The guest of honor at the 2014 Penn State Football Letterman's Club golf tournament never played a down for the Nittany Lions. But the former players who make up the club insist he's been as vital to the program's success as any of them.
There is no one who's ever meant more to the program than 'Spider,' said Justin Kurpeikis, the president of the club. He's bridged a lot of the gaps through the years. He's irreplaceable.
Kurpeikis was referring to longtime Penn State equipment coordinator Brad Spider Caldwell, who recently retired after more than three decades of service with the program. Caldwell and his wife, Karen, are relocating to Fair Haven, Vt., where he will serve as activities coordinator at Fair Haven High.
There is no one who's ever meant more to the program than 'Spider.' He's bridged a lot of the gaps through the years. He's irreplaceable.
Caldwell's last official day at PSU was June 13. But before he left town, the Letterman's Club made sure he was going out in style.
The Caldwells were honored at an invitation-only Spiderman-themed event at Indigo in downtown State College Friday night, and more than 100 lettermen were on hand -- from stars of long ago like Riverboat Gambler Richie Lucas to more recent grads like Brett Brackett.
Also in the house were legendary PSU radio voice Fran Fisher, a host of former assistant coaches and new Nittany Lion head coach James Franklin.
Everybody says we're pretty good recruiters, Franklin joked. Obviously not, because we couldn't keep the main man home with us.
There were a lot of laughs and a lot of heartfelt tears at the Friday event. Saturday, Caldwell and company hit the links for the golf tournament. We were on hand for the action and caught up with Caldwell and several former players to talk about the emotional weekend.
Check it out above.