Beginning his career at Merrimack College as Lead Student Equipment Manager, Randy Castillo has since worked for the New England Patriots as their Equipment Assistant. This year, Castillo will join Corey Paolillo, Equipment Manager, in Andover’s equipment room, bringing valuable managing skills and extensive knowledge acquired from his time in professional football.
According to Castillo, the intensity of a professional football program means its equipment managers face large amounts of work and pressure every day. For Castillo, working with the Patriots developed key organizational and time-management skills.
“[The Patriots] have a lot of equipment there, obviously. From gear to T-shirts to jerseys and so forth. So [it’s] basically, being very good at being on top of your organizational skills, and top of that, being good with your time management, [and] not to focus on one duty for the entire day, like you can’t be folding towels for the entire day. [It’s] learning how to micromanage and basically when to do something – what time’s the right time and what time’s the wrong time,” said Castillo
Not only will Castillo come into the Andover Athletics with professional experience, but also, a set of pre-existing relationships with current members of the community. For example, Castillo and Paolillo have known each other for eight years – both former equipment managers at Merrimack College – and rely on each other’s strengths in the equipment room.
“At Merrimack, we both helped each other back. He was doing football, I was doing hockey, so it was good to have him answer questions. Then when I first got the job here, I had little knowledge about football, so he definitely helped when I had football questions. Uniforms, helmets, shoulders, anything I needed, I texted him and he had a good answer for me,” said Paolillo.
Castillo also met Andover’s current Assistant Athletic Trainer, Devin O’Reilly, at Merrimack College. Though O’Reilly was a student-athlete at the time, he benefited from the relationship with Castillo for football equipment-related issues and as an athletic training student.
“There’s this picture of us giving each other a high five before one of our home games at Merrimack. It’s one of my favorite pictures from Merrimack. We did have a close relationship, me being a player and him being an equipment manager. He would come out for practices and catch balls and stuff like that. He’s always there to say what’s up or give a helping hand, so there’s that one picture that I have that’s super cool, and I always think of it,” said O’Reilly.
With prior experience mostly in football, Castillo is excited to be able to manage a wide variety of teams and sports, each of which have their own cultures and personalities. In addition, he wants to utilize his experience to add his “own spin” to the current equipment room.
Castillo said, “I’m looking forward to working with the student body. I’m looking forward to bringing what I learned at the Patriots here, and bringing a professional experience to [Andover]. Hopefully, I can give the student body, the student-athletes, a great experience athletically, especially coming from the equipment room and improving anything that needs to improve here. I’m happy to be here, and I’m glad this is my new home.”
Without skilled equipment managers, Andover’s sports teams wouldn’t have the materials or preparation necessary to play two to three times a week. According to O’Reilly, Castillo will be a crucial member of Andover Athletics in the future, alongside Paolillo in the equipment room.
“He’s going to be an awesome asset for Andover to have, for his equipment knowledge, and he and Corey, who is our present-day equipment manager, they actually know each other from Merrimack, so I think that team duo is going to help Andover Athletics be more prepared and have great stuff on campus for our sports teams to be ready to play Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. Super excited to have him,” said O’Reilly.