Mike Curtin or “MC” as he is affectionately called has been a part of Nanook athletics for almost 20 years. The Rochester, New York native is the head athletic trainer and strength and conditioning coach for UAF. His main area of focus is the hockey team. His goal is make sure that athletes aren’t too shocked once an injury happens.
“It’s a mentoring thing, it’s an educational thing, it’s always being there for them when they have questions,” Curtin said. “An injury like that occurs, they’re not with the team, they’re not practicing, they’re not traveling. The goal is to be on the ice next year and so to get back to it as fast as you can; as safely as you can.”
Recently he helped senior and team captain Tyler Morley recover from reconstructive knee surgery after getting hurt at the end of his junior year. Morley talks about what Curtin did for him.
“I was at bed rest for a week in the hospital and that guy found time is his day to visit me twice a day on his own time,” Morley said. “He was there every step of the way and in the summer time I was calling him twice a week to make sure I was doing the right workouts and doing the right things to get ready and he came out there every day with me and skating by myself, pushing me to get back, pushing for me to get ready. I mean there was times where I couldn’t even skate in the morning and he worked with me all day to make sure to prepare me for the game. So ‘MC’ is an unbelievable human being and unbelievable person for this program.”
But who is Curtin really? Well those around him describe him best.
“‘MC as a person, he’s a big dude, who’s a giant teddy bear. He is so nice. He’s really smart, very intelligent,” UAF assistant athletic trainer Amber Barlow said. She even gave insight on his diet.
“He eats a lot of bagel, cheese and turkey sandwiches. Cheese is a big deal. You don’t have bad cheese. You have good cheese. So he actually goes above and beyond and gets really nice cheese.”
Curtin admits that the travel for doesn’t excite him too much but after a bagel sandwich or two Curtin enjoys helping athletes from knicks and bruises to major rehab.
“When my feet hit the morning I look forward to my day, I look forward to working with athletes and that’s a pretty positive environment to be in I think.”