Well it's been a busy few weeks since we did our last blog, the NCAA college basketball tournament went into full swing as did the 2017 college baseball ACC Conference schedule so players and buses were plenty in motion . NC States first conference road trip was at Wake Forest University and the month prior to baseball season we were experiencing 80 degree days. Don't you know as soon as we get playing old man winter returns with a vengeance it was very cold and snow is forecasted for the weekend. Requiring us to play a doubleheader on Saturday and not play on Sunday since snow is forecasted. It was very cold too, with wind blowing and the temperature in the 30's it made for a chilly weekend of baseball in Winston Salem.
Part of my blog was intended to bring you the people who are behind the scenes of the college and pro teams who help to put the best team out on the field for you the fans to see. Today we are going to focus on the Director of Team Operations at NC State baseball Michael Salamino who is in his 3 rd year of that job and it's his hard work and constant changes like arranging team travel that takes allot of his time on a daily basis. Mike wears many hats for the baseball program. Most teams have an Operations person who arranges team travel, makes food arrangements and assists the players with their various needs, communicating with the opposing teams as to their needs when they play NC State in Raleigh. Mike and I work very close during road trips making sure the bus is at the stadium on time to pick up the players, when the team bus arrives at the opponents stadium as well as getting the post game meal for players. Mike also handles ticket needs for the players and coaches for each home and away game and serves as the home team game site administrator for home games. I often see. Mike hustling hard arranging pre game meals for the players before we board the bus for our road trip and upon arrival he works with the hotel to arrange the players and coaches and staff hotel rooms. His job becomes a real nightmare when bad weather plays a factor like in Boston two years ago when bitter cold and snow forced a cancellation of the Boston College NC State game on Sunday and Mike was forced to be up all night working with the airlines trying to get an early morning flight back to Raleigh and then getting with me to arrange the bus so it would be ready to depart a cold frozen Boston at 4:00 am, but he makes it happens and that is what Head Coach Elliott Avent counts on every day. During the year on non game days Mike wears many other hats like overseeing players that are attending class and meeting with tutors. He also sits in on various baseball related meetings and works closely with Director of Player Development John Lambert to see that players are meeting the strict player eligibility requirements of the NCAA and NC State like Grade Point averages . During the off season Mike still has many jobs to do like arranging prospective athletic tours of the campus and assisting various school departments for things like player media information, photo shoots for various media outlets. Usually around fall Mike begins the daunting work of preparing the hotels, airline travel and bus transportation for the upcoming season . The craziness of his job really sets in at the end of the season when the road to Omaha begins and our team is selected to host a NCAA Regional tournament or is selected to go on the road. Airline flights ,hotel arrangements , bus transportation all gets done in a matter of a days but to be in the NCAA baseball tournament it's work we all look forward to every June.
No sports team could survive with the Operations person handling all the large amount of behind the scenes daily activities that allows the players and coaches to just focus putting a winning team on the field. It has its difficult moments but at the end of the day when all the pieces fit it's a moment that make's Mike Salamino breathe a sigh of relief and get ready for the next home or away game.
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My name is Steve Sulligan, I started my law enforcement career in 1979 retiring in