Long-time 49ers equipment manager Steve Urbaniak recently completed what he called, “The Cycle.”
Urbaniak, 41, was chosen to work the Pro Bowl in Orlando, Florida, two weeks ago. In his 19 seasons of working in the NFL, including 18 years with the 49ers, he had never worked a Pro Bowl. He worked every other kind of game the NFL has to offer.
This week, Urbaniak was informed he will no longer be a member of the 49ers. New head coach Kyle Shanahan is bringing in his own equipment manager to handle the duties. When reached Friday by CSNBayArea.com, Urbaniak expressed gratitude to the York family and the 49ers for a long run with the organization.
He worked with head coaches Steve Mariucci, Dennis Erickson, Mike Nolan, Mike Singletary, Jim Harbaugh, Jim Tomsula and Chip Kelly. He also worked with eight members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, including Dan Marino and Jason Taylor from his one season with the Miami Dolphins.
“I had the opportunity to travel the world and make so many friends that will last a lifetime,” Urbaniak said.
During his time with the 49ers, the team played in every NFL city, as well as international games in Mexico City, twice in London, and Osaka, Japan.
Last year, Urbaniak was voted as the winner of the Whitey Zimmerman Memorial NFL Equipment Manager of the Year. One of the rewards was the invitation to put in a 70-hour work week with his assistants Jeff Gilbert and Robert Lloyd at the Pro Bowl.
Although no 49ers made the Pro Bowl, Urbaniak reconnected with Delanie Walker and Alex Smith. Urbaniak retrieved the football that Walker caught for a touchdown pass, making sure the memento went home with the former 49ers tight end.
Smith would always play catch with Urbaniak to remain loose while the 49ers' defense was on the field during his seven seasons with the team. Urbaniak worked on the AFC sideline so he and Smith could continue that tradition.
“All the years we played catch, I only dropped one pass,” Urbaniak said.