John Dostal calls himself the "custodian of all things athletic." Although his official title is Athletics Equipment Manager, the nickname certainly fits the man who touches the lives of 350 athletes every year.
From setting up bleachers to sewing ripped uniforms, if it deals with intercollegiate sports John probably has a hand in it. He, his assistant and a number of student assistants, have to adapt throughout the year to meet the challenges of the position.
"This job is the most dynamic job I've ever had. It changes from day to day. It changes with the seasons."
John grew up playing and loving sports, especially football. And it was football that brought him to HSU.
"My brother came here and I visited him one summer in the '70s. He was also a football player. It seemed like a great atmosphere. I was able to walk on and play football. For a guy my size, I was pretty stoked."
After graduating in 1985 with a degree in Kinesiology, John went on to teach and coach athletics throughout Humboldt County for 20 years. But he returned to HSU in 2006, when he got the position as Equipment Manager for the Athletics Department.
"It's a home. HSU was very good to me when I was a student athlete and this is my opportunity to give back."
When John needs a break from his laundry list of responsibilites, he often takes an hour to indulge in his favorite pasttime - bicycling.
"I love to cycle. I ride all over Humboldt County. When I have an hour when I can sneak away from work, I like to go out and ride in the community forest. How many people can say they can sneak away from work for an hour and go to the forest?"
While his busy schedule might keep him on his toes, John never takes his eye off the ball. Like a true athlete, he keeps his goal in mind at all times.
"My goal is to give these athletes the best experience we can give them. It was that way when I was an athlete here and it's just improved ten-fold since then."