Penn State named Jay Takach as the football team’s equipment manager, a post held by longtime Nittany Lion staffer Brad “Spider” Caldwell for more than three decades, coach James Franklin announced on Tuesday.
Takach comes to Penn State from the University of Houston where he served since 2004. Takach, a Houston native, spent all of his years at Houston in the equipment room. While he got his start as an assistant on the Cougars’ equipment staff, Takach was elevated to assistant athletics director for equipment operations in 2006.
After graduating from Michigan State in 2000, Takach worked as an equipment room assistant with the Spartans the following season. He’s also worked at Wisconsin and Virginia Tech.
While at Houston, Takach and his staff had a hand in redesigning the football team’s uniforms on multiple occasions and conceived the Cougars’ all-black look for their Halloween game against South Florida last season. He also equipped all Houston athletes in 17 varsity sports. Houston, like Penn State, is equipped by Nike.
Takach has a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Michigan State and got his master’s degree from Virginia Tech in health and physical fitness.
Caldwell retired in May after 31 years on the Penn State sideline to take a new position at the Fair Haven Union High School in Vermont.
Takach starts at Penn State at a busy and unique time. The Nittany Lions are less than two weeks away from their season opener against Central Florida in Dublin, Ireland where a tricky process for transporting equipment awaits.
Notre Dame Director of Football Equipment Ryan Grooms said he’s known Takach for “about 10 years” from attending different conventions and coaches meetings with him. Grooms, who has experience facilitating the movement of equipment overseas as Notre Dame played Navy in Dublin in 2012, said Takach will handle similar responsibilities well.
“I’ve known Jay for a long time and good luck to him with this being his first game for Penn State,” Grooms said. “He’ll do a good job with it and I’m sure he’ll make it go as smooth as possible.”