January Newsletter

Thu, 01 March 2018 / Published in District VII News

Good seeing some of you at the AFCA Convention in Charlotte. We had a good turn out for the workshops. Thanks to Matt , Dan , Cliff and the candidates for President on doing the workshops. Just a reminder the test in Raleigh is February 15th. The election to vote for the President will begin February 1st through the 28th. You can vote online at the website. The candidates Bio 's are on the website. The candidates are: Clifton Perry from Princeton University; Melisande Rosendiz from Northwestern University; and Will Rodecap from Kansas State University. Please vote.

District News
We have have four candidates for the Knight-Pickard Equipment Manager of the year. They are : Brian Coutras from TCU; Louis Sandoval from NMSU; Justin Shaw from TCU and Chad Widmer from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. Their Bios' at the bottom of the e- mail. Voting will begin now (January 25th) through February 16th. Please e-mail your vote to Greg Payne from SFA University. He volunteered to do this for us. THANKS GREG. His e- mail address is [email protected] .EVERYONE CAN VOTE. PLEASE VOTE. THANKS. We also need to welcomed Dominick Calhoun from the Geneva Foundation in Colorado Springs. DOMINICK WELCOME TO DISTRICT VII. So when you see Dominick give him a warm District VII welcome.
I guess that is it for this month. Talk to you next month.


Brian Coutras arrived to TCU in July 2013 as the Assistant Athletics Director for Equipment.

Coutras came to TCU after serving the previous six years as head athletics equipment manager at the UAB. His 2011-12 equipment staff at UAB was tabbed the Conference USA Equipment Staff of the Year.

The Nashville, Tenn., native is a 1996 graduate of Middle Tennessee State University. Coutras is a certified member of the Athletic Equipment Managers Association (AEMA) and a member of the American Football Coaches Association. Prior to his work with the Blazers and Horned Frogs, Coutras had a six-year tenure at Marshall, he was the head athletics equipment manager (1999-02) and director of football operations (2002-05). He also worked in equipment capacities at Cincinnati and Indiana.
Coutras and his wife, Trisha, have three children: Claire, Andrew and Callie.


Louis Sandoval is in his 29th season as New Mexico State's equipment manager. Sandoval, a 1989 graduate of NMSU, was the Aggies' chief equipment manager for several years as an undergraduate. He is a member of the Athletic Equipment Managers Association. In 1992, Sandoval became the first equipment manager in the state of New Mexico to be certified by the AEMA.
Sandoval was the Vice President for District VII from 2002 to 2011 for the AEMA. Since 2012, he is the current District VII Director. In 2008, Sandoval hosted a workshop at the AEMA Convention in Dallas, Texas, dealing with packing for an off-site two-a-day preseason camp. He also participated in and ran the Back to Basic workshop at convention that same year and placed five times at the workshop Helpful Hints. He was also a judge for Helpful Hints. Sandoval was named the District VII Equipment Manager of year in 2005 and 2015. Louis was a finalist for the National Equipment Manager of the Year in 2015.
Sandoval earned his bachelor of accountancy and bachelor of business administration-finance degrees from NMSU in May 1989. He graduated from Aztec High School in Aztec, N.M. Hobbies include running, watching NASCAR, coaching summer baseball, and doing activities with his church. Louis is married to Jennifer Meskill and has a thirteenth year old son named Landon.


Justin Shaw is no stranger to TCU Athletics; being a fixture in the TCU Equipment Room since 2008. The Las Vegas native received his Bachelors of Sport Psychology from TCU while serving as an undergraduate equipment manager for the Men’s and Women’s Basketball programs under the tutelage of Matt Lewis. Upon graduation, Justin was promoted to the role of a graduate assistant equipment manager where his sports responsibilities expanded to the oversight Men's and Women's basketball as well as Men's and Women's golf, Men's and Women’s tennis, and TCU Football Gameday Equipment Operations.

In December 2014, Shaw received his Master’s degree from TCU and was hired as Equipment Coordinator upon his graduation. He currently oversees Equipment Operations for Men’s and Women’s Basketball as well as Men’s and Women’s Golf and works out of TCU’s Schollmaier Arena where he runs the Monroe Basketball Equipment room with other members of the TCU Equipment Staff. Fresh off of a Men’s Basketball NIT Championship, Justin is enjoying another successful TCU Athletics season.

Justin is a certified member of the Athletic Equipment Managers Association (AEMA) and has served on the District VII Board as District Treasurer for 3 years.


Chad S. Widmer


Widmer has been a member of the American Equipment Manager’s Association (AEMA) for 17 years and became certified in 2006. Currently he serves as that organization’s National Membership Chairman.

Educational Background:
Chad graduated from UMHB in 2001 with a Bachelor of Arts in Religion with an emphasis in Missions. He minored in Business Administration.

AEMA Accomplishments:
He has been a presenter at AEMA on panels dealing with helmets and shoulder pads, helmets fitting and handling travel concerns. He also helps lead a Division III session every year at the AEMA convention. He is a 8-time Knight Pickard District VII Equipment Manager of the Year nominee which encompasses the states of Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Colorado. He received this award in 2017.

Athletic Equipment Management Background:
Chad’s involvement began as a 6th Grader and worked with equipment throughout his Junior High and High School years. After graduating from High School he attended Baylor University where he served as a student manager for three seasons. He is currently in his 20th season as the equipment manager for the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor athletic department. He started his career working as a student equipment manager for the football program and worked his way into a full-time position as the school’s Inventory/Supply Manager, a job created to take advantage of Widmer’s talents and abilities. He also assists with Football Operations on road trips in addition to his equipment duties. Widmer is responsible for all laundry, ordering and equipment budgeting for the 400+ student-athletes in the Cru athletic department.

Community Service: Chad and his wife, Kelli, were married in June of 2011 and are active members of Bethel Church in Temple Texas where they oversee the Guest Center, lead in Bible Studies, lead in the church’s Men’s Ministry, lead small groups for their College Ministry and serve as Altar Workers. Chad is a licensed minister and allows that to reflect in his job, home and personal life. He and his wife hold a bi-monthly meetings in their home for college students for food, fellowship and to a model Christ's love. Monthly Chad helps to cook and serve meals to 200+ homeless and needy through Feed My Sheep Ministry in Temple, Texas. When Hurricane Harvey Hit Texas this past Fall, he helped with the evacuation efforts in aiding for the set-up for evacuees at his church and through his churches outreach to those affected by the storm. He also was able to take care of the laundry needs of many evacuees who were dislocated to the Central Texas area so that they had their own belongings clean and back to them. Widmer has assisted with the several Special Olympics Track Meets in the Central Texas area as well as helping to get UMHB athletes to volunteer for them. Widmer has spent his summers chaperoning church youth at summer camp and from 2006-2010 he worked with a summer mission to Saltillo and Galena, Mexico. Widmer was on staff at a camp during the summers of 1999 and 2000, during the summer of 2001 he traveled around the Texas Panhandle leading in Revivals at different churches.

Professional Accomplishments:
Widmer has been the equipment manager for 15 American Southwest Conference Championship football teams, 16 NCAA postseason qualifying teams, 5 National Semifinalists, the 2004 & 2017 National runner-ups and the 2016 NCAA National Championship during his tenure at UMHB. Also during his time at UMHB, Widmer has assisted with the equipment needs for an additional 22 Conference championship teams, 27 NCAA tournament qualifying teams, a Sweet Sixteen appearance for Men’s Soccer in 2017, a National runner-up for Men’s Basketball in 2013, and a National Championship for Women’s Golf in 2013. He also has work experience with the Taylor Independent School District where he assisted with the school district’s equipment needs and in the equipment office for the Baylor University football program where he was a part of the 1992 John Hancock Sun Bowl and the 1994 Builder's Square Alamo Bowl.

Additional Comments:
He also has served as a color commentator on basketball broadcasts, he has done the play by play for the Cru baseball and softball teams, and as an announcer and statistician at home baseball and softball games. He announces baseball and softball playoff games for many of the contests which are hosted on the UMHB campus.

Louis Sandoval