In the lower level of McComb Fieldhouse, beneath the championship-caliber basketball court, competition swimming pool, wrestling area and classroom, Roger Sargent makes his way through a concrete corridor to the groundskeeper facilities.
Each morning, before setting up for sporting events or operating the scoreboard, Sargent hangs a hand-written sign on his office door – posting the scores from the previous night’s Fighting Scots games, applause for the athletes’ hard work and daily Edinboro trivia.
A behind-the-scenes labor foreman and field maintenance crewmember, Sargent was recognized for his dedication to the Fighting Scots with the 2017 Edinboro University Staff Member of the Year Award. EU President Dr. H. Fred Walker presented the award to Sargent at the annual Faculty and Staff Recognition Luncheon, during which Sargent’s 20 years of employment at Edinboro also was acknowledged.
“It is truly a family atmosphere here at Edinboro,” said Sargent, who joined the EU staff in 1996 as a custodian before moving into his current role as groundskeeper and laundry manager. “The coaches here are like my brothers and sisters.”
In addition to setting up for McComb Fieldhouse events and summer camps, Sargent operates the scoreboards for EU wrestling, football and basketball games and Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) high school events. One of his favorite memories was announcing the rosters for the Pittsburgh Steelers Footballers Basketball Team, which played a charity basketball game in Edinboro in 2009.
“It is definitely the best seat in the house,” he said.
The Staff Member of the Year Award recognizes an Edinboro University staff member who demonstrates outstanding service to the Edinboro University community and its students. Sargent credits the Edinboro athletes and student-workers for their dedication to helping the events staff.
“The toughest part of this job is seeing the students leave,” he said. “They always work very hard, and you get so attached to them.”
Sargent has volunteered with the Geosciences Department for 20 years as an assistant to Dr. David Hurd – who nominated Sargent for Staff Member of the Year – and the Edinboro Planetarium. Sargent credits Hurd and Dr. Richard Lloyd for stoking his interest in astronomy, which has always been one of his hobbies.
“This place is like a little town, where you can do anything,” Sargent said of the university. “To have access to this much knowledge for someone who is always curious is such a blessing.”
Sargent, a resident of nearby Albion, Pa., graduated from Northwestern High School in 1978. Prior to arriving at Edinboro University, he spent 17 years as a custodian for the Northwestern School District. He lives in Albion with his wife, Sue. The Sargents have three daughters and six grandchildren.