Michigan Football Support Staff: Equipment Staff

Jon Falk photo Jon Falk
Director of Equipment Operations (Spotlight - Vimeo.com)
   Jon Falk is in his 38th season as the head equipment manager for the Michigan football program. He is responsible for the overall budgeting of the athletic department's equipment needs and oversees a staff of five full-time assistants and student workers.
   In 1994, Falk was honored for his dedication to the department, becoming an "Honorary 'M' Man" and was recognized in 2000 by the U-M Club of Detroit with the naming of the annual Hatch-Falk Scholarship for a Student Football Manager.
   One of the most respected equipment managers in the nation, Falk was executive director of the Athletic Equipment Managers Association (AEMA) for 24 years and was one of the organization's founding members. He won the association's 2001 Glen Sharp National Equipment Manager of the Year award and received the organization's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005.
   A native of Oxford, Ohio, Falk graduated from Talawanda High School (1967) and earned his degree in physical education from Miami University (1971). He worked as a student manager at Miami in football and baseball as an undergraduate. Upon graduation, Falk accepted an assistant equipment manager position at Miami before accepting the head job with Bo Schembechler at Michigan in 1974.
   Falk and his wife, the former Cheri Boychuck of Ann Arbor, reside in Saline, with their daughter Katie. They also have two adult children, Nicki Pfefferle and Joe Winkle, and one grandchild, Joey.

Bob Bland photo Bob Bland
Assistant Equipment Manager
   Bob Bland is in his 25th year as an assistant equipment manager for the football program. He assists in the daily operations of the football equipment room and coordinates the equipment for men's and women's basketball and wrestling. Bland has been part of two of Michigan's national championship teams -- football (1997) and men's basketball (1989) -- and was awarded an Honorary 'M' in June 2005. He is certified by the Athletic Equipment Manager's Association (AEMA).
   A native of Kilgore, Ohio, Bland is a 1980 graduate of Carrollton (Ohio) High School. He attended Otterbein College in Westerville, Ohio where he earned a B.A in speech communications in 1984. He was a student manager for the football, basketball and baseball teams, the latter two of which participated in the Division III Final Four (1981) and College World Series (1983), respectively.
   Bland became the equipment manager at Otterbein in the fall of 1984 and held that position until coming to Michigan in 1987. He resides in Whitmore Lake.

Rick Brandt photo Rick Brandt
Assistant Equipment Manager
   Rick Brandt is in his 15th season as an assistant equipment manager for the football program. His responsibilities include on field maintenance of football equipment, packing the Michigan football trailer for travel for all games, ensuring all players' apparel and footwear needs are properly met and in charge of all helmet fitting and maintenance.
   Brandt also coordinates the equipment for softball, men's and women's golf, men's and women's swimming and diving and women's water polo. He is certified by the Athletic Equipment Manager's Association (AEMA).
   A native of Milford, Ohio, he graduated from Ohio University (B.S., 1995) and the University of Illinois (M.S., 1997). He served as a student manager for football and baseball at Ohio University, then became a graduate assistant at the University of Illinois.
   Brandt and his wife, Samantha, reside in Dexter with their daughter, Mallory, and son, Carson.


Brett McGiness photo Brett McGiness
Assistant Equipment Manager
   Brett McGiness is in his eighth season as an assistant equipment manager for Michigan football. He started as an intern for the 2004 and 2005 seasons and began working full-time in the spring of 2006. His responsibilities include on-field maintenance of football equipment, as well as inventorying and issuing apparel. He also assists Bob Bland with the men's and women's basketball programs.
   A native of Lake City, Mich., McGiness graduated from Central Michigan University with a Bachelor of Science in sports studies (2005). He was a student manager for the Chippewa football team for five seasons. McGiness resides in Ann Arbor.