By Miles Montgomery
Nestled in the depths of El Pomar, across from Reid Arena, lies the office Dillon Campbell calls home. The newly appointed Campus Recreation Athletic Trainer is responsible for the health and wellbeing of Colorado College’s 355 club sport athletes, although that is not his only responsibility.
“My responsibilities are not only to club sports, but to intramural athletes as well as casual users of the fitness center,” Campbell said. “I am able to help anyone on campus from students, faculty, staff, and dependents, as long as they have a Gold Card.”.
Campbell has a wealth of experience in the field. He previously worked as the athletic trainer for Colorado School of Mines club athletics, and working as an EMT in both Oxford, Ohio, and Denver. Prior to this, Campbell graduated the University of Miami Ohio, with a bachelor’s degree in Athletic Training.
A newly instituted requirement for athletic trainers across the nation requires a master’s degree, which renders the previously accepted graduate assistantship model obsolete. Campbell’s opportunity arose through this new rule change, as CC’s Director of Recreation and Fitness, Chris Starr, wanted to make sure CC students who do not participate in varsity athletics would continue to have access to an athletic trainer.
“Due to the national degree change, my supervisor, Chris Starr, knew that they would eventually lose the opportunity to have graduate assistants, so she worked extremely hard to get a full time athletic trainer to take over for the graduate assistants,” Campbell said.
Starr also noted that it would be “unfair to our club sport’s student-athletes to lose access to an athletic trainer, due to a national change in our education.”
Campbell, a Colorado native, has always had his eyes on a career in athletic training.
“I have always had a strong interest in athletic training and medicine in general,” Campbell said. “My first introduction to athletic training is not dissimilar to that of many other athletic trainers. Growing up, I played competitive hockey and sadly, I got hurt. I tore my meniscus during 8th grade, which needed to be surgically repaired.”
However, the injury may have proven to be a blessing in disguise.
“The surgeon that I went to happened to be the team physician for the Colorado Avalanche, at the time, Dr. Andrew Parker,” Campbell said. “In my many conversations with Dr. Parker, he saw that I [had a] huge interest in all things medicine and encouraged me get to know my high school’s athletic trainer, which I did.”
Club athletes are grateful to have access to a full time athletic trainer.
“Playing a physical sport like rugby always takes a toll on my body,” said club rugby player Sam Mayer ’20. “Having had a couple rugby related injuries in the past, I feel a lot better knowing my teammates and I can go see Dillon if anything goes wrong on the field.”
It is clear to see that Campbell is truly passionate about his work and deeply enjoys his job.
“My favorite part of the job is interacting with the athletes and everyone who comes into my office,” Campbell said. “Being able to hear their stories and help them recover from an injury really make coming into work day in and day out worth it. Watching an athlete score a goal or become successful in their sport after a long recovery process from an injury is the most rewarding thing an athletic trainer can see.”
As an avid sports fan, Campbell also loves the access he has to the sidelines of every CC club athletic event.
“Covering games is another fun part of the job; how many people get to say that they can watch their favorite sports from the sideline?”
The social aspect of his job is also a perk.
“I continue to get inspired to be an athletic trainer through reading stories about and interacting with athletic trainers,” Campbell said. “I always enjoy getting together with colleagues at regional and national athletic training meetings.”
Having only been hired this September, Campbell is new to the Tiger family, but is highly dedicated.