A Project for Better Journalism chapter
Demon Center (2)

Hiring Our Athletic Trainer Was a No-Brainer

HIRING OUR ATHLETIC TRAINER WAS A NO-BRAINER

Ron Kordonowy is the athletic trainer here at Greenway. He’s the guy every student athlete has come to know and love throughout all his years here on our campus. Ron’s office is located on the right side of the practice gym entrance. Many students have become familiar with this spot on campus for reasons varying from a simple conversation to broken bones and bandages.

Q) Did you have an athletic trainer in high school?
A) My high school shared an athletic trainer my senior year of high school.  That was my first exposure to the profession but I didn’t realize I could actually do it in college.
Q) What are some of the worst injuries you’ve had to take care of?
A) Over the years, I have had several. The most frightening was a broken cervical vertebra (athlete was paralyzed on the field) but after transport and surgery, he was able to regain the ability to walk. The ugliest has been a compound dislocated ankle (ankle was out of joint and the bone was sticking out of the skin).
Q) What’s your favorite part of your job?
A) I get to have fun and watch sports, mess around with the kids, and I get to help people recover from injuries.
Q) How long have you been at Greenway and why have you stayed?
A) Total time with Greenway is 26 years but part of the time, I worked at a physical therapy clinic for 7 years and covered both Moon Valley and Greenway High School, then the district decided to hire an athletic trainer for each school-that happened in 1999, so I have been at Greenway ever since (except for a small stint in 2001 with NFL Europe).
Q) What’s your job description?
A) Entertainer, mom, dad, shoulder to cry on and someone to share happy moments, but the real job description is: healthcare professional who evaluates and treats athletic injuries and illnesses, manages concussion, and rehabilitates injuries.
Q) How are your relationships with Greenway’s athletes?
A) I think I have a good rapport with my athletes. I feel that they are comfortable coming in to talk with me about their injuries and they trust I will take care of them.
 
Q) Did you play sports in high school?
A) I tried playing football. I grew up on a farm in North Dakota, so I wasn’t exposed to organized sports until my freshman year in high school.
Q) What got you interested in athletic training?
A) I was taking classes at a university in accounting, I found an introduction to an athletic training class and really found out what it was about and that you could get paid to watch sports, although you have an occasional injury to deal with..
Q) How valuable are your TAs for you and your job? What do they help you with?
A) Well, over the last 3 years, I have been a preceptor with Grand Canyon University’s Athletic Training program, so I have had students from their program helping me as well as some high school students from Greenway. They all have been a tremendous help, as it seems I am busier and busier dealing with injuries. Having extra eyes on the field and really doing the behind the scenes stuff helps a lot. They are mainly getting water filled and making sure the athletes are hydrated, especially during football season which is my busiest as the heat is always a big issue.
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