K-State graduation year: May 2007
Degree: BS Athletic Training, minor in Spanish
Other degree received: MS in Education, University of Missouri in Education and Counseling Psychology
Current employer: Abilene Christian University
Position: Head Athletic Trainer
How many times, if any, did you change your major during college?
It wasn’t really a process; I changed from engineering to athletic training. My dad kind of brought it up and said, "Hey look at this! It seems kind of neat!"
- Athletic Training
- Multicultural Honor Society
Nothing, prior to graduation. I did all my internship experience after graduation. Athletic training also has an observation period, in which you shadow in the training room for a semester so you know what you’re getting into.
I would consider my first job to be my Graduate Assistantship at University of Missouri. I was able to obtain it by networking and creating a good impression on my future boss. He invited me to come work for him and he has remained a good connection to this day.
It varies daily and whether or not we are in season or out. I am in season during football camp in August. I get to the training room at 5:30am. Eat breakfast make some coffee and prepare for the influx of athletes. That goes from about 5:45am until 7:30. The players have meetings until 8:30ish then we have practice from 9-11am. After practice we have post-practice treatments, which is taking care of any injuries that occurred during practice. We are icing down bruises and muscle strains and ligaments sprains. This goes till noon. Then from about 12:30-1 I get to go eat lunch. Then at 1 we start prepping for our second practice, which is the same routine for the first practice. Our second practice starts at 4 and will probably be about an hour and a half. Again post-practice treatments and icing down the players for about an hour. Then dinner is served around 630-7pm. If it’s my night to stay late and do evening treatments, I wouldn’t get home until 10:00pm, maybe later, but on my nights off I get home around 7:30 or 8:00pm.
Time spent away from home and my wife, my profession is very time consuming.
Learn as much as you can as fast as you can. Learn and apply yourself and learn how you can make yourself better on a daily basis. Every aspect of my job has been a stepping stone, my Graduate Assistantship, the two NFL internships. My first actual job of being a head athletic trainer has been pivotal in getting me where I am at today.
No career changes I’m still trucking ahead trying to soak up as much information as I can and being the best at what I can be.
I got married really young and I am lucky to have a loving, caring, compassionate, understanding wife that follows me everywhere I go. We’ve moved 4 times in 5 years and it looks like this current place and situation could be a place for us to settle down. So I’m happy and thankful for that.
Helping kids out. My favorite part is taking a kid from a season ending injury and doing all the rehab and exercises and then after months of work and preparation seeing them play at their full potential again.
The change from undergraduate to graduate school was a big change. For me I took my national certification test from the Board of Certification (BOC) so after undergraduate I was Nationally Certified and State Licensed in my profession. In graduate school, the work load increases heftily, but so does your knowledge base. After graduate school, I was more immersed in an even more intense environment with a professional level team. When I finally got my first job it was pretty much a breeze because everything had prepared me to get to that point.
I made friends with the people that would help to shape and mold my career. I’ve had very good mentors and people to push and encourage me every step of the way.
Immerse yourself, dive head first, be all in. That’s how you get the best experience. I was just lucky enough to find out exactly what I wanted to do early on. Take advantage of internships, NFL internships especially! Do it while you can.
I loved all of my athletic training classes. I like the upper and lower evaluation classes, which is where you learn how to find injuries and what to look for.
Shawna Jordan is the best program director there is. She loves the profession and loved us back and helped us any way possible. I know for a fact she’s the main reason K-States program is so successful. Then there are my two mentors and friends that were assistant athletic trainers there during my undergraduate time in Manhattan, Casey Hairston and Brandon Yoder. These guys really showed me the ropes of what athletic training was and they are still my very good friends to this day.
Everything is much faster and more intense. Our patients really rely on us to know our stuff so we can help them out. We are their medical liaison, and for a lot of patients we have it is their first time having an Athletic Trainer in a collegiate setting.
Yes, absolutely. There are a few that I am still very close with and talk to on a weekly or monthly basis. We help each other out professionally where we can. Ultimately it would be a dream come true if we could all end up at the same place together, working together. I don’t think we’d ever leave a place if that happened.