Article reposted from The Torch
Author: Brandon Vickrey
For the first time in 49 years, there’s someone new in charge of the Valparaiso University sports medicine department.
Rod Moore, whose first year as the school’s head athletic trainer was 1967, has retired, and Nate Twedt has been promoted to the head role.
“It’s going to be full of new challenges,” Twedt said. “There are a lot of things I didn’t realize go on. Now, I’m in charge of the whole program and looking after every sport, not just the sports I’ve been assigned.”
Twedt, who is in his 13th year at Valpo, will continue his role as the football athletic trainer. He passed on the chance to switch his assignment to men’s basketball, the school’s marquee sport.
“I’ve worked football for 12 years, and I think we’re on a path to that championship level,” he said. “I don’t want to quit right before they get there. When they start winning, I want to be a part of that. When I started, I wanted to be a Division-I football athletic trainer. That’s where I feel most comfortable.”
When the Valpo men’s basketball team opens the season against Southern Utah on Nov. 11 at the Athletics-Recreation Center, Zachary Creighton will sit in the chair that has been occupied by Moore for the better part of the last five decades.
Creighton, who earned his undergraduate degree from Purdue and master’s from Michigan State, previously served as the athletic trainer for the Fort Wayne Komets minor league hockey team. He begins work on Monday.
The department still features Carrie McKiddy (women’s basketball, women’s bowling) and Rebekah Reichard (volleyball, softball) along with four graduate assistants.
One of the biggest challenges facing the department is striking a work-family balance for the athletic trainers following Moore’s departure.
“You could always count on (Rod) to stay for a late night or come in early if necessary,” Twedt said. “He was always very flexible with his schedule in that way. That’s going to be a difficult transition for us. We won’t have that person – I’ve got three kids, Carrie’s got kids that are elementary age or younger. That’s going to be a constant challenge.”
Although Twedt would like to see the athletic training facility expanded, he and his coworkers make the most of the resources they have available.
“Obviously, if we had more space, we could do more things, but that’s not what we have,” Twedt said. “We have to make do with what we have. We set up rehab in the hallways. We do the best we can.”
Twedt said the most significant change he plans to implement is creating an environment where all athletic trainers are expected to assist athletes from any sport.
“We each have our own students we’re taking care of, but if I’m taking somebody to the doctor and a football player comes in, I expect the person who’s taking care of basketball to take care of that person since I’m not there,” he said. “That hasn’t been what we’ve always done in the past. Our staff is fairly small, so we have to work on accommodating everybody with what we have.”