The Five Pros on the Bench

The Managers

The Harvard football team is losing again. On the field, nothing is going right. On the sidelines, it shows. Standing, watching the game, is a member of the team. The disappointment shows on her face. A player recognizes senior Mary Reyes' intensity and later says to her: "I wanted to send you out there."

Mary Reyes will never take the field. She only makes sure that everything needed to play a football game is there, that the equipment, the water, the play books and the head phones are set.

Mary Reyes, head football manager, and four other managers plot the course for the football team. They organize the practices and games so that players and coaches can concentrate on the play on the field.

Responsibility comes naturally for the football managers. They manage a team of 100 players and seven coaches. They have to find solutions for the problems and requests of these players and coaches. Confidence and a sense of purpose characterize the managers.

"If there's a problem, no problem," Reyes says. "If there's a problem, we have to take care of it."


No questions. No excuses. The managers get it done. "Even if you think a request is ridiculous, you're going to work on it," Reyes says.

Senior Virginia Smith, head administrative manager, describes her job as being a "crisis manager." "You have to keep calm," Smith says.

Keep calm when the buses don't show up, when people give the wrong directions to the field, when the team is stuck in traffic 10 minutes before the game, when the bus diver leaves with the play books, when the team drinks a hotel out of milk. Keep calm? Somehow, the football managers do.

"The whole idea of being a manager is showing confidence," Reyes says. "Coaches don't have the time...they're depending completely on us."

When the players and coaches don't notice any problems, the managers know that they're getting the job done. The coaches and players, though, do not let the managers' commitment go unnoticed.

"Our managers just do an outstanding job. They are super people...very professional," Coach Joe Restic says. "They handle everything that has to be done on the field and off the field."

"They are a winning team," Restic adds.

Few people outside the athletic community realize the managers' efforts, but the managers consider recognition by players and coaches more important.

"The recognition is coming from the people you're working with and who rely on you the most," says sophomore Liz Allen, head freshman manager.

The friendships that develop and the feeling of being a part of a team are the best rewards of managing.

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