Any journalist knows you can find a good story anywhere – even if you have to trek down to the basement of Reynolds gym. It is a trek that Roxann Moody, now in her tenth season as Head Equipment Manager and thirtieth season with the Wake Forest Athletic Department, has made for over three decades. But she has no complaints and no regrets. “I have one of the best jobs in the world,” she smiles. “I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
Moody and her team of three assistant managers are responsible for overseeing the activities of the equipment rooms, including purchasing and maintain athletic gear, supervising almost 50 student managers, and making sure Wake Forest athletes are always protected while looking their best.
Her main goal in the position, she admits, is to dispel the myth that equipment manager is just a laundry job – it’s really so much more. If you asked her growing up what her dream job would be, she surely would have never said Head Equipment Manager at Wake Forest University (actually, she would have said a professional basketball player). But it became her dream job over the years.
What Roxann Moody does on a day-to-day basis may be fascinating to most Wake students but what’s more fascinating is her office space. With walls decked with vintage Sports Illustrated posters and cabinets filled with assorted sports paraphernalia, the equipment room is where frat basement meets athlete hangout, where mystery meets cool. “I want people to be fascinated and intrigued by it,” says Moody. “There’s always a story behind everything in here.”
It’s a room that hasn’t changed much since Moody’s Demon Deacon basketball career nearly four decades ago and she would like to keep it that way. Having spent so much time in one space, Moody acknowledges that she “100 percent” lives in a time warp, enough so that she forgets the small details sometimes. By next year, she hopes to make an equipment room timeline where she matches up seasons with certain teams, certain student managers, and certain memories.
Interestingly, Moody somehow embodies the room itself – effortlessly cool with a hint of allure, very much a “what-you-see-is-what-you-get” personality. You meet her and just want to know her story.
A Triad native, she grew up southeast of Greensboro with a passion for basketball and ACC sports (side note: professional sports bore her compared to collegiate ones.) She attended High Point University on an athletic scholarship and played on the women’s basketball team until her coach transferred to Wake Forest. Moody followed her. “I ended up at Wake by fate, or whatever you want to call it,” says Moody. “Where I am today is because of a decision someone else made for me.”
At Wake Moody played basketball and worked under Mr. “Sarge” Tinga, the last Head Equipment Manager, decaling helmets. “That’s how I ended up practically in this chair,” she laughs. After graduating, she worked as an assistant coach before deciding to attend North Carolina A&T State University to earn a Master’s in counseling while working part-time for Sarge. Moody admits that her counseling degree has come into handy working with student managers and athletes who seek advice and refuge in the equipment room
Whatever the record of athletic team, Moody affirms that the Athletic Department staff is always a support system. “With us, it doesn’t matter if you win or lose, our job is going to be exactly the same,” she states. “We’re still going to give a 100% on and off the field.”
But what Moody loves most about her job is when alumni come back and visit. Sitting in front of a bulletin board full of Christmas cards and family portraits, she smiles while reflecting on all of the student managers and athletes who return to the same old equipment room and call her “Rox” just like nothing has changed over the years. “That is the absolute best part of my job,” she says.
*Photography credit to freshman Karleigh Ash