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College and University

Penn State athletic trainer lived in frat house where Tim Piazza died

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Article reposted from Pittsburgh Post Gazette
Author: SEAN D. HAMILL

Those who have viewed the 12 hours of video surveillance that show the slow and painful death of Tim Piazza that resulted from what happened the night of Feb. 2 and Feb. 3, 2017, say it is horrifying to watch.

As the heavily intoxicated 19-year-old sophomore Penn State engineering major stumbles, crawls, and falls down repeatedly, losing consciousness multiple times, it is the indifference of the more than two dozen of his Beta Theta Pi fraternity brothers that is hard to understand.

But there is one small moment, just after 5 a.m. the morning after Mr. Piazza began drinking, when fate cost him at least one chance at surviving.

He had stumbled into a side room off of the house’s great room, where during the pledge ceremony the night before he had joined the fraternity. There, lying on the side room floor, he was, for a time, in sight of a surveillance camera and the doorway into the great room.

 

This Oct. 31, 2014, photo shows Timothy Piazza with his parents, Evelyn and James Piazza, during Hunterdon Central Regional High School football’s Senior Night in Flemington, N.J.   (Patrick Carns via AP)

 

Mr. Bream was not only the live-in adviser, he was then and now one of the most prominent members of the Penn State athletic staff, head athletic trainer for all university sports and head football trainer for the Nittany Lions. A Penn State and Beta alum himself, Mr. Bream decided to “give back” to his alma mater by taking the job in 2012 in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal after being head trainer for the Chicago Bears for 15 years.

“It is not hyperbole to say that when Tim Bream was sleeping in his room while this incident unfolded, he represented one of the most capable people in the world to respond to the trauma of a young man since he deals with trauma daily,” his attorney later wrote in a motion that attempted to prevent Mr. Bream from testifying as a witness in the preliminary hearing to the criminal case of the fraternity brothers charged in Mr. Piazza’s death. Mr. Bream is not charged in the criminal case, though 28 fraternity members are.

Even though several fraternity members discussed it, no one went to Mr. Bream’s room on the second floor at the far end of house to wake him up to check on Mr. Piazza in the seven hours before Mr. Bream left for work that morning. And because Mr. Piazza had moved out of sight of the doorway, Mr. Bream never saw him in distress that morning as he left the house.

In testimony when he did appear at the preliminary hearing, Mr. Bream said while he knew the fraternity had applied for an alcohol permit for the pledge party, he never learned if it was granted and he knew nothing about what went on at the party after he went to his room after 9 p.m., where he stayed until leaving just after 5 a.m. the next morning.

But attorneys representing some of the fraternity brothers charged in the criminal case, as well as civil attorneys for the Piazza family and a Beta alum who paid to renovate the fraternity house, believe Mr. Bream cannot escape his share of responsibility for what happened that night – even though he has not been charged in the criminal case.

“Bream was the captain of the ship,” said Leonard Ambrose, attorney for one of the defendants, Joe Sala, 19. “When you have a captain on the ship and it runs into the dock when the captain was sleeping, the person in charge of the ship can’t just walk away from this by saying, ‘I was sleeping.’”

It was Mr. Ambrose who called Mr. Bream to testify as a witness in the preliminary hearing.

In an email, Mr. Bream declined to comment, writing: “At the advice of my attorney I will not comment or be interviewed.”

Michael Leahey, an attorney representing the housing corporation board that owns the Beta house, which includes Mr. Bream as a board member, said Mr. Bream would never have done anything to put students in harm’s way.

“Tim has devoted his entire life to helping young men,” he said.

Though Penn State, through spokeswoman Lisa Powers, answered some questions, it refused to answer whether Mr. Bream bore any responsibility for what happened the night Mr. Piazza was hazed and fatally injured because it did not “want to speculate on the issues.”

Stacy Parks Miller, who was the Centre County district attorney when the charges were filed last year, told reporters last year that she did not charge Mr. Bream because he was “not a participant in the crime.”

At a press conference after one of the preliminary hearing sessions in August, she dismissed defense attorneys’ attempts to try to put responsibility on Mr. Bream as nothing more than a “red herring.”

“What they want to say is they believe Mr. Bream, because he’s 58-years-old, somehow makes their client not guilty because he was living in the house,” she said, getting his age wrong.

But many of the attorneys and families involved in the criminal and civil lawsuits still have many questions. They are as much about what Mr. Bream did or didn’t do the night Mr. Piazza was fatally injured before dying on Feb. 4, 2017, as they are about what he could have done before the night of drinking even began.

And many have wondered why a 56-year-old man was living in a fraternity house that was home to 40 college students and known for its hard partying.

Part of the answer lies in understanding Mr. Bream’s background and how loyalty guided his decisions, first, to take the job at Penn State, and, second, to move into the Beta house.

He was born Henry Trostle Bream III in Gettysburg – he still signs formal documents “Henry T. Bream III” – the son of a prominent Gettysburg sports family that gave him the nickname Tim.

He was named after his grandfather and an uncle, who also went by the nickname Tim, who died in 1939 when he was just 9 years old, long before Mr. Bream was born.

His grandfather was Henry T. “Hen” Bream, a legendary longtime coach and athletic director at Gettysburg College, which named its gymnasium after him when he retired. When he died in 1990, it was front page news in The Gettysburg Times.

Tim Bream’s father, Jack Bream, followed in his father’s footsteps, becoming a successful coach and administrator at Gettysburg College. It was Jack Bream’s struggle with alcohol that led Tim Bream to decide he would never drink any alcohol, Tim Bream said in his testimony this past August. Jack Bream declined to comment for this story when reached by the Post-Gazette.

Led into sports by his father and grandfather – both of whom were successful athletes themselves at both Gettysburg High School and Gettysburg College –Tim Bream followed a slightly different path in sports.

“I was a mediocre athlete,” Tim Bream told The Gettysburg Times in 1982 in a profile on his fledgling athletic training career as a senior at Penn State working the sidelines of Nittany Lion football games. “Being a trainer is the best way for me to keep in touch with sports.”

He bucked his family tradition and went to Penn State, where he joined the Beta Theta Pi fraternity. But going to Penn State probably wasn’t as strange a move to his family as it might have seemed, given his father’s and grandfather’s history.

As with any story involving Penn State over the last half century, there is a Joe Paterno link in the story.

As detailed in multiple stories in The Gettysburg Times over several decades, Tim Bream’s grandfather was a close friend of Mr. Paterno’s, and the two longtime football coaches visited each other regularly.

When Tim Bream graduated from Penn State in 1983, he spent the next decade moving up through the ranks at four different universities, including at Syracuse, where he met his future wife, Lisa.

They married in 1986 and raised two daughters together, eventually moving to Chicago where Mr. Bream in 1993 landed a job as assistant athletic trainer with the Chicago Bears. In 1997 he became head athletic trainer, and life seemed to be good for the Bream family.

Then the Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal broke at Penn State in November 2011. A month later the university’s new athletic director, Dave Joyner, called Mr. Bream to offer him the job to be the new head athletic trainer.

“To be honest, if any place other than Penn State had called, I wouldn’t have even considered it,” Mr. Bream later wrote in 2015 for the Training & Conditioning website  about his decision.

He quickly accepted the job and moved his family to State College, buying a new home on the edge of town, in the spring of 2012.

But even before Tim Piazza’s death, the move would prove to be fraught with struggles for Mr. Bream.

After just one season as the football team’s head trainer, he was a focus of a Sports Illustrated article in May 2013 that claimed he was making questionable decisions with players, including giving players medications that he was unqualified to distribute.

Penn State investigated the claims even before the story was published, found them baseless, and Mr. Bream kept his job.

Not long after that, though, Mr. Bream separated from his wife of 27 years and filed for divorce in September 2013 because the marriage was “irretrievably broken,” his attorney wrote in the divorce petition.

The Breams were “unable to agree on an equitable distribution,” according to the petition, and they needed more than two years to divide their assets. Mr. Bream agreed to give his wife the home they had purchased together, nearly half of their savings, and pay his ex-wife about 40 percent of his annual $138,000 Penn State pay until 2020. Ms. Bream declined to comment when reached by the Post-Gazette.

The final order would not be signed by the divorce judge until May 2016.

It is not clear if Mr. Bream had been looking for a place to stay before he moved into the second floor room in the Beta house on Aug. 15, 2016. During his divorce he listed his mailing address as being at the Lasch Building, where the Nittany Lions athletic staff works.

But in a brief filed by his former attorney, Matthew D’Annunzio, when Mr. Bream was trying to avoid testifying at the preliminary hearing, Mr. D’Annunzio wrote that Mr. Bream “agreed to the repeated requests from his friends on the board of the Housing Corp. to undertake the role of adviser.”

It is because Mr. Bream was the hand-picked representative of the housing corporation – which had banned alcohol from the Beta house – that attorneys believe Mr. Bream bears some responsibility. That is despite Mr. Bream saying in testimony that his job was not to check on parties to make sure alcohol was not present.

“That’s not my role,” he said at the Aug. 30 hearing. “My role [as house adviser] is more of guidance, a person of guidance. It wasn’t an overlord, an overseer. I wasn’t in charge of discipline at all.”

But an attorney representing the Piazza family said the terms of any agreement with the housing corporation that allowed Mr. Bream to live in the house have not yet been made public.

“He didn’t just walk in there on a handshake. There has to be some memorandum of understanding,” said Tom Kline, the attorney for the family, which has not yet filed any lawsuit in the death of their son. They have two years from his death to file a lawsuit.

Even if he did not know if it was granted, Mr. Bream’s testimony that he knew that the fraternity had applied for an alcohol permit to the Interfraternity Council “is a very important point” since the housing corporation had banned alcohol in the house, said Mr. Ambrose, the attorney for a fraternity member.

“If anybody should have put a stop to [the fraternity party] it was Tim Bream,” he said. “But he allowed it to go on. And [for the fraternity brothers] that was tacit approval.”

Mr. Bream stunned the more than two dozen defense attorneys when he answered questions as a witness at the preliminary hearing. Because he was in the house when Mr. Piazza was hazed and then injured, they thought he would cite his 5th Amendment right against self incrimination and not answer many of the questions about his role in the house or what he knew about the party that night.

Mr. Ambrose said he believes that the adviser role, as Mr. Bream described at the preliminary hearing, indicated that he “was duly authorized. And if alcohol was going to come in, he had a duty to act as chaperone.”

Ms. Powers, the Penn State spokeswoman, would not answer whether the university told Mr. Bream to testify, but she did write in an email: “The University, through its legal counsel, communicated to Mr. Bream that he should accept service of the subpoena and appear in court.”

And while Mr. Bream was not charged in the criminal case, it is clear he is a focus of the Piazza family, which has called for Penn State to fire him.

“While it does not excuse the bad conduct of others, Bream is an important person in this matter,” Mr. Kline said. “We’ve always thought that.”

He is also a focus of one of two lawsuits brought by Donald Abbey, a wealthy Penn State and Beta alum who funded a $10 million renovation of the Beta house and who insisted on the installation of the surveillance cameras that captured the images of Mr. Piazza’s hazing and injuries.

Mr. Abbey had the cameras installed as a way to enforce the fraternity’s ban on alcohol in the house and ensure the house was not damaged. In one of his lawsuits, he is suing the housing corporation board of directors, which includes Mr. Bream, because he believes the events that led to Mr. Piazza’s death trigger a provision of his funding that means the fraternity has to pay him back.

Matt Haverstick, the attorney representing Mr. Abbey, would only say: “I’m looking forward to Mr. Bream’s deposition.”

Sean D. Hamill: shamill@post-gazette.com or 412-263-2579 or Twitter: @SeanDHamill

College and University

Michigan State’s Nogle used San Diego State degrees in rise to top

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Article reposted from The San Diego Union Tribune
Author: Tod Leonard

Sally Nogle was a college student in the Athletic Training Program at San Diego State when she got her first taste of working the sidelines for the Holiday Bowl.

The years were 1980 and ’81, and Nogle was a trainer liaison for BYU for its two thrilling wins — 46-45 over SMU and 38-36 over Washington State. Those games put the Holiday Bowl on the must-watch list for fans.

“It was a cool bowl game,” Nogle said. “When I went on to Michigan State, I thought maybe someday we’d get back there.”

It only took 34 years.

Nogle, a Bay Area native, will finally return to the sidelines of SDCCU Stadium (it was Jack Murphy Stadium back in her time), with Michigan State taking on Washington State on Thursday in the 40th Holiday Bowl.

Nogle began her athletic training career in 1983 with the Spartans and has never left East Lansing, Mich. In 2013, she became the first female in the Big Ten Conference to be the head trainer for the entire athletic program and for football.

Nogle is here this week with her husband, Carlton, who also is a San Diego State grad, and she joked that they’ve walked around in the sunshine and said, “Why did we ever leave?”

She did so to have a career that has distinguished Nogle as one of the top people in her field. She’s won numerous national awards and in 2012 was inducted into the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Hall of Fame.

In 2008, Nogle was honored with San Diego State’s Robert J. Moore Distinguished Alumnus Award. It was Moore who began SDSU’s Athletic Training Program in 1968, and he emphasized getting more women into the field.

SDSU’s program has produced more than 1,300 trainers, men and women, in nearly 50 years.

Moore, who died in 2012, was among the first trainers in the country to promote and use Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) — an advanced form of stretching for athletes.

“A brilliant man,” Nogle said. “I got lucky to have been in the program there. When I left, I realized how much of an incredible mentor he was.”

Nogle, who did her undergraduate studies at SDSU in 1975-79 and graduate work from 1980-83, said she also was influenced by Carolyn Greer, a product of SDSU’s training program who became the first female head athletic trainer in Division I when she was hired by the University of San Diego in 1978.

Women now make up about 50 percent of all trainers outside of college athletics, Nogle said, but there are only a handful who are head trainers or lead football trainers in the Power Five conferences.

“In college football, it’s a male-dominated world, and we don’t play football,” Nogle said. “It’s not an easy job, either, in terms of lifestyle and balancing a family, and that comes into play.”

Nogle laughed when asked if a female football trainer can do the same job as a man.

“There’s no reason we can’t,” she said. “If you’re interested in a sport, you can learn by watching it. I just need to learn the movement, and the dynamics of what certain athletes need to do.”

Times have changed in the training world as football faces bigger scrutiny than ever over injuries, and concussions in particular.

“I think we’re better than we were in the past,” Nogle said. “The concussion issue, we understand it better, and we treat the athletes better. That’s important.

“I happen to work for a great coach (Mark Dantonio), who if I say an athlete has a concussion, he doesn’t challenge it. I hope there are a lot of coaches out there who do that, but I think for some athletic trainers it’s harder. Sometimes coaches will put pressure on to get a person back.

“You have to be strong, and it’s stressful. You want to win, too. But you have to do what’s best for the athlete.”

Nogle’s hours haven’t gotten any easier. She still works a ton of them, and probably more than ever, with her dual roles in football and the athletic department.

“It’s stressful at times, but I like it a lot,” Nogle said. “Being the head athletic trainer, you get to establish polices and get the culture of the program where you want it to be. Being able to do that as the head person, that’s part of the fun.”

College and University

A Life: Fred Kelley, 1936-2017; ‘His Real Strength, Though, Was That He’d Help Anyone’

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Article reposted from Valley News
Author: Tris Wykes

Fred Kelley’s smile was dazzling, and he flashed it often.

Dartmouth College’s head athletic trainer was in the serious business of preventing and treating injuries, but he knew that laughter, a grin, and a funny anecdote could go a long way in his line of work.

Kelley, who served Dartmouth in that role from 1967 to 1994 and doubled as a Big Green baseball coach during the 1970s, died May 11, 2017, in Kissimmee, Fla., of congestive heart failure and after battling kidney cancer. To the end, however, he believed he would pull through, his optimistic attitude a reason why he reached an eighth decade, his two children said.

“He was bedridden but convinced he was going to make it to the next doctor’s appointment,” said his daughter, Kristen Kelley, a Hanover High and Dartmouth graduate who often had to collude with her father’s friends to discover his true condition. “He was a former Marine and tough as nails and he didn’t want to put anybody out.”

Kelley faced a staggering number of challenges and virtually all of them with good cheer. A native of Gloversville, N.Y., an hour’s drive northwest of Albany, he endured a childhood laden with poverty and abuse, as well as the death of his first wife. He suffered three heart attacks, two forms of cancer, a pair of back operations, hand surgery and overcame alcoholism.

“I will never forget the long nights in the intensive care unit when it seemed the morning would never come,” Kelley wrote in a family history he compiled for his grandson, 2017 Sharon Academy graduate and current Emerson College freshman Harvey Kelley.

Said Kristen Kelley: “A lot of people in his situation would wind up being introverts or bitter, but he had a zest for life.”

Kelley was the younger of two sons born to John and Helen (Enser) Kelley in Broadalbin, N.Y. His father was killed in a 1937 car crash and Helen Kelley later married widower George Brennan, who had four children of his own. The couple established a grocery store in Johnstown, N.Y., and lived above it until declaring bankruptcy in 1938. The family’s situation grew so dire that it was forced to split up and only Fred stayed with the Kelley parents.

Harvey eventually moved back home and Grandmother Enser soon moved nearby and sometimes hosted them for Saturday night sleepovers. If she was in a good mood, they could expect car trips, boat cruises, candy and to play board games before being read aloud Tarzan and Hardy Boys books in their pajamas.

On darker occasions, however, the older woman would verbally abuse the brothers. She made them clean a textured tin ceiling with a toothbrush while perched atop stepladders, struck them with a metal vacuum cleaner wand and forced them into scalding baths, Kelley recalled in the family history. He attributed his grandmother’s behavior to grief at her husband’s death.

“I remember to this day, going to bed with blisters on my rear end and groin,” he wrote.

Fred Kelley mirrored his brother’s passions for sports and music. The younger boy would pitch for hours to his older sibling and they performed in barbershop quartets, a dance band and drum and bugle corps together.

Kelley arrived at Springfield (Mass.) College short on money needed for the $950 annual tuition but negotiated a payment plan to become a physical education major. He paid the remaining bill and supported himself by singing in two church choirs, writing for the sports information department, acting as a dorm trunk-room attendant and as test subject for college research experiments.

“When anyone would ask me what I’d had to eat that day, I would tell them a roll for breakfast, some water for lunch and swelled up for dinner,” Kelley wrote. He sometimes survived on a single packet of peanut butter crackers per day and collected empty bottles around campus, redeeming them for cash.

As sophomore, Kelley was a relief pitcher for the Indians baseball varsity that reached the 12-team College World Series, losing to Oklahoma and Arizona. He also began receiving mysterious envelopes without return addresses but containing $10 here and $20 there. He used those gifts, the origins of which he never discovered, to pay for food and lab fees. In the summers, he worked at a series of resorts and camps, sometimes putting on water-skiing exhibitions and other times serving as a youth counselor.

Kelley’s financial situation was untenable by 1956 and he followed his brother into the Marines. While at radio school in Norfolk, Va., Kelley married Anita Bonuccelli of nearby Richmond. She fell ill en route to the couple’s honeymoon, however, and later died of a blood disease. Kelley was discharged less than a year later and returned to Springfield.

Kelley’s continued work at summer camps led him to cross paths with fellow staff member Susan Van Keuren, whom he’d later marry. First, however, he accepted a job to be an assistant baseball and basketball coach at Virginia Military Institute.

The gig paid $3,000 per year and Kelley lived in the bachelor officers quarters and ate in their mess hall, both for free. In addition to coaching, he taught physical education and oversaw the intramural program. He and Van Keuren became engaged during his first year at VMI.

The couple’s first child, Michael, was born in 1965 and life became even busier when Kelley took over as VMI’s head baseball coach for two seasons. He was offered the Keydets’ head job on the hardwood as well, but turned it down to devote more time to family, sports medicine and the pursuit of a master’s degree. He authored a book on training techniques and became an early practitioner of what would become known as physical therapy.

The head trainer’s job came open at Dartmouth in 1967. The move was appealing because Hanover was closer to couple’s extended families. Although Fred was making $12,000 annually at VMI and would have to take a pay cut at Dartmouth, he accepted its eventual offer.

The Kelleys arrived at what then-sports information director Jack DeGange described in an email as “something of a golden era in athletics at Dartmouth.” The Big Green won or shared five consecutive Ivy League football titles from 1969-73, the 1970 baseball team reached the College World Series, men’s basketball posted a couple of rare winning seasons and ice hockey was reviving in recently built Thompson Arena.

Many of the Dartmouth coaches and administrators were in their late 20s and early 30s and had school-aged children. Kristen Kelley recalls numerous athletics families gathering for a day of swimming in someone’s back yard. The adults would socialize and sing along to a guitar and the kids would run and wrestle and squabble and collapse for brief periods of rest.

“Everyone looked out for them,” Kristen Kelley said. “It was chaos.”

Wrote DeGange: “We worked together and partied together and built friendships… that have been enduring.”

At home, the Kelleys often ate dinner out of trays placed atop small folding tables in the den. Fred would don an old pair of sweatpants, announce that nothing on earth was going to get him out of the house that night, and the family would watch television shows that ranged from Bonanza to M*A*S*H and F Troop.

“Some of my earliest memories involve that room’s horrible, gray wood paneling and its plush red carpet,” Kristin Kelley said. “Mom and Dad would drink Manhattans on the rocks and she would do her crossword puzzle and I would sit at Dad’s feet. He was very content to be just settled and at home.”

Although the school year was consumed by sports, the Kelleys enjoyed summer sojourns at the Whip ‘O Will resort on Newfound Lake in central New Hampshire. Tiny cabins without air conditioning, meals in a dining hall, sing-alongs and banjo playing and campfires by the water — it all remains vivid in Michael and Kristin Kelley’s memories. Their father used to wolf down his dinner so he could pitch to any and all kids in Wiffle Ball and he eventually requested that his ashes be scattered on the lake, as Sue Kelley’s were done before him.

At Dartmouth, Fred Kelley rose from freshman baseball coach to the varsity boss in 1978 after the retirement of the legendary Ulysses “Tony” Lupien, a former Major League player who had been coaching the Indians since 1957.

Kelley sometimes had to make bus trips standing up front with the driver because his back wouldn’t permit him to sit for extended periods and his three varsity teams had a combined overall record of 19-84.

That was a busy stretch for Kelley, who worked at the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympics, primarily in the foreign athletes’ compound. The Dartmouth football team won Ivy titles in 1981 and 1982, two of the 11 such crowns Kelley experienced with the program.

The veteran “toe-taper” was inducted into the National Athletic Trainers Association hall of fame in 1989, five years before he stepped down at Dartmouth. Jeff Frechette, now the college’s head athletic trainer and a 1976 Woodstock High graduate on the job since 1981, said the honor was well-deserved.

“Fred was a pioneer in a lot of ways,” said Frechette, who credits Kelley with reinforcing his desire to become a trainer when he was a high school senior. “Guys like him were the first to be formally educated in our profession and to push it forward in terms of certification.

“His real strength, though, was that he’d help anyone who walked through the door and he was very good at explaining what they needed to do to get better. People were drawn to him because of that.”

Kelley continued to own a fully-stocked training bag during his retirement, a time when some people downshift but he seemed to hit the gas. A move to the Eastman golf community in Grantham during the 1990s was followed by a relocation to Solavita, a planned Florida community for adults 55 and older that’s an hour’s drive south of Orlando.

Sue Kelley, who had operated her own day care, worked at a bank and been an Avon representative during her Hanover days, passed away in 2005. By the time her husband turned 75, however, he had amassed enough friends in his new location that the guest list had to be capped at 80. He sang and danced in two musical groups and maintained a single-digit golf handicap.

He regularly returned to play in the Tommy Keane Invitational tournament he helped found at the Hanover Country Club, especially enjoying the chance to pair up with Michael, who’d gone on to compete as a rower at Maine’s Colby College.

Most tellingly, Fred Kelley maintained his willingness to listen to friends and strangers and try to alleviate their aches and pains. Whether wrapping a knee, dispensing fitness and rehabilitation advice or expertly rubbing a friend’s sore back, Fred Kelley genuinely cared. Late in life, he not only withstood a pair of heart attacks, he saved the life of a fellow chorus member by administering CPR after the man suffered one of his own.

“He was the predecessor to the (urgent care) clinic,” said Mike Kelley, who recalled Big Apple Circus ringmaster Paul Binder arriving unannounced and sore at the Kelley family’s Woodmore Drive front door one day. “He enjoyed people and being the reason they felt better, and when he smiled, people smiled back at him.”

Tris Wykes can be reached at twykes@vnews.com or 603-727-3227.

College and UniversityEmerging Settings

Wisconsin National Guard Medics get Training with Wisconsin Athletic Training

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Article reposted from US Army
Author: Sgt. Katie Eggers | Wisconsin National Guard

From 1861 until the end of the Civil War in 1865, more than 70,000 Wisconsin troops trained at Camp Randall here in Madison. Today, Wisconsin National Guard Soldiers continue to train at the historic site in a different capacity.

The Wisconsin National Guard and the University of Wisconsin’s athletic training program have built a partnership over the past four years in which Guard medics train with University of Wisconsin athletic trainers on soft-tissue injuries as part of what planners coined “Operation Badger Medic.”

Combat medic skills are critical to the Wisconsin National Guard, an organization charged with fulfilling a key role as part of the nation’s primary combat reserve. Medics are vital to combat operations in places like Iraq and Afghanistan as well as in training environments and even when the National Guard responds to domestic emergencies here in the United States.

“Over the past 15 years medics have been trained on trauma injuries, gunshot wounds, amputations and we have sustainment training in place for those skills” said Staff Sgt. Tim Ehlers, the training noncommissioned officer with the Wisconsin Army National Guard’s Medical Detachment. “We didn’t at the time have a sustainment in for soft tissue injuries, shoulder injuries, back injuries, knee injuries.”

Guard medics who participate in Operation Badger Medic spend five days working with University of Wisconsin athletic training staff. Soldiers attend practices and clinics, observing medical interactions with athletes. The Guard medics do not work on the athletes, but they are able to practice techniques they learn on the athletic trainers they work with.

The partnership has helped Guard medics learn preventative medicine techniques for orthopedic injuries, Ehlers said.

“A lot of the injuries that we’re seeing out in the field are the same injuries that these athletes are sustaining here,” said Spc. Zachary Bornemann, a medic with Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 1st Battalion, 120th Field Artillery.

Bornemann went through Operation Badger Medic in early November. He plans to put together a class with another medic who went through the program to help train more Soldiers in his unit.

“I really didn’t know that there was certain ways to tape ankles or knees, and not only a certain way to do it, but different ways to do it for different injuries,” Bornemann said. “That’s something I can take back.”

The program has also been beneficial for the university’s athletic training staff, according to Kyle Gibson, an assistant athletic trainer and the coordinator for the athletics portion of Operation Badger Medic.

“Athletic trainers are natural educators, so it’s great because we’re able to give back to the military,” Gibson said.

The athletic training staff also have opportunities to train with Guard medics on trauma training and managing injuries in stressful situations, he added. The UW trainers have also participated in U.S. Army Medical Department (AMEDD) training for Wisconsin Army National Guard medics across the state at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin.

“You can imagine 80,000 people looking at you trying to do an evaluation,” Gibson said. “It’s a pretty stressful situation. How do you handle that stress and still perform your job?”

Alyson Kelsey, an assistant athletic trainer with the University of Wisconsin, agrees that the program has had a positive impact.

“I’ve seen [the program] grow in the last four years, and I think each year it’s gotten better,” Kelsey said. “I think we’ve been able to create a program that’s beneficial for both the athletic trainers growing as professionals, as well as all of the medics that come through the program.”

More than 30 Wisconsin National Guard medics have participated in Operation Badger Medic to date, with more scheduled to go through the training this winter. Both the UW athletic training staff and Guard medics gave the program positive reviews.

“I think it’s a really great program, and it’s important for different areas of healthcare providers to learn from each other,” said Margaret Pelton, an assistant athletic trainer with the University of Wisconsin. “I think just having that understanding and that partnership is really important.”

College and University

Concordia Graduate Assistant AT competes in wrestling tournament

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Article reposted from The Concordian
Author: 

Usually, college wrestling meets are reserved for members of collegiate teams. However, the Finn Grinaker Cobber Open, held Nov. 18, allowed for wrestlers not affiliated with a school to enter as unattached contestants.

Although Derrick Grieshaber, a graduate assistant athletic trainer at Concordia College, had not wrestled since his sophomore year as an undergraduate in 2012-2013, he decided to take advantage and enter the Cobber Open.

Though he lost all three of his matches, including one at the hands of a University of Minnesota wrestler, he is happy he gave it a shot.

“I’m absolutely glad that I did it,” Grieshaber said.

Lindsey Larson, a fellow graduate assistant athletic trainer in the NDSU program that also works at Concordia, was impressed by his effort.

“I was definitely impressed with what he did, being that he only had a month to get ready,” Larson said. “Especially for having to face Big Ten competition in his first match. Not a lot of people had to do that.”

As an undergraduate, Grieshaber wrestled for Lindenwood University in Belleville, Illinois, before quitting to pursue his goal of becoming an athletic trainer.

“I had to quit for my clinicals,” Grieshaber said. “So, it was kind of like well, we stop here.”

But that was not his final stop. Though he only started training a month and a half before the Cobber open, Grieshaber had been wrestling with the idea of competing again for awhile.

“Last year, it kind of popped up like hey this would be fun,” Grieshaber said. “Instead of having to work, this would be something different to do, and I kind of had a chip on my shoulder because I never really got to finish my career and see if I could still do it.”

Grieshaber almost missed his last chance to wrestle because of athletic training, again. The meet was scheduled on what would have been the first playoff game for a Concordia football team that just missed an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. If they would have made it, Grieshaber would have been taping ankles instead of taking his last shot.

When one door closes another one opens, and when the Cobber football team missed the playoffs, Grieshaber was assured a final chance to compete in his longtime favorite sport.

And although the sport is his favorite, Grieshaber says that it is not enjoyable.

“It’s a sport you train to win,” Grieshaber said.

Ricquel Ramsbottom, a student athletic trainer from MSUM, was surprised by Grieshaber’s decision to wrestle, but she thought that his athletic training background would give him an advantage.

“Derrick is the type of AT [athletic trainer] who has ice water in his veins,” Ramsbottom said. “Cool, calm, collected, and always well-hydrated.”

Grieshaber waited until he was eliminated to toss back on his khakis and begin training athletes, but had he been injured during the match, he probably would have played the role of athletic trainer on himself.

“I probably will not let anybody touch me if I do get injured,” Grieshaber said prior to the meet. “Depending on the severity of the injury, I’ll probably just pick myself up or do something to fix myself or just not say anything to anyone until the next day. You know, like a typical athlete.”

After the experiment, Grieshaber insists that he’s finally done.

“This will for sure be a last hurrah type of deal,” Grieshaber said. “My body, with the amount of training I’ve done in the past month and the weight cut, it’s official this will be my last deal.”

For now you can find him in the bowels of the Olson/Memorial complex, but perhaps one day he will get that itch again and come to a wrestling mat near you.

College and University

Bears rally behind Potsdam assistant athletic trainer diagnosed with cancer

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Article reposted from Watertown Daily Times
Author: ABRAHAM KENMORE

About a month ago, Alex Berking, an assistant athletic trainer at SUNY Potsdam, went to the Canton-Potsdam Hospital with headaches and vision problems. A few days later, she was undergoing surgery at the University of Vermont Medical Center to remove 90 percent of a cancerous brain tumor.

Now Ms. Berking is preparing for radiation and chemotherapy treatment to eliminate the last of the tumor with the support of the SUNY Potsdam community.

During the women’s hockey game on Tuesday, Ms. Berking skated out to join the team for their photo out on the ice.

“The players really like her,” said Daniel H. Bronson, SUNY Potsdam sports information director. “I think she’s pretty close to the team.”

Ms. Berking joined the athletic department before the 2015-16 season, and works with players on a number of teams, including hockey, lacrosse and soccer, evaluating injuries and helping them recover.

“She’s a great person,” said Michael Pitts, head athletic trainer. “Most people, if they got news like that, would go into a shell — but not Alex.”

Ms. Berking’s diagnosis came about a year after her father, Christopher Berking, died of cancer. This past summer, her sister, Meghan Berking, ran across the country in honor of their father, covering over 4,000 miles with a team of runners to raise money for the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults.

As Ms. Berking faces her own cancer treatment, the athletes she has helped — current and former — have rallied to help her.

Ms. Berking is scheduled to undergo six weeks of intense radiation treatment at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. After that, she hopes to return to work while undergoing chemotherapy treatment in Potsdam.

Two days ago, Jordan Ott, assistant softball coach and Ms. Berking’s roommate, started a GoFundMe online fundraiser. At the time of writing, it had already collected over $23,000 in donation, many from current Potsdam athletes or alumni of the program, according to Mr. Bronson.

Starting this weekend, all Bears games will have buckets for collecting donations toward Ms. Berking’s care, and all money raised from chuckApuck competitions at hockey games will be donated to her.

To learn more, or donate to Ms. Berking’s care, visit https://www.gofundme.com/alex-berking.

College and University

Athletic training staff get injured Alabama players healthy again

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Article reposted from Tuscaloosa News
Author: 

Every Alabama football player is required to have his ankles taped or braced for every practice or game. That means every player comes to see Jeff Allen and his staff before every practice and every game.

He’ll tape about 15 players a day before practice and more on game days. That’s about two hours of work every day. Some may consider it one of the more ponderous tasks of his profession. Allen doesn’t.

“It matters,” Allen said. “It’s not just a menial task. It matters.”

The way Allen – Alabama’s associate athletics director for sports medicine – sees it, about a quarter of the injuries he and the medical staff deal with are ankle injuries. That’s why every player is required to be taped, every day.

“If we don’t tape them and don’t do a good job of it, I guarantee you, our injuries are going to shoot up,” he said. “When I’m taping them, I’m like, ‘OK, I’m protecting this guy so that he can stay on the field.’ I’m not just throwing some tape on him. I’m doing it the right way, doing it the way that’s going to work biomechanically and physiologically so that we keep this guy on the field.”

So players begin putting their name on a list to be taped, and the process starts around noon. It goes until meetings at 2 o’clock on a normal practice day.

But there’s also more to it than biomechanics and ankle support. Those two hours every day are the time for Allen and the athletic trainers to build bonds with players.

“The guys that I tape every day, definitely it’s a great way to sit there and talk to them, just like a barber does when you sit there in a chair,” Allen said. “We certainly use that as an opportunity to build those relationships.”

Trust is key in the relationship between players and athletic trainers. The medical staff, by nature, will spend the most time with players who are injured. They’re the ones running on the field when a player stays down after a tackle.

The relationships have to start before then. Most athletes arrive at Alabama with no experience of working with a professional medical staff on a day-to-day basis. Allen and the medical staff have to build that trust before injuries strike. The alternative can be corrosive to a team’s culture.

“The main thing, and I’ve seen it happen where the athletic trainers, the players, and the coaches aren’t on the same page and there’s some controversy or lack of trust,” said Dr. Lyle Cain, an orthopedic surgeon with Andrews Sports Medicine. “What you see typically is unhappy players, number one. Because the players don’t trust the treatment that they’re getting. That’s a disaster. If the players feel like the athletic trainers are too much on the coaches’ side, or the doctors are too much on the coaches’ side or the team side, I think you totally lose trust in the system. They don’t get well as quickly. They don’t follow through on their plans for rehab, and it makes a difficult situation medically to deal with any kind of injury because the player really doesn’t trust what you’re telling them.”

Players may arrive with the idea that the medical staff are the ones who keep them from returning to the field. Allen, along with the team doctors and athletic trainers, are the ones who make that decision. But there’s also far more than that.

Allen and his staff are with players when they receive bad news. They’re the ones who translate medical diagnoses into a language that players and their families can understand. They have to communicate with the coaches and the strength and conditioning staff about what players can and cannot do.

Then they’re with players through their rehab. They communicate with doctors, specialists, families and players to keep them on track. Taping ankles is just the beginning. Allen and his team are known as one of the best in every area.

“I’ve been at Alabama almost 30 years and worked with some excellent athletic trainers, but Jeff’s overall package is just so unbelievable,” said Dr. Jimmy Robinson, Alabama’s team physician.

It starts with those relationships. It’s built over time, on the training table before practice or in the rehab room. Robinson said the medical staff gathers before games to say a prayer that there won’t be any injuries.

“He loves on them, to be honest with you,” Robinson said. “He gives them a hug and puts his arm around them and talks to them.”

The medical team is more than just Allen, and more than just the athletic trainers. Robinson and the team physicians play a big role. Andrews Sports Medicine is one of the premier practices of its type anywhere, and it happens to be just down the road.

But Allen is the one who oversees it all as the head athletic trainer for the football team.

“I’ve told my other doctors that I work with and the other people around that I think there are several people important to the University of Alabama program,” Cain said. “Obviously Coach (Nick) Saban is at the top of the list. But I think Jeff Allen is probably in the top two or three. There is no coach, administrator, doctor or anybody else in the program that’s as important in terms of what happens through the season, what happens in the offseason, what happens with the players from a perception and happiness standpoint as Jeff Allen.”

Allen and the medical staff have been especially vital to Alabama this season. The Crimson Tide watched four of its top linebackers go down to injury in the season opener against Florida State. Outside linebacker Anfernee Jennings had surgery for an ankle injury and played three weeks later against Vanderbilt. Inside linebacker Rashaan Evans made a return from a groin injury in that game, too.

Outside linebackers Christian Miller (biceps) and Terrell Lewis (elbow) were also hurt in the opener and expected to miss the rest of the season. Inside linebacker Mack Wilson (foot) was injured in the LSU game, but missed just one game and played in the Iron Bowl.

“I don’t know that we’ve had more (injuries this season),” Allen said. “We’ve had more to one position. That’s the problem. Usually they’re spread out among the whole team and you can kind of absorb them. When you have that many to one position, that’s really hard to manage.”

Even when Miller and Lewis were declared out for the season, Allen and his team went to work and tried to find new ways to help players return to the field sooner.

“We modify different braces or create braces or make braces that prevent that structure from being reinjured. Like the elbow braces that Christian Miller and Terrell Lewis are wearing,” Robinson said. “Mack has a special orthotic in his shoe that’s custom-made for him that protects that bone from having too much stress on it. Things like that are invaluable.”

If Alabama can win a championship with those linebackers back on the field, it won’t be the first time Allen and the medical staff have helped put the Crimson Tide over the top.

They also had a key role in the 2015 championship. Senior running back Kenyan Drake broke his arm against Mississippi State on Nov. 14 of that year.

Before Drake had even left the field, he and Allen were talking about his timetable to return. Drake declared that night that he’d be back for the SEC championship game – and he was.

“I don’t think there’s any question that between him and Dr. Cain, they’re able to get these athletes back faster but also safer than most programs,” Robinson said.

Cain operated on Drake as soon as possible. Allen had a carbon fiber brace 3D-printed with the help of Alabama’s engineering department for Drake to wear. He had a machine that he wore on his arm while sleeping to help his treatment. He was in the training room to rehab whenever he could be.

Drake caught a pass on Alabama’s first play from scrimmage in the SEC title game. He swung to the left side, moving the ball into his healthy arm. He used his right arm – broken less than a month before – to stiff-arm a defender. He didn’t even realize it until he was back on the sideline and Allen asked him how it felt.

“They did all they could to help me get back, working with the engineering program, getting a carbon fiber copy of my arm and putting the whole cast around it,” Drake said. “It was a real team effort and I appreciate everything they did for me.”

The real dividend came a month later in Phoenix. Drake returned a kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown against Clemson in the fourth quarter of the national championship game.

“It would have been really easy with Kenyan to put him in a cast and say, ‘Hey, good luck to you. You’ll get better in 8-10 weeks and you can start trying to come back.’ That cast probably would have cost $15,” Allen said. “Dr. Cain took him the next day and did a very aggressive procedure, put a plate over the fractured forearm, we put him on a bone stimulator, started doing aggressive rehab. Stuff that’s incredibly expensive, but I think the return on the investment was pretty good.

“If we don’t have him in that national championship game, I don’t know if we win it. I really don’t. I don’t know if we win the game.”

Allen has a mural in his office of Drake diving across the goal line on that play. He’s holding the ball in his right arm: the arm that was broken.

That comeback was made possible not just by the aggressive treatment, dedicated rehab and top-of-the-line medical care. It also happened thanks to the relationship Drake had with the athletic training staff.

He’d dealt with a major injury the year before when he broke an ankle and was out for the season. Allen and the medical team helped him come back from that. He knew he could trust them.

“Obviously, when you’re hurt, it’s a way deeper relationship than just getting your ankles taped,” Drake said. “It wasn’t strange when I had to go through the rehab because you’re already familiar.”

As much as anything else, that’s what sets Alabama’s medical staff apart.

“I think in a lot of places, he would not have been on the field,” Cain said. “But I think he was (able to return) primarily because of his confidence in the athletic training staff and the rehab and the process that he had already experienced. His mentality was totally different than it would be at most places.”

After the game, there was a moment when Drake, Allen and Cain embraced. Allen said it was the “most special moment” he’s experienced in college athletics. The relationship remains, even after Drake’s college career ended that night.

“When I go to campus, one of the first stops I make is the training room,” Drake said.

He’s not the only one. Washington Redskins defensive end Jonathan Allen stopped by earlier this season after an injury likely ended his rookie year. The offseason sees “a flood” of former players coming in and out: Eddie Lacy, Eddie Jackson, AJ McCarron, Dre Kirkpatrick, Dont’a Hightower and C.J. Mosley were just a few who came through.

Cain said that many former Alabama players who have gone on to the NFL will call Allen for advice when they’re injured. They trust that he’ll have their best interest in mind.

“They want to keep players on the field,” Drake said. “That’s what they do. That’s what they do best. I don’t think anybody else in college football or anybody in the world does a better job than Alabama.”

Jeff Allen’s concern for players is also on display with the sideline medical tent the Crimson Tide has used since the 2015 season. Allen developed the tent with a pair of Alabama engineering students, and the concept spread around the country. The tent sells for $5,000.

The tent gives the athletic trainers and doctors a modicum of privacy on the sideline to examine players. If there’s bad news, the players can hear about it without the world knowing.

“We’ve had games with a camera right over top of us,” Allen said. “It’s crazy. It’s very hard to get a good evaluation. It’s obviously very taxing on the kid. We did it with the idea of privacy in mind and knowing it would help from a privacy standpoint. What I didn’t really fully appreciate until now, is how much more relaxed we all are in there. Thus, the evaluation is better. I feel like we’re getting a much better medical evaluation simply because we take away all the distractions that are so prominent on a sideline.”

It was a simple fix to a problem that had existed for years for men and women in Allen’s position. He just happened to be the first one to think of it.

That’s what Allen has always been after: an innovative solution. It puts the players first. It improves medical care.

Earlier this year, Allen was walking into Alabama’s practice when someone asked how sales of his new invention were doing.

“Still taping ankles,” he said, smiling.

Then he walked into practice.

Reach Ben Jones at ben@tidesports.com or 205-722-0196.

College and University

Long-time Oakland University trainer to be honored

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Article reposted from Oakland Press
Author: Oakland Press

Oakland University Athletics and the men’s basketball team will celebrate longtime athletic trainer Tom Ford Saturday, when the Golden Grizzlies take on Chicago State at 3 p.m.

Ford announced in May he would be stepping away from his duties due to being diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Ford spent 30 years at Oakland providing outstanding treatment to thousands of student-athletes during his tenure.

Ford came to Oakland in 1988 and immediately began working with the men’s and women’s basketball teams, along with the day-to-day duties of the athletic training office as the university’s only athletic trainer. In June 2012, Ford was recognized as the Michigan Athletic Trainer’s Society’s (MATS) Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award honoree for his superlative service to the field. He has worked with men’s basketball ever since his arrival, and finished his 30th season on the bench for the Golden Grizzlies a season ago.

In 2016-17 he also primarily worked with women’s soccer, as well as the men’s and women’s golf teams.

“Tom Ford is an institution at this university,” said Director of Athletics Jeff Konya. “He is always welcome within these walls and we owe him and his family a debt of gratitude.”

There will be an exclusive offer for former student-athletes for a $30 package that includes a reserved seat game ticket, Tom Ford bobblehead and a donation to the Team TFord Strong Foundation. Former student-athletes can purchase a reserved seat for $10 while supplies last.

Limited edition Tom Ford bobbleheads will be available to the general public for $20 with proceeds benefitting the Ford family.

For more information or to purchase tickets, call the Oakland University Athletics Ticket Office at (248) 370-4000.

#AT4ALLCollege and University

Huskies to wear sport safety helmet stickers during Apple Cup

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Article reposted from The Seattle Times
Author: 

Nationwide, 37 percent of high schools in the United States have at least one full-time athletic trainer to monitor sports programs, according to a 2015 study by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association.

“If you think about that, that’s really low,” said Rob Scheidegger, the University of Washington head football trainer.

During Saturday’s Apple Cup, the Huskies will wear stickers on the back of their gold helmets to raise awareness for safety in youth and high-school football — and athletic trainers’ roles in promoting and maintaining safe standards. It’s part of the Washington State Athletic Trainers’ Association’s safety in football campaign.

“We’re hoping parents of kids who are participating in those programs see those stickers and ask what it’s all about,” Scheidegger said. “We talk so much about how dangerous football is, but there so much good from football too. The safety (questions have) sort of put our sport at risk a little bit. There’s a lot of people who look at football and aren’t going to let their kid play. But, really, football is as safe as it’s ever been … and athletic trainers are a key part of that.

“So we want people asking questions about the sports programs they’re letting their kids participate in: Do we have an athletic trainer? And if we don’t, why not? Do we have an emergency-action plan? And if we don’t, why not? That’s what we’re hoping for, to raise awareness about those things.”

The UW employs four certified athletic trainers just for the football team. There are 11 other trainers for the Huskies’ other sports teams, a fairly standard number for major-college athletic departments.

“Our student-athletes here are super lucky,” Scheidegger said. “We have such a great administration. Jen Cohen and her staff put such an emphasis on student-athlete health and safety and put a big invested heavily as far as equipment.”

It’s a different story at youth levels.

Washington state, Scheidegger said, is “pretty progress” when it comes to having athletic trainers in high schools, but many of those trainers are employed part-time — meaning some are only in attendance at football or basketball games. In reality, he said, 60 to 70 percent of injuries occur during practices, and there aren’t always trainers there to assist.

“Yeah, it’s great to have someone there in your program who can create an emergency-action plan, who can educate student-athletes and talk to coaches,” he said. “But, really, the gold standard should be having full-time athletic trainers.”

College and University

Darin Moore remembered as ‘more than a trainer’ to MSSU athletes

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Article reposted from The Joplin Globe
Author: Jim Henry

Tuesday was filled with sadness around the Missouri Southern athletics department.

“Walking in the doors was a little tougher today than it has been the last year and a half,” said Amanda Wolf, MSSU assistant athletic trainer.

Darin Moore, former head athletic trainer at Missouri Southern, died Monday after an 18-month battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 48.

Moore came to Missouri Southern in 2001 as an assistant trainer, and he was promoted to head trainer in January 2003. He served in that role until taking a leave of absence last year.

“There are a lot of things I’ve come across and thought of,” Wolf said. “The thing I will miss the most … I worked with him for 12 years, so I used to joke with somebody that I have Kyle, who is my husband at home, but it’s kind of like you have a work spouse. There were many days I spent more time with Darin than I do with my family.

“We would talk about sports; we would talk about our athletes and how we’re doing. We would talk about our kids and our families and vacations. There are times he would come in and prop his feet up on my desk and we would chat. Sometimes we would just sit there … you don’t find that very often any more, and to find that in somebody you work with on a daily basis, it was a relationship we had for 12 years. That’s what I miss, and I missed that last year, too.”

Moore, a diehard Cleveland Browns and Cleveland Indians fan, treated thousands of student-athletes during his tenure at Missouri Southern, but he also was important to them in so many other ways.

“Somebody said he was like the uncle that you could always talk to.” Wolf said. “You could talk to him about your injury. You could talk to him about other stuff. Somebody said it’s amazing how you would tell him things that you didn’t think you wanted to tell anybody, but you really needed to get that off your chest and talk about it. He was the one they could do that with.”

Tributes to Moore began appearing Monday night on social media. Some examples:

Justin Maskus, MSSU sports information director: “One of the first people I met when I started working at Southern was Darin Moore. One of the smartest, funniest and kindest people I knew. … Our conversations were always one that I looked forward to as a way to escape the normal day-to-day stuff that went on in my job, and I always got a bit of insight with what was going on with our athletes as he seemed to always have the info. Darin was more than a trainer to our student-athletes. To all he was a friend, to some he was a father-figure, to others he was that go-to guy. I know he’s in a better place now. Gonna miss ya D.”

Roger Doman, Freeman Health System: “(Monday) we lost a good man. You may be gone but never forgotten. I will be forever grateful for all you have taught me Darin Moore … not just as an athletic trainer but how to be a better me. You touched a lot of lives in many different ways and we are all better because if it. Love and miss you already bro.”

Nathan Price, former MSSU football player: “RIP D. I’m thankful that my crappy shoulders allowed us to get to know each other so well. You will be missed.”

Landon Zerkel, former MSSU fooball and basketball player: “There were a lot of unsung heroes in athletics at MOSO for our guys/girls and Darin Moore was much more than that. The Missouri Southern athletic program will never be the same without him. He was there for every injury and/or anytime anybody needed to sit down and just talk things out. It was an honor to be on the sideline of the football field or basketball court with such a high caliber person. Thanks for everything Darin. You will always be remembered.”

Three months ago, the MSSU athletics department announced a scholarship endowment in Moore’s name and named the exam room in the Freeman Athletic Training Center after him.

“Darin Moore was a great man, a great friend and a great Lion,” MSSU president Alan Marble said in a release, recalling that Moore was the first person to welcome him to campus. “His passing will leave a void that can never be filled, but his positive impact will leave an indelible mark that will never be matched.”

Services

Services for Darin Moore will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday at Hope City Church in Joplin. Visitation begins at 11:30 a.m. Thursday at the church. Memorial donations can be made to the Darin Moore Athletic Training Endowment or to a college scholarship fund for his daughter, Ella.