It just won’t be the same to compete for state titles without our athletes in the capable hands of Kim Victoria.
A staple on the Caledonia sidelines, benches and dug-outs since 2004, athletic trainer Kim Victoria is stepping down from her position as of the end of this school year.
“Family,” was her one-word answer when asked why she is making the career change. “I’ve been thinking about it for a while.”
Victoria will be working closely with physicians in the sports medicine clinic at Gundersen as a clinical athletic trainer.
“Less nights,” she said. “I’ll still cover some games; it just won’t be in Caledonia, more in the La Crosse area.”
Victoria lives in West Salem with her husband and their 3 year old.
Victoria’s capable hands have taped many an ankle over the years.
She began in Caledonia in 2004 and was a part of six football state championships, girls basketball, two state runs for the boys basketball teams and volleyball in 2012.
She was also a part of the track-team’s state title in 2011, “And I’m sure I’m forgetting a few,” she joked.
Victoria was doing exactly what she wanted to do in her career and she admits the decision wasn’t an easy one.
“The kids over my whole career were so great to work with,” she said. “I like working with high school kids; they keep you young.”
Victoria has made several friends within the Caledonia coaching ranks as well as with former players who will always mean the world to her.
“The people, coaches, we always had a really good staff here,” she said. “It made my job easy. It was a good school to be at. You don’t stay somewhere for 12 years if all of those things aren’t true. It’s a good place to be.”
Current head football coach Brent Schroeder who has worked for several years with Victoria had this to say: “She has been a treasured gift to our athletic program and a key part of our teams success,” Schroeder said. “She will be truly missed and we appreciate all she has done for so many athletes in Caledonia. We wish her family the best in her new position and want her to know she is always a true Warrior. Thank you, Kim.”
And you know you’ve been in a job a long time when the ankles of an athlete you once taped have since become a head coach.
“(Varsity girls soccer coach) Chris (Jandt) was one of the first students I taped up,” she remembers. “Now I was working with him as a coach. That’s how I know I’ve been around a long time.”
“I was able to not only work with Kim as a coach but witnessed what she did as a trainer,” Jandt recalled. “As a player, the last place you wanted to be was the trainers room. Kim always turned a bad situation enjoyable by what she did. She cared about me as an athlete and made sure that I was able to perform when I needed to. As a coach, she was a teacher of her craft to coaches. I learned a lot from her that made me a better coach. She was a mother figure to the athletes, a friend to the coaches, and a Warrior at heart.”
“We always joke amongst us coaches as a staff that it’s a mutual admiration society,” the modest Victoria said. “It just shows we all really enjoy working with one another.”
“She is the best we’ve ever had,” offensive coordinator and head track coach Carl Fruechte said. “She always saw things from the coaches’ perspective yet did what was best for the kids. She is one of a kind and will be missed.”
Victoria shared her favorite story of Fruechte from her first year on the job.
“He was the offensive coordinator,” she said. “Trainers usually stood behind them so that we could be ready when a player came off the field we knew needed attention. I was standing behind him and he turned his head to look at me, then he turned it back again. He said to me ‘What!?” “You make me nervous when you stand back there,” she recalled Fruechte saying. “So then I started to do it on purpose,” Victoria said.
Victoria noted that she won’t be a stranger.
“I should still run into familiar faces when Caledonia plays La Crosse teams,” she said. “I’ll show up once in a while.”
Thank you Kim for all you’ve done for Caledonia student athletes for your 12 years here. You will be missed.