UNIVERSITY PARK - One of the most revered individuals associated with the Penn State Football family, Brad "Spider" Caldwell, is retiring from the University after 31 years as a fixture on the Nittany Lions' sideline.
A member of the Penn State football equipment staff since 1986, Caldwell and his wife, Karen, are relocating to their vacation home in Vermont, where he has accepted a position as Activities Director for the Fair Haven Union High School in Fair Haven, Vt. Among the duties of the Activities Director is serving as the school's athletic director. Caldwell will begin his new position on July 1.
The Nittany Lions' Equipment and Facilities Coordinator, Caldwell began his association with the football program in 1983 as a student manager after spending his freshman year at Penn State-DuBois near his hometown of Curwensville. He has been on the sidelines for 379 Nittany Lion games during his 31 years of outstanding and "team-first" service to Penn State and the football program.
"Words cannot begin to express the gratitude I have towards Penn State for all the opportunities it has given me through the years," Caldwell said. "The 'Penn State Family,' from all the lettermen, coaching staffs, managers, countless alumni and fans, is what makes Penn State such a special place.
"I'd like to thank, first and foremost, Coach [Joe] Paterno, who became not only my coach, but a father and grandfather figure to me. He instilled in me the values and discipline that I carry with me today. Thank you, JoePa, for all the great memories. I'd like to also thank Coach [Bil] O'Brien, for letting me be part of two of the most special groups of players in Penn State history.
"Finally, I'd like to thank Coach [James] Franklin for giving me an opportunity to be part of his staff. The staff he has put together to lead Penn State to great things in the future made this a difficult decision," Caldwell said.
Caldwell's first event with Penn State was in 1983, with the inaugural Kickoff Classic vs. Nebraska as his debut contest.
His first bowl game was the 1986 Orange Bowl vs. Oklahoma for the national championship and one year later he was on the sidelines as the Nittany Lions defeated No. 1 Miami, 14-10, in the epic 1987 Fiesta Bowl to capture the national title.