Af­ter 45 years, MJC equip­ment man­ager says good­bye

Af­ter 45 years at MJC, equip­ment man­ager says good­bye

The Modesto Bee - - Front Page - BY JU­LIAN A. LOPEZ [email protected]­

Modesto Ju­nior Col­lege sopho­more Blake Evans said he hopes one day the Pi­rates hang up a ban­ner in honor of equip­ment man­ager Ron “Reno” McGuire.

“For him to stick around this long and still en­joy be­ing equip­ment man­ager for a JUCO in Modesto says a lot about his char­ac­ter,” said Evans, a Gre­gori High School grad­u­ate.

Af­ter nearly 45 years and count­less mem­o­ries, McGuire will re­tire Dec. 31.

“I work six days a week,” McGuire said. “I’m not leav­ing be­cause I don’t love it. I am leav­ing here be­cause it’s time at 62.”

It’s been a long jour­ney at MJC for Reno.

It all started in the sum­mer of 1974.

McGuire was grad­u­at­ing from Pat­ter­son High School and plan­ning to work with his fa­ther when an MJC cer­ti­fied trainer came to visit the school.

The trainer needed an as­sis­tant and told McGuire that if he joined, the school would pro­vide grants for his aca­demic stud­ies.

De­ci­sion made. He grad­u­ated on June 6 and on July 1, 1974, he started work­ing at MJC.

“When peo­ple come back and visit, the one con­stant about MJC is Reno,” MJC foot­ball coach Rusty Stivers said.

McGuire has plenty of mem­o­ries from his time at MJC, but one that he’ll al­ways re­mem­ber hap­pened in Pasadena.

“The 1980 Na­tional Cham­pi­onship,” McGuire said. “We went to the Rose Bowl and got se­lected to play Pasadena City Col­lege. It’s a beau­ti­ful sta­dium and we beat them, 20-10.”

The Pi­rates were vic­to­ri­ous in the Metro-Val­ley Bowl over the Lancers and ended Pasadena’s per­fect sea­son.

The video from that game played on re­peat in McGuire’s of­fice.

“In 1992 when I played here, that game was con­stantly play­ing in the back­ground in the locker room,” Stivers said.

Much like the 1980 foot­ball sea­son, and 1992 when Stivers played at MJC, McGuire’s daily rou­tine has pretty much stayed the same.

“I get here at 9:3010 a.m. and I start wash­ing clothes,” he said. “I’m here un­til 6 non-stop al­ways do­ing some­thing.”

McGuire, who man­ages equip­ment for all 11 men’s sports and 10 women’s sports, has only missed two foot­ball games in his ca­reer. One in 1980 and one a cou­ple of years ago be­cause he fainted at work and a doc­tor told him to stay home.

“He brought ex­tra knee pads, gir­dles, mouth pieces and pretty much ev­ery­thing else you need for a player if they for­got their stuff for game days,” Evans said. “Know­ing 18-21-year-olds, we are go­ing to for­get some things.”

Stivers said “you never re­al­ize how much some­one has done un­til they are gone” and McGuire made life “pretty easy in prac­tice and in travel” for the Pi­rates.

The de­ci­sion to re­tire was made five years ago.

“I was start­ing to feel it

then (get­ting older),” McGuire said. “Most schools have two or three equip­ment guys. I don’t have any as­sis­tants.”

McGuire prob­a­bly won’t for­get his last foot­ball game he worked as the Pi­rates beat the City Col­lege of San Fran­cisco, 28-20 last Satur­day for the first time in 60 years.

“I would say the win was a Reno win,” Stivers said. “It was even more spe­cial be­cause it was his last (foot­ball) game.”

McGuire will work the MJC men’s bas­ket­ball tour­na­ment this week­end be­fore his fi­nal event, a bas­ket­ball game against West Val­ley on Dec. 20.

He’s al­ready started to think about Jan. 1, 2019, his first of­fi­cial day of re­tire­ment.

“I am go­ing to get a fish­ing li­cense and get a na­tional parks life­time pass,” he said. “I like driv­ing and I am a mem­ber of a camp­ing club.”

McGuire has left his mark at MJC and “it will be dif­fer­ent around cam­pus,” Stivers said.

“He is prob­a­bly my fa­vorite Pi­rate of all time,” Evans said. “Reno is the pro­gram.”

JOAN BARNETT LEE [email protected]­

Ron “Reno” McGuire is re­tir­ing af­ter 45 years as the equip­ment man­ager at Modesto Ju­nior Col­lege. “I’m not leav­ing be­cause I don’t love it. I am leav­ing here be­cause it’s time at 62,” he says.

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