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‘Spider’ Caldwell Returns to Penn State

After 31 years working as an equipment manager, Brad “Spider” Caldwell became one of the most affectionately known members of the Penn State family. Caldwell joined the staff in 1983 as a student manager under Joe Paterno. He retired from his position just this past summer to take a job as the Activities and Athletic Director at Fair Haven Union High School in Fair Haven, VT.

This month, Spider returned to Happy Valley to take a new job as facilities coordinator at Beaver Stadium. In his new role, he will work closely with donors and alumni as he helps to manage the suites and club seats.

“I love meeting people, and I loved that part of my job as equipment manager,” he said to The Football Letter. “I loved leading tours here and at Lasch, and a lot of this is job is development related, working with donors and alumni. And of course, I know the stadium like the back of my hand. So hopefully I can relieve Bobby [White, a facilities coordinator who sought an assistant], and it’s not so much to overwhelm me.”

During his short stint in Vermont, Caldwell dealt with a string of health issues including a heart attack and ensuing stroke. He and his wife Karen felt home calling as he recovered. Spider attended the football team’s game against Ohio State this past fall to a warm reception from fans and players alike that helped to sway his decision to come back.

But now Spider’s back at home, and things seem to be moving back in place.

“Literally, my first day here, I’m sitting in my office looking out at Mount Nittany, and I’m in tears,” he said. “It’s been so much fun reconnecting with everybody. I feel great, and I’m having a blast. It’s great to be back.”

Photo: Bobby Chen/Onward State

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