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A Family Legacy of Excellence: The Raiders and the Romanskis
Longtime head of equipment Bob Romanski awarded 2022 NFL Equipment Manager of the Year.
By Rachel Gossen Sep 13, 2022

What started as a summer job working training camps with his dad Richard has turned into a lifelong career for Bob Romanski, who was recently honored for his work as the Silver and Black's director of equipment operations with the 2022 NFL Equipment Manager of the Year award, the highest of honors within his field.

In fact, the Raiders have only ever had two equipment managers in franchise history – father and son.

"You can't separate the two. When you start talking about the Raiders, you've got to start talking about the Romanskis because they've been here forever," former Raiders linebacker Matt Millen said.

The Romanskis were woven into the fabric of the Silver and Black through a longtime friendship with late owner Al Davis.

Richard played quarterback under Davis on the Army Football Team in Fort Belvoir, Virginia, in 1953, later serving as an assistant coach on Davis' staff. When Davis was tabbed as head coach of the Oakland Raiders in January of 1963, he hired Richard as equipment manager.

"[Bob] and his dad built the shield, helped Mr. Davis and Mark build the shield," assistant equipment manager Danny Molina said. "I think he is just a great man for the organization to learn from; someone that's been here since he was a kid and represents the Raiders to the highest capacity."

The duties of an equipment team are endless.

They're the ones players and coaches know can deliver whatever they need – from fixing a ripped jersey or a broken helmet to grabbing anything forgotten in the locker room. The game can't be played without the work of EQ staffs keeping everything organized and in top shape.

Romanski grew up on the sidelines, watching and learning as his dad brought innovation and a strong work ethic to the team.

Today, he is a pillar of the Raiders' day-to-day football operations, serving as head equipment manager since he took over the position from his father in 1995.

"[Richard] was kind of getting to a point where he was really delegating most of the work to Bobby. I didn't know that at the time, and Bobby didn't talk about that," former Raiders linebacker Greg Biekert said. "But you could see Bobby was doing the majority of the things that needed to get done, taking care of the players when they needed something out on the field."

Romanski is entering his 51st season with the Raiders – 42nd as a full-time employee – and has established himself as a vital piece of the organization, a man who is constantly on the move.

"To this day, I don't think I've ever seen Bob sit down," Derek Carr said with a laugh. "I've been here nine years and for almost a decade, that man is a nonstop worker. … If it needs to get done, he just does it. It's like, 'Man, you've got so much help Bob, you've earned the right to let other people do things,' and he still does all the work.

"He does not slow down. Since I've known him, all he does is work and try to do what's best for the Raiders all the time."

Romanski's talents extend outside of tape and towels. He has a knack for the artistic side of things, which he shows off every year during the annual "My Cause My Cleats" campaign. With a small airbrush in hand, Romanski spends hours painting cleats for each player's chosen charity.

He also enjoys architectural design work – a subject he considered studying before joining the Raiders – and with the move to Las Vegas a couple years ago, Romanski got the chance to create the perfect workspace for his staff, as well as the players.

He assisted in designing the locker room and equipment sections of Intermountain Healthcare Performance Center, as well as the locker rooms inside of Allegiant Stadium.

"He's got a wealth of knowledge about this organization," Millen said. "If the league had more Bobby Romanskis, it'd be an awesome place."

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What truly sets Romanski apart to players, coaches and staff members is his humble heart. Many have described him as someone who goes above and beyond in both his professional and personal life, and with his experience treating the equipment room as a family unit, he extends that feeling to everyone.

"His legacy is the standard that is the Raiders – his commitment to excellence day-in and day-out for 40-plus years," said Adam Johnson, assistant equipment manager.

"I think Bob would tell you this: We would put our crew against anybody in the league in terms of efficiency, and a lot of it comes from the way that he treats us. He treats us like family."

For Romanski, the NFL Equipment Manager of the Year award is sure to be an honor, but it's unlikely to change much for him as he gears up for another season with the team to which he has dedicated his professional life.

"He's put his heart, sweat, tears, all into this organization for 50 years," Biekert said. "He's definitely a Raider, if anybody is."

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