One of the longest-tenured members of the Steelers organization retired at the end of the team’s three-day minicamp, as coach Mike Tomlin announced on Twitter that equipment manager Rodgers Freyvogel has left the team after 39 seasons.
Freyvogel joined the team in 1980 as field manager and assisted former equipment manager Tony Parisi. Freyvogel was elevated to equipment manager in 1996.
Rodgers Freyvogel has been a mainstay with the team since 1980 and today he retired. Man I’m going to miss this guy. Good man who has devoted so much of his time to this team. Best of luck my man. Enjoy retirement. pic.twitter.com/oBg3YVhrlE
— Mike Tomlin (@CoachTomlin) June 13, 2019
Since then, he’s overseen “the purchasing, fitting, customizing, issuing and reconditioning of the Steelers equipment and uniforms,” according to his biography in the Steelers media guide.
He also enforced the team’s unofficial retirement of several jersey numbers, including 12 (Terry Bradshaw), 32 (Franco Harris), 36 (Jerome Bettis), 43 (Troy Polamalu), 52 (Mike Webster), 58 (Jack Lambert), 59 (Jack Ham), 63 (Dermontti Dawson) and 86 (Hines Ward).
Freyvogel is a Pittsburgh native and attended North Catholic High School.
Patrick Noone has been the Steelers’ field manager and assistant equipment manager for the last nine seasons. The Steelers have not announced a replacement for Freyvogel.