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.