By Marlen Chinos
Throughout the school year, you can find him in the Kellogg Gym area: working in the equipment room, helping coaches set up for matches, or monitoring the scoreboard during basketball games.
Mike Esquivel, a Cal Poly Pomona alumnus, former football player, and now a valued equipment room staff member, has been a part of the university’s athletic department for over 30 years.
After graduating from Vista High School in San Diego, Esquivel attended Palomar Junior College. At Palomar, he received a football scholarship that led him to CPP.
“I began playing football in ninth grade,” said Esquivel. “Friends in school were playing sports, and at that time I wasn’t into any so I tried football, because one of the guys said ‘Hey you’re a big guy! You should try out!’ So I just did.”
Esquivel was on CPP’s football team from 1978-79. While attending the university, he also worked part-time as an equipment room employee.
“Cal Poly offered me a scholarship to play football here, and part of it was to work part-time in this building,” said Esquivel. “One of the jobs was as a custodian and equipment room employee. When football was over, I got the job here full time. I’ve been working in the equipment room ever since.”
Whether it is administration, coaches, or students throughout the years, Esquivel has won the hearts of the Intercollegiate Athletics community at CPP.
“What is very unique about Mike is that he has been here for so long,” said Ivan Alber, assistant athletic director for public relations.
“He knows so many people at this university. He even knows all the officials at the basketball games, and all the past players [at CPP].
“He is able to provide interesting stories, and tidbits, so it is really special to have him on board helping with athletics.”
Many appreciate Esquivel’s presence.
“Without football here, he still is our tie to the program and all of its history,” said Alber on Esquivel’s impact.
Some say Esquivel has become one of the Broncos’ most valued staff members.
“When you get an equipment technician like Mike they are invaluable to your job efficiency, to your enjoyment,” said head volleyball coach Rosie Wegrich. “It is hard enough coaching, and to have that rapport with such a positive outlook with just open arms, ready [and] willing to help, is just the way it should be and the way we try to have it be at Cal Poly. I think Mike is the epitome of that.”
While working at CPP, Esquivel makes it a point to create connections with the student athletes.
“We have about 300 student athletes and I think he knows about 250 of their names,” said Alber. “He’s trying to get to the 300 mark. He is very dedicated to what he does.”
Without a doubt, Esquivel has earned the love and respect of the athletic community at CPP.
“You are always happy to see him, and your day is better because you saw Mike Esquivel,” said Wegrich. “That is really the truth. We can all learn from him in that regard. I just hope our department can keep him forever and ever and ever.”
Marlen Chinos / The Poly Post
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