Trucking with the Tigers: Texas A&M
By: Jeff Shearer
How does it feel to travel with Auburn football? Lead writer Jeff Shearer is giving fans a behind-the-curtain look this season as he accompanies the team to road games in a new series called “Truckin ‘with the Tigers.”
This weekend it’s in Texas for a top 15 SEC West showdown with Texas A&M. The game kicks off at 2:30 p.m. CT (CBS), but stay locked here for updates as Auburn visits the Lone Star State.
When the Auburn football bus trailer arrived at Columbus Airport on Friday afternoon for the flight to College Station, Texas, Joshua Thompson was waiting.
Auburn’s director of football operations, Thompson, helped a TSA agent check IDs and highlight the names of each student-athlete, coach and support staff on the flight manifesto charter.
This is one of Thompson’s hundreds of logistics contact details for every Auburn road trip, with the associated sporting director Jeremy roberts, chief of football staff Brad Larrondo, director of sports nutrition Lauren Silvio and director of player development Jorrell Bostrom.
“It’s like being an event planner or a travel agent for 208 people,” Thompson said. “People ask me all the time why I pack so light. It’s because I only want one bag because I’m worried about the bags of the other 208 people.”
Auburn’s Kyle Field shock represents a homecoming for Thompson, a 2011 Texas A&M graduate who began his career with the Aggies in operations and recruiting before working for football programs in Louisiana and Arkansas. before joining Bryan HarsinAuburn staff this year.
“When that opportunity came up, I had to jump on it,” Thompson said. “It’s great to work with a head coach who understands logistics and operations, and has a defined plan for how he wants things to be done. That way there is no guesswork. .
“The details are the most important thing for us because there are a lot of little things that can turn into a big problem. Focus on the little things so that we can ultimately win the game on Saturday, because you don’t want something thing which you are responsible for slowing down the team. “
For those aspiring to work in operations, Thompson offers advice.
“Don’t neglect any effort,” he said. “Make sure you know if there is a railroad crossing the route from the hotel to the stadium, as a train could come and it would ruin your entire pre-game.
“The details are very important, and something exciting about the job for me because I love to challenge myself, and every day is a challenge. I am tested 365 days a year.”
Luckily for Thompson and the Tigers, the team hotel is two miles from Kyle Field and there is no train tracks in sight.
“It’s great to be back here as a graduate after spending 10 years, most of my adult life, working here at College Station,” he said. “But I’m really looking forward to winning this game tomorrow as Auburn Tiger.”