UTC Equipment Manager Mike Royster Retires After 47 Years With the Mocs
Chattanooga-(WDEF-TV) – After nearly five decades with the Mocs football team, Mike Royster has announced his retirement. He has served as UTC’s equipment manager for 47 seasons. The University held a reception for him Tuesday at Naked River Brewing and BBQ.
At Tuesday’s reception, Mike Royster knew who to thank first for his outstanding UTC career.
Said Royster: “This is the brains behind everything right here. This is my wife (Pat). In November, we will have been married 50 years. First time John King every met her he said. He said lady I don’t know you from Adam’s house cat, but if you’re married to him, then there’s a place for you in heaven.”
UTC has been heaven on earth for Royster.
Said Royster: “My son went here. My daughter went here. My son-in-law went here. My daughter-in-law went here. I don’t know why anybody would go anywhere else.”
Said football coach Rusty Wright: “I didn’t realize it until the other day. I was sitting down in his office, and he has actually been in that office for 47 years in that spot, so I mean that’s the thing. He is Chattanooga athletics. I mean he knows everybody in the southeast.”
Said athletic director Mark Wharton: “He has just been unbelievable. The lives he has touched. What he has done for UTC has been incredible. A lot of times when I’ve had a tough day, I’ll go down in the equipment room and his office. It’s just a breathe of fresh air. Story after story about you name it. T.O. to anybody.”
Royster has seen the growth of athletes over the years, just in shoe sizes.
Said Royster: “You know 13. 14 was a big size. Now it’s pretty much average. We got 18’s. I mean we’ve got a kid wearing 18’s right now.”
The coaches head sets also fall under Roster’s responsibility on game day.
Said Royster:”Yeah you better have that working or you ain’t going to have a fun day I want to tell you. They’re going to be crawling on you all day long.”
Said Wright: “It’s a thankless job. We get back from a road trip at the Citadel. Midnight or one o’clock in the morning, and they’re just getting started after driving all that way.”