Bacon Academy athletic trainer Tim Crowley (left) is pictured with Coginchaug’s athletic trainer Ethan Bankoski.
March is National Athletic Trainer Month and today we recognize Tim Crowley, the athletic trainer at Bacon Academy High School.
Since joining the Bobcats athletic department last May, Crowley has developed a rapport with the student athlete, coaches, and administration at the high school that is needed to provide safe and successful athletic seasons.
Crowley, a contracted employee who works for Select Physical Therapy, said he feels appreciated at Bacon Academy, adding, “The athletes and the coaches really respect and enjoy what I do for them.”
This isn’t Crowley’s first foray in athletic training, although it is his first in a decade and a half.
Crowley was born and raised in Waterford before graduating high school in 1990 and attending Southern Connecticut State University where he received a bachelors’ degree in physical education and athletic training.
After spending two years as a graduate student studying biomechanics at the University of Connecticut, Crowley served as an athletic trainer from 1994-2007 before answering to a different calling.
Crowley took a hiatus from athletic training to become involved in the seminary, working in the ministry until last year
when he decided to get recertified in the field of athletic training.
“I still loved [athletic training] when I stepped out, but I had a calling to do some more education,” recalled Crowley, who is still a family pastor at LifeWay Church in Newington.
Despite 15 years away from the profession, Crowley passed the athletic training exam last February before arriving at Bacon Academy prior to the current school year.
His typical day is a mixed bag full of training for a variety of ages and ability levels.
During the mornings, he runs fitness classes at the Vernon Senior Center before heading over to Bacon Academy for the afternoon where he preps for incoming student athletes that may need tape, ice, or various other forms of preparations for practice and games.
“I love taking care of athletes and making sure they are set to play,” said Crowley.
In his 15 years away from the profession, Crowley said there have been some changes, mainly in how concussions are handled.
But for the most part, Crowley was able to hit the ground running again following the long layoff.
Athletic trainers are the first line of defense in emergencies and during home contests at Bacon Academy, Crowley is on-campus ready to react in a moment’s notice.
At any given time, multiple sporting events may be going on at the same time and Crowley will attend the sport that may need him the most and is he added that he is only a call away if needed in another part of the building.
The dedicated work and importance of athletic trainers was highlighted earlier this year when Demar Hamlin, a professional football player for the Buffalo Bills, suffered cardiac arrest and collapsed on the field during a game in Cincinnati on Jan. 2. First responders performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and used other emergency treatments for 10 minutes on the field before Hamlin was transported by ambulance to a local hospital.
Following nine days in the hospital, Hamlin was released to rehabilitate at home and the medical personal that gave him aid on the field have since been lauded for their immediate reactions and life-saving efforts.
“It is a very service-oriented profession; we are usually thinking of others,” Crowley said of the line of work.
Crowley said the key is to be prepared for any situation that may arise and that creating a harmonious relationship between the school nurse, coaches, and administration is vital to best serve the student athletes on a daily basis.
Since he joined Bacon’s athletic department, the Bobcats have remained safe and have thrived in competition. The Bobcats athletic teams have produced multiple state tournament appearances and individual conference titles, along with individual state championships in swimming.
Currently Crowley is being shadowed by a Bacon Academy student as part of the student’s Capstone Project.
The mentor’s main message to the mentee is the life of an athletic trainer is filled with change.
“I told her the most important thing that I do is know that every day is going to be a different day,” said Crowley. “We could have five days of practice that all seem like they’ll be the same, but none of them are going to be the same.”
Crowley, who resides in Berlin with his wife and the couple's five children, added that he has enjoyed his time in Colchester and looks forward to finishing up the school-year with a safe and successful spring sports season.
Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin