For the better part of two years, Ricky Rosas has been a volunteer for the USC Football program. Initially, Ricky offered his services as a waterboy (Gatorade bartender), but as he got to know the program (and the program got to know him), his responsibilities have increased.
In addition to his Gatorade dispensing, Rosas now performs various office responsibilities such as being a ‘runner' for the video staff, shredding paper and handing out itineraries on Thursdays prior to game day.
The energetic and bubbly Rosas has endeared himself to the football team, coaches, staff and nearly anyone associated with the football team. As his stature with the team increases, so does his celebrity status. On media day this week, while coaches and team members were being interviewed by the media, Rosas was a guest speaker for the 710 ESPN Trojan Talk show from Heritage Hall.
Rosas' uncle Jerry introduced Ricky to Pete Carroll about eighteen months ago.
Rosas usually volunteers for the team 4-5 days per week, depending on the team's schedule. He says he goes to all home games and because he works so hard during the week, his responsibilities during games are minimal and he is rewarded by being able to watch the games. Last year, he was given tickets in the stands, but in 2007, Rosas can be seen on the sidelines, frequently running in with the team as they enter the Coliseum.
At half-time he may help dispense Gatorade in the locker room if they need his help.
A typical day for Rosas may include shredding papers in the office, running short errands for staff members or the video department. He may help coaches and staff out by bringing them their lunches or drinks from the Galen Center dining facility just down the stairs from Heritage Hall. Rosas says Coach Carroll loves eating soup.
Rosas has endeared himself to the coaches, staff and players at USC. As a reward for his work and caring, the staff and players thought it would be a great idea to have him attend an away game. Rosas was invited to the University of Oregon game at Autzen Stadium.
Rosas described the experience as follows:
At the end of practice, Thursday prior to the Oregon game, Coach Carroll called Rosas to the team huddle. While addressing the team, Carroll mentioned how the team is going to Oregon. He then asked Rosas to come to the center of the huddle, he then told Rosas he's going with the team to Oregon.
Carroll instructed Rosas to go home, pack and get ready for the trip. He was so excited, he didn't sleep that night. To add to the excitement, when he arrived on Friday, office staff members took him to a downtown department store to get outfitted for the upcoming trip.
Rosas reported that the trip was quite exciting. It was yet another experience with the Trojan Football team that he will cherish for a long time. He wasn't happy with the outcome of the game but will keep the experience close to his heart. Rosas said he thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
Some of Rosas Favorite memories:
First time he came to USC he had a helmet but got to practice late and no one was on the practice field. Walking on campus, he ran into Matt Leinart with a girlfriend, and he asked Leinart to autograph the helmet. He signed it, "To Ricky, Fight On! Matt Leinart #11." This was Ricky's first exposure to USC.
The second time he came to USC, he came to campus and met Coach Carroll and he asked him to sign his helmet, after which, Carroll asked Ricky to put the helmet down and play catch with him. Carroll also saw that Rosas had a camera, so he asked Brennan Carroll to take a photograph of himself and Rosas. At this time Carroll told Ricky that he could come to any practice. Rosas took him up on the offer and has been attending practices and volunteering for the program ever since.
One of his favorite memories is running out with the team out of the Coliseum Tunnel with the team for the home opener against the Idaho Vandals.
Rosas has the fortune of having his birthday during the bowl season. Rosas' birthday is the 9th of January, because of this he plans on attending this year's bowl game as a birthday present. On the Saturday previous to the Rose Bowl last season, Slutak gave him tickets to the game on the fifty yard line.
He would love to be involved with the team in any capacity he can in the future.
Sharing and Sharing
Many associated with the program have come to enjoy Ricky's spirit, stories and energy Ricky brings to the football team and beyond.
To show their appreciation, people express thanks to Ricky in various ways. Director of Football Operations, Dennis Slutak will give Rosas a haircut when he needs it. Defensive end, Lawrence Jackson gave Rosas two pairs of athletic shoes. A couple of office employees outfitted him with a full compliment of dress clothes for his trip to Oregon.
As many acts of kindness or maybe ten-fold acts of kindness has befell Rosas as a result of his caring he brings to the team and staff.
Ricky Rosas' Excellent Photo Gallery
Coach Pete Carroll with Ricky Rosas at Autzen
Rosas enjoys a moment with the USC Song Girls
Ricky Rosas at a practice at Howard Jones Field
Ricky Rosas at Autzen Stadium
Rosas' Fight On at Autzen Stadium