Long-time Arizona Cardinals equipment manager Mark Ahlemeier is retiring after 41 years with the organization, the team announced Thursday.
Ahlemeier first joined the Cardinals back in 1981 as an assistant equipment manager for five years before eventually taking over the reins for the past 36 seasons.
“Every individual in the organization is important and plays a part in helping the team achieve its goals, both on the field and off,” Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill said in a press release. “But as someone whose first job was as a ballboy for the Cardinals, I have always had a special place in my heart for the work our equipment staff does. It is a behind-the-scenes role that is arduous, tireless and often thankless. And Mark Ahlemeier has performed that role exceptionally for the last 41 years.”
Over the course of his career with the Cardinals, the Missouri native was honored in 2008 and 2014 with the Whitey Zimmerman Award as the NFL Equipment Manager of the Year.
During his time with the organization, there were seven presidential administrations spanning across five different decades. He worked a total of 823 games and aided more than 3,600 Cardinals players.
“That’s over four decades of training camps, offseason workouts, home games, road trips and hours and hours away from his family,” Bidwill said. “Never one to seek attention, Mark certainly deserves to be recognized for all that he has contributed to this organization during his lengthy and accomplished career. To Mark, his wife Patti and their entire family, we wish nothing but the best in the chapters ahead.”