|Housed in the Barry Switzer Center just across the hall from the football locker room, the Steven Blake Owens Memorial Equipment Room is one of the most interesting spaces among all of OU's athletics facilities.
In addition to housing the gear for the Sooner football team and a number of other sports, the space is a museum in its own right, containing an extensive amount of historical OU football paraphernalia. Expanded and modernized in 2009, OU's equipment room now encompasses more than 6,500 square feet.
Many fans do not realize the organization required to keep a football team outfitted for the season. For example, the staff manages more than 1,400 pairs of shoes each year. Gear for players and coaches is housed in individual lockers that contain everything they might need for a game including helmets, pads, cleats, socks, pants, polos and travel bags.
Efficient storage for all that gear is critical and OU utilizes a state-of-the-art Spacesaver high density storage system. The system reduces the floor space required by approximately half. Rolling units are housed on tracks that move along the floor with a turn of the crank.
Keeping all that gear clean is another challenge. Six Maytag washers (four at 60-pound capacity and two at 80-pound capacity) use cold water to clean the Sooners' practice and game gear. Each year, OU fields numerous calls from high school for tips on how to remove stains.
Seven dryers (75-pound capacity) finish the job. Clean gear then goes into individual lockers for the players to pick up and take back to the locker room.