Nov. 22, 2009
FRESNO, Calif. - When he joined the Bulldog family one year ago as a young college graduate fresh off of a Master's Degree in sports administration from Gonzaga in 2008, event/facilities coordinator Jason Holtz was no stranger to the true meaning of hard work. A two-year veteran of the job, Holtz knew he was in the right line of work after learning the real demands of the job, responsibilities that often lead to 16-17 hour work days.
"One week at Gonzaga we had six events one after another," said Holtz. "After putting in a 17 hour day I knew that this was the job for me. It was a true test for the job and that's when I knew I wanted to do this."
Passionate about his job and working full force, Holtz pours all his best efforts and heart into each task that is bestowed upon him, and with a true Nebraska smile. As an events/facilities coordinator, Holtz is responsible for the happenings, maintenance, event planning and preparation of athletic facilities played in by men's and women's golf, football at Bulldog Stadium, Equestrian at the student horse center, and Volleyball, men's and women's basketball at the Save Mart Center. Holtz must be present for every Fresno State athletic match or meeting at all of these facilities, unfailing, every time.
"You have to have patience and organization skills to be successful at this job," said Holtz. "I'm in charge of providing and setting up gates, turn styles, tables, chairs, barricades and flags as well as managing the cart drivers who deliver materials and assist handicapped and elderly up the ramps at the stadium. There is a lot of team work associated with the job but I really like the behind the scenes planning. We work closely with marketing and athletic communications to see that each athletic event goes off flawlessly. Sometimes that includes monitoring fans and ensuring they are cheering with class."
And with the start of basketball season in full swing, Holtz is a regular at the Save Mart Center, working hand-in-hand with SMG, the management company for the facility, along with the ushers staffed by outside parties to put on hoops on the hardwood. Holtz organizes everything from the Bulldog's/visiting team's chairs at the benches to managing officials and the score table, vital operations to hosting a game.
"I get butterflies in my stomach right before tip-off," said Holtz. "I'm also responsible for providing back-up basketball backboards and hoops in the event that one is damaged or shattered and maintenence of some of our banners. College basketball is one of my favorite sports and so I love this time of year. I arrive at the Save Mart Center three hours before a game to get everything prepared. There is also a great deal of pre-preparation the days leading up to an event."
And while his days don't reach record lengths at the Save Mart Center, the true challenge to the job lies in planning and launching multiple events in a day, such as Saturday home football game at Bulldog stadium followed by an evening Volleyball game, which schedules out fairly often.
"When we have a home football game I get to the stadium around 8 a.m. and often times don't leave until 2 a.m.," said Holtz. "Once the game itself starts it's easy but the job lies in preparation. We have a team of about three guys that gets the field set up and I put the flag out along with the Allstate net for field goals. My favorite part of the job is the unexpected and seeing how you'll react to a situation. Not knowing what is going to happen keeps it interesting, and I think you have to keep the job as fresh as possible, like the people you work with and have fun with it."
And Holtz does just that when he goes to work, projecting a fun attitude while putting those around him before himself and keeping everyone happy, even with his co-workers and supervisors, a department he says, helps each other out and functions as a team. A fun-loving, family oriented native of Fremont, Nebraska, Holtz hopes to continue in college athletics, while working his way up to a director position in the future.
"For now I hope to stay here at Fresno State," said Holtz. "I think this is a great place to grow and further my career and we have a friendly athletic department which makes my job even easier. I want to see the pool built and who knows, maybe I'll end up being a lifer here."
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