Matt Bracken has served as Central Catholic’s head athletic trainer for the past 13 years. He recently decided to enter an educational program to become a physician’s assistant, meaning he will be leaving his role at Central Catholic. With the cancellation of classes and athletic activities, Matt hasn’t had an opportunity to talk to the CCHS athletes about his transition. We wanted to give him a chance to reflect on his experiences working with our student-athletes.
Can you describe your job as head athletic trainer at CCHS?
“Most people only see me taping someone or watching games, but that’s really just a small portion of the job. It consists of all aspects of student-athlete health and wellness. This includes ensuring all the proper paperwork was complete, injury prevention, injury assessment, clinical diagnosis, treatment of injuries, referring to the appropriate doctors when necessary, injury rehabilitation, return to play decisions, developing emergency action plans, scheduling practice and game coverage with our athletic training staff, and any other thing that needed to be done.”
How did your position at CCHS come about?
“I was assigned to Central Catholic as a graduate student while working toward my masters degree at the University of Toledo. Upon completing my degree, I was fortunate enough to be hired on as a staff athletic trainer.”
What did you like most about the job?
“The daily interaction with our student athletes, whether I was working with them to overcome injuries, or just getting to know them during downtime before or after practices. I have been fortunate to work at a school with great kids who are also driven athletes.”
Are there any special memories that stand out from your experience with Irish athletics?
“I will always enjoy recalling the championship teams, however my fondest memories were watching athletes succeed after overcoming severe injuries. I’m able to help guide them from the lows of injury and post surgery, all the way through rehab and return to sport. It’s very fulfilling when you get to see them return to doing what they love at a high level. Additionally, I will remember all of the students who have been my helpers over the years.”
What would you like to say to the athletes you’ve worked with?
“Thanks for making my job so enjoyable. Keep working hard at whatever you’re trying to achieve. Life is going to throw things at you that you have no control over, so try not to stress too much and make the best of each situation.”
What are your plans for the future as you leave your position at CCHS?
“I will be attending the physician assistant program at the University of Maryland Baltimore/AACC. After becoming a PA, I hope to continue working in orthopedics and sports medicine.”