Beloved equipment manager Brad “Spider” Caldwell to leave Penn State

Brad “Spider” Caldwell was a lot more than a longtime equipment manager at Penn State.

Of course, he took care of most every uniform and logistical detail a player could think of. But he also was the one players went to talk over problems with their girlfriends, as well as their coaches.

In a sense, he has been a caretaker of everything Penn State football for nearly three decades now.

Brad "Spider" Caldwell was as much a big brother and counselor to his  players as an equipment manager. (photo courtesy of Penn State)

Brad “Spider” Caldwell was as much a big brother and counselor to his players as an equipment manager. (photo courtesy of Penn State)

That run, though, is ending as the university announced today that Caldwell is retiring after being a member of the Nittany Lion equipment staff since 1986.

He and his wife, Karen, are relocating to their vacation home in Vermont, where he has accepted a position as Activities Director for the Fair Haven Union High School. His duties will include serving as the school’s athletic director. Caldwell will begin his new position July 1.

His official title was Penn State “equipment and facilities coordinator.” However, his start came in 1983 as a student manager after spending his freshman year at Penn State-DuBois, near his hometown of Curwensville.

He has been on the sidelines for 379 Nittany Lion games.

But, again, he was more than the guy players went to replace a ripped T-shirt or to find the right cleats or to get their ankles and wrists wrapped a certain way before games.

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Posted in Big Ten, Bill O'Brien, coaching staff, Fans, Football, James Franklin, Joe Paterno, Penn State, PSU alumni | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Franklin sounds off on need for updates to facilities

Frank Bodani and Jim Seip discuss James Franklin’s willingness to address the need for upgrades to Penn State’s football facilities.

Posted in Beaver Stadium, Big Ten, Bill O'Brien, Football, Frank Bodani, Jim Seip, Joe Paterno, NCAA, Penn State, Podcast | Leave a comment

Penn State football chat, 8 p.m., May 19

While there aren’t any new verbal commitments, there is still plenty of Penn State football talk to get after.

So join me again tonight at 8 to chat about whatever you like: James Franklin’s Coaches Caravan Tour, recruiting, NCAA sanctions, the Paterno lawsuit, the upcoming football season.

James Franklin has been wowing crowds on the Penn State Coaches Caravan tour.

James Franklin has been wowing crowds on the Penn State Coaches Caravan tour.

We can hit on all of that and more. If you can’t make it tonight, make sure to drop a question or comment into the chat at any time and I’ll make sure to get to those first.

Plus, maybe you saw former Nittany Lion John Shaw’s take on Michael Sam and what he thinks of the NFL. If you didn’t, here it is from the Spring Grove native.

Using a mobile device? Click here to join the live chat.

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John Shaw speaks out about Michael Sam and the NFL

Spring Grove’s John Shaw may well be the most outspoken former Penn State football player when it comes to Michael Sam.

The offensive lineman played for the Nittany Lions a decade ago and was joined by his older brother Jimmy, a defensive lineman who transferred in from Rice University.

John Shaw signs autographs before a Blue-White Game.

John Shaw signs autographs before a Blue-White Game.

Their younger brother, David Shaw, is heading off to play for Randy Edsall at Maryland.

John Shaw said the topic of homosexuality was never discussed openly in the locker room when he played at Penn State, and he did not know of any teammates or opponents who were gay. (He never hooked on with a pro team after graduation).

But Shaw, who now helps run the family’s worm farming business in Florida, has some strong opinions about the openly-gay Sam and the NFL. Here is his letter to the editor.

Posted in Blue/White, Fans, Football, Maryland, Penn State, Randy Edsall | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Penn State football chat, 8 p.m., May 12

A lot has been going on in the Penn State football world since we chatted last week.

James Franklin has been touring the state, including a stop in York. Plus, the Nittany Lions have picked up three more recruits.

Dallastown's Ben Kline is developing into a leader. But the Lions need more recruiting help at linebacker.

Dallastown’s Ben Kline is developing into a leader. But the Lions need more recruiting help at linebacker.

I’ll be chatting at 8 p.m. Monday, as usual, so let’s talk about the commitments of Sterling Jenkins, Brandon Wimbush and the latest, Maryland defensive back Ayron Monroe.

What do you think of the Lions’ class, which stands at 16 members by the middle of May? Penn State is No. 2 nationally, while no one has as many verbal pledges.

Where do the Lions go from here? How much space do they even have left in this class?

We’ll get to all of that and more. Remember, if you can’t make it Monday night, drop a question or comment into the chat ahead of time and I’ll be sure to respond.

In the meantime, listen to Jim Seip and I break down the past recruiting week and more for James Franklin right here.

Posted in Ben Kline, Chat, Fans, Football, Frank Bodani, James Franklin, Penn State, Recruiting, Sterling Jenkins | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Big recruits continue to flock to PSU

Now that OL Sterling Jenkins and QB Brandon Wimbush have committed to Penn State, what’s the next step for the PSU coaching staff? Well, Frank Bodani and Jim Seip discuss how anything more would be a bonus at this point, but landing a five-star recruit would be something the current staff hasn’t secured yet at State College.

Posted in Bill O'Brien, Fans, Football, Frank Bodani, Jim Seip, NCAA, Penn State, Podcast | Leave a comment

Penn State prepares for Super Tuesday

Tomorrow is looming as a huge Penn State football day.

First, head coach James Franklin will be making two more Coaches Caravan appearances, in York for a luncheon and in Hershey for a dinner engagement. Both are sold out.

Big-time lineman Sterling Jenkins (center) is expected to commit to Penn State Tuesday.

Big-time lineman Sterling Jenkins (center) is expected to commit to Penn State Tuesday.

Then, a potentially dynamic recruiting haul is taking shape for Franklin, who already is off to a hot start since taking over in January.

Pittsburgh-area Sterling Jenkins, a coveted 6-foot-8 offensive tackle and a four-star prospect, is scheduled to talk privately with radio station KDKA in the mid-afternoon. The interview and his decision (between Ohio State and Penn State) will be officially announced at 6:40 p.m.

Also tomorrow evening, four-star New Jersey quarterback Brandon Wimbush, the Lions’ top QB target, is now expected to make his decision known, via his Twitter account.

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Posted in Football, James Franklin, Ohio State, Penn State, Recruiting, Sterling Jenkins | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Penn State football chat, 8 p.m., May 5

James Franklin is coming to York on Tuesday … just as Penn State expects word on whether coveted high school offensive tackle Sterling Jenkins will join the fold.

James Franklin is in the middle of recruiting and the Coaches Caravan tour.

James Franklin is in the middle of recruiting and the Coaches Caravan tour.

So, there’s quite a bit to talk about concerning Nittany Lion football.

I’ll be chatting with everyone from 8 to 9 on Monday night, so join me to discuss topics ranging from recruiting to the Big Ten to the upcoming 2014 season. Have an opinion on Franklin’s name coming up again in the Vanderbilt rape case saga?

What do you know about the latest addition to Penn State’s 2015 recruiting class, defensive lineman Jonathan Holland?

We’ll hit on whatever topic you like. Just join in at 8 p.m. or drop in a question or comment any time before.

Posted in Big Ten, Chat, Fans, Football, Frank Bodani, James Franklin, Penn State, Recruiting | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Franklin news creates a stir for PSU

Reporters Frank Bodani and Jim Seip discuss the news out of Nashville that concerns James Franklin.

Posted in Football, Frank Bodani, Jim Seip, Larry Johnson, Maryland, Recruiting | Leave a comment

Michael Robinson ready for the end of his NFL ride

It seems a good bet that Michael Robinson has played his final game in the NFL.

And that’s not so much a surprise as it is a reason to celebrate one of the most beloved Nittany Lions, who also earned a special notoriety on the pro level.

Joe Paterno used Michael Robinson all over the field in his career.

Joe Paterno used Michael Robinson all over the field in his career.

In this story by Mike Poorman, of StateCollege.com, Robinson says, “There really isn’t a market for 31-year fullbacks headed into their ninth year in the league. Economically speaking, I understand that. I’m going to give myself a little time after the draft to let teams see how their rosters shake out. After seeing what happens, I’m probably going to call it a career.”

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Posted in Big Ten, Football, Injuries, Joe Paterno, Michael Robinson, Penn State, PSU alumni | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments