In the Locker Room: Virginia Covalt
Most of you may have walked by the equipment cage in Phillips on your way to the intramural gym to shoot hoops or to the indoor track for a cardio workout. But when you walk by that equipment cage I bet you’re wondering about who that nice woman who takes care of all that nice equipment is. Her name is Virginia Covalt and she’s in charge of taking care of all the Oberlin women’s athletics teams, as well as men’s basketball, men’s tennis and men’s swimming. She does a great job of making sure they have the proper gear and equipment to succeed on the field, court or pool. She does a phenomenal job because most other colleges have two, if not more, equipment managers for one sport. Virginia took some time for a quick interview.
Cassius Harris: Virginia, how long have you worked as the equipment manager for the college?
Virginia Covalt: It was 26 years this past August.
CH: 26 years! How has that been?
VC: It’s been good. I really like the kids and I like the coaches.
CH: So, are you in charge of all women’s sports, and can it get overwhelming at times?
VC: Yes, I do all the women’s sports in this building, and also I do men’s basketball, men’s tennis and men’s swimming. I don’t get overwhelmed; I enjoy it. Before, I only had one women’s sport in this building; all the others were at Hales.
CH: What’s the best part of your job?
VC: Working with the kids when they win, they are just easy to work with.
CH: (laughing) When they win. What types of things do you do, when preparing a team, let’s say, on game day?
VC: I usually pack their bags and put them in their locker rooms in numerical order. It sort of just makes it easier for everyone.
CH: Do you feel like you have gained relationships with the female athletes here?
VC: Oh yeah, I feel like I can joke around with them and hang out with them. They sometimes call me their mom away from home; most of them appreciate what I do.
CH: Is there a sport that you feel takes the most time to prepare for as far as packing their bags before games?
VC: They mostly take about the same time. Cross country takes a little more time because they have more athletes, but they also have less equipment.
CH: Looking at your job, and Larry’s job, do you think you could handle being the equipment manager for the male athletes?
VC: Of course, I feel like I could handle the job if there were all males.
CH: All the newspaper clippings that you have hanging up by your office, did you hang those up?
VC: It makes me feel good that I am a part of it. I usually hang up the athletes of the week. I call it my own personal Oberlin hall of fame. When the kids see it, they know that I’m behind them all the way.
CH: That’s awesome! What sports, men and women, would you say you enjoy the most?
VC: I enjoy field hockey, men’s tennis and basketball. I really enjoy them all!