Weapon of Whitewater

Jack Miller, Assistant Sports Editor

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Director of Equipment and Football Operations Tim Baldry plays a central role for UW-Whitewater football. Before his time with the Warhawks though, Baldry oversaw a much more significant type of equipment management.

One month after Baldry graduated high school at Janesville Craig, he went to join the Navy.

“For me it was because I wasn’t a standout in sports,” Baldry said. “I wasn’t going to get a scholarship anywhere. I couldn’t afford to send myself to college. I picked the Navy because I got to see the world.”

Baldry was stationed on the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, an aircraft carrier based out of Norfolk, Virginia.

After a crew member left because of a family emergency, Baldry was flown out to the aircraft mid-cruise to act as an emergency replacement for his fellow Navy member, who worked in the weapons department. Baldry seized the opportunity, and eventually became the right-hand man of the weapons department.

“What’s funny is it’s [Baldry’s Navy duties] actually really similar to what I do now,” Baldry said.

As a third class petty officer, Baldry led a crew of sailors. He also tracked military leave for crew members, kept the head of the department informed and even became a .50 caliber mount captain for the side of the ship.

While in the Navy, Baldry traveled the world to places like the Middle East and Spain. Then, after four-and-a-half years out at sea, he was back in Wisconsin. Baldry said the transition home took quite a bit of readjustment.

“It was difficult at first,” Baldry said. “It was good though because I got to come back home and see family and everything. A lot had changed. I had changed from being in the Navy. I felt like it made me grow up. It was hard sometimes connecting with some of the friends I had from high school because I had changed so much, and they were still the same.”

After Baldry found himself on the wrong side of a cutback at the company he worked for, he decided to come to UW-Whitewater as a non-traditional student at the age of 28.

At UW-W Baldry was enrolled in a coaching and football class. The professor of the class, former Warhawk head football coach Lance Leipold, asked for volunteers to help with the football team. Baldry took him up on his request.

As a volunteer, Baldry was a video coordinator and assistant offensive line coach from 2008-2011. Then, after the position of director of equipment and football operations unexpectedly opened in 2012, a few weeks before the season started, Baldry once again stepped in as an emergency hire.

And just like before, he went from a quick replacement to full time.

Baldry not only manages a student staff, but oversees all football equipment upkeep, locker room maintenance, and laundry. He’s also behind the planning of the team’s hotels and restaurants during road games.

“A lot of people don’t understand that he’s [Baldry] the one that really keeps everything going smoothly for us. He really does,” head football coach, Kevin Bullis, said. “It’s a huge role for a football program.”

A possible reason why Baldry has found so much success in his tenure with UW-W is the values that were instilled in him from the Navy.

“In the military in general if you get something to do, you need to do it, because it could depend on somebody’s life,” Baldry said. “That just got ingrained in me; that if someone tells you to do something, you’re going to do it. While I was there [the Navy] I knew it would get done faster if I would help instead of just telling someone to do it. So I’ve done the same thing wherever I’ve been.”

Bullis echoed a similar sentiment about the values he’s seen in Baldry and other veterans he’s had on his team.

“They understand the importance of the team aspect and their role within a team concept,” Bullis said. “They’re very selfless, motivated, and detailed people.”

Baldry and his fellow veterans’ service will be recognized at the Nov. 11 Warhawk home football game. All veterans will be allowed two free tickets to the game, which can be picked up at will call.

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