A cut above: BGSU Hockey’s “Scooter” a true one of a kind

Ben Shanahan, Sports Reporter, Falcon Media Sports Network

Bowling Green State University Hockey Equipment Manager, Scott Jess, more famously known as “Scooter,” is, some say, a living legend in the college hockey world.

But what is his story, and what makes this equipment manager so beloved?

Scooter, now in his 27th year of being an equipment manager, got his start at Miami University, where he served as a student equipment manager for the then-Redskins hockey team from 1989–1990.

After earning his degree at Miami in Sports Management,  Scooter worked six seasons in the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL), working for three separate franchises: the Raleigh Ice Caps, Richmond Renegades, and Virginia Lancers. 

“I worked five years professional hockey in the Coast League (ECHL) and my mother, who is originally from Clyde, needed me to come home to take care of her, and she unfortunately passed away a year later.” Scooter said.

From there, Scooter needed a job, and he looked towards his alma mater’s hockey rival. 

“Don Woods, who was here for 29 years, retired, and I threw my name in the hat for the job, and here I am today,” Scooter explained.

Throughout the 27 years he has worked in Bowling Green, Scooter says there have been many memories along the way, some good and some bad.

“The hardest pill to swallow had to be the championship game in Mankato five years ago, when we were up two goals with a minute and thirty-five seconds left and lost 3-2 in overtime,” Scooter said.

A normal day in the life of the head equipment manager is different every day,

“I have student managers that help me make the day go smoother. I cannot do it without them. It is a privilege to have them on board with me, but it starts here at about 5:30 in the morning and ends at 8:00 at night.”

Zach Brandewie, a current student manager who works under Scooter, says working with him is a true joy.

“The job itself is hard at times, but Scooter is a laid-back guy; he makes it easy on us and the things we do on a day-to-day basis,” Brandewie said. “You never really know what is coming next with him. He is a fun guy.”

Scooter is most famously known for what he does after the hockey team sweeps their opponent. It is called the diamond cutter, where the broad, shorter man goes onto a cooler and jumps, making a diamond shape with his hands.

He credits the move to world championship wrestler, Diamond Dallas Page.

“The guys needed something to get them over the top as far as being a little more hungry when it comes to a sweep it is very hard to do whether it is home or road I was a big wrestling fan always have been and Diamond Dallas Page has always been my favorite and so it was my own creation that I have been doing ever since.”

David Dietrich, a strategic communications assistant who works with the hockey team, said his favorite memory of working with Scooter is being part of a diamond cutter.

“It’s impossible to pick a favorite, but I’ve narrowed it down to two that are related,” Dietrich said. “The first is his Diamond Cutter after this season’s sweep of Bemidji State. It was a great weekend for the team, extending the win streak to six games and taking six conference points from a team that was right behind us in the standings. We all anticipated a pretty memorable Diamond Cutter, yet he managed to exceed our expectations.”

Dietrich also mentioned how Scooter went viral on Twitter earlier this year.

“My other favorite Scoot moment, which was when Diamond Dallas Page, the WWE wrestler who invented the move, tweeted the video. As luck would have it, I was standing in Scoot’s office when the notification came through. When I showed him the tweet, he was elated. The next 10 minutes were a whirlwind of me following him as he made me show the tweet to any player or staff member who was around, and everyone was so happy for him.”

Scooter, who claims to be not the most tech-savvy guy, called it  “the moment of his year.”

“It feels pretty good; there are a lot of good people out there who support Falcon hockey, and I love that I can help make this amazing sport continue to grow,” Scooter said.

I asked what his favorite memory was, where he told me about winning a very special award a few years ago. 

“The Glenn Sharp National Equipment Manager of the Year Award is something I will hold close to my heart forever,” Scooter said. “It was just a great evening, the culmination of meeting so many great people that all ended up being an unbelievable day in Indianapolis, where the national convention is every year.”

In the beginning of his 33-year career of diamond cutting and skate sharpening, all he wanted to do was be a part of the sports world for the rest of his life.

“I love sports, but I was not good enough to play sports, so this is my second home, being close to the boys doing what I do.”