Courtesy | Great Midwest Ath­letic Con­ference

The Hillsdale College ath­letic training staff was awarded for its ded­i­cation to the health of student-ath­letes with the G‑MAC Ath­letic Training Staff of the Year Award. This is the first time the college has received the award since becoming a full member-insti­tution in the G‑MAC during the 2017 – 2018 season. 

In putting the well­being of student-ath­letes first and finding new ways to not only care for, but prevent injuries, the staff stood out among those of the rest of the G‑MAC con­ference. Under the lead­ership of Tyler Cortwright, director of sports med­icine and per­for­mance, the Chargers training staff has and estab­lished itself as one of the best in the con­ference.

“Since I began working with ath­letic training at Hillsdale, we’ve taken a strong approach to preparing and training our ath­letes with a stronger intention of pre­venting injuries and improving per­for­mance spe­cific to the demands placed upon them by their spe­cific sports,” Cor­tright said. “That isn’t only inclusive to how we are preparing them with injury pre­vention pro­grams, or training methods, but how they are taking care of them­selves at home.”

Cortright’s training team includes Andrew Bacon, the head ath­letic trainer; Lynne Neukom, a healthcare admin­is­trator and ath­letic trainer; Dan Hudson, an assistant ath­letic trainer; and Mitchell Schoenborn, the head strength and con­di­tioning coach. 

“All of the ath­letic trainers are incredibly hard working, willing to help anyone whenever they can, and always driven to learn new infor­mation,” Cor­tright said. “We each have our own indi­vidual strengths in our field which work well together to con­tribute to the overall goals of the department.” 

According to the G‑MAC, the award is given based on a school’s hos­pi­tality toward vis­iting training staff, host pre­paredness with sup­plies, equipment and ser­vices for vis­iting ath­letic training staff and teams, care for injured student-ath­letes from vis­iting teams, and overall staff pre­paredness for emer­gency sit­u­a­tions. 

Cedarville Uni­versity has won the award three times, more than any other school in the con­ference. Other winners have included Trevecca Nazarene Uni­versity, Davis and Elkins College, and the Uni­versity of Findlay. 

“Any time your staff gets rec­og­nized for the hard work that they put in, it’s rewarding,” Cor­tright said, “Between prac­tices, lifting ses­sions, teaching classes, and trav­eling to com­pe­ti­tions, our staff is working six or seven days a week, 70 hours or more per week, and through holiday breaks. Having a pat on the back for the time we all put in for the ath­letes is sat­is­fying.” 

After being awarded the highest honor for an ath­letic training staff in the G‑MAC, the Hillsdale College Sports Med­icine and Per­for­mance Department still strives to improve. 

“This year we will be con­verting a part-time position to a full time position,” Cor­tright said. “We also have changed some roles around within the department to encourage improved orga­ni­zation and to allow some of our staff for more indi­vid­u­alized work with student ath­letes recov­ering from injuries.”

While many fall sports have been can­celed or post­poned until the spring season, the staff will remain busy with those sports that have not been can­celed and with ath­letes working to heal ail­ments in the off­season.