florida State football team is on the field. Holding everything from gum, to tissues, to Bowden’s infamous headset, Smith is an integral part of the spectacle that is played out on national television weekly. Sports information caught up with Smith to take a look into the man behind the man.
Where are you from and what brought you to Florida State?
I’m originally from Indianapolis, and I came to Florida State in 2002 to attend school and become a part of the football program. I have a twin brother (Brian) who also works with me as one of the team’s student equipment managers. We live together and work with the football team.
What year are you in school?
I’m a senior majoring in sports marketing. I want to earn my degree and work in the sports industry.
We see you every Saturday patrolling the sidelines at Coach Bowden’s heels; what else do you do for the program?
This is my fourth season with Florida State football working as an equipment manager. I work as the equipment manager specifically for the quarterbacks and wide receivers. I take care of helmets, shoulder pads, shoes, jerseys, and pretty much all the other (behind-the-scenes) work for the quarterbacks and wide receivers. I am in my third season working behind Coach Bowden in the sidelines on game day.
How did you get the job?
I actually applied to be a student-manager during my junior year in high school. I was interested in doing some equipment work and I’ve always wanted to go to Florida State. My father is an alumnus here, and when I visited, they offered me the position and a partial scholarship. I was sold on Florida State right then.
Do you want to go into coaching after college?
I love what I am doing with the football team. I am studying sports marketing and will earn my degree in the spring of 2006. I’d really like to stay with the sport of football, or maybe go on to the business side of it.
Who is your favorite player to work with?
I like guys with a lot of attitude, and who like to have fun and love what they do. Lorenzo Booker is one of my favorites; he works hard and has fun every day. After that, it’s the quarterbacks. They all work hard together; it’s fun to work with them too.
Would you recommend working as a manager for any students out there thinking about following in your footsteps?
Definitely, it’s not so much the hard work, it’s just very time consuming. A lot of people don’t realize that we’re here almost more than the players, but I love working with them. You get to see every thing that goes on inside the locker room, on the field, on the practice field, and just everyday work which makes the experience worth while being out there on game day.
What is the hardest part about your job?
The hardest part about my job is just trying to tell other people about what I do. I take a lot of pride in my work, but I can’t really show them in words how much I love working. A lot of people probably don’t understand that we’re here all the time working very hard.
Which game was your favorite, this year’s victory over Miami, or the 2003 Florida stunner?
That’s a tough question to answer. It was awesome to beat Miami. I’ve been waiting to do that for four years, but that Florida game was awesome. It was on the road, it was in a hostile environment and it didn’t look like anything was going our way. It was cool.
Do you have people around campus recognize you from TV?
Yes they do. It’s funny, especially during class or something. When I come back on Monday morning and people say, “I saw you on TV,” or I get phone calls from friends. Sometimes when I’m out with friends, I’ll get asked about it and I reply, “I’m just doing my job.”
Question and Answer
By A.J. Henderson
Sports Information Student Intern