Athletic Trainer Mike Roche has earned national honors for his focus on athletic training, pandemic wellness protocols and keeping Grand Rapids Community College student-athletes safe and physically prepared during a season both historically challenging and successful.
Roche this week was named National Athletic Trainer of the Year by the National Junior College Athletic Association, which goes to an athletic trainer “who best exemplifies the overall purpose of leading an institution, athletic department, and student-athletes through athletic training.”
The honor comes in a year where five of GRCC’s eight teams participated in national tournaments while following strict protocols aimed at preventing the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
“This past year has been a rough one for everyone, but especially our student-athletes,” Interim Athletic Director David Selmon said. “Mike has taken the time and effort to make sure our athletes have been as safe as possible in order to participate in their sports. He has been the lead of our COVID team within the department and has done an excellent job keeping everyone as safe as possible. Without him, none of our athletes would have been able to even step foot on the court or field.”
Roche has served as GRCC’s athletic trainer for 26 years, supporting about 150 athletes each year in partnership with physicians and medical specialists. He also oversees student trainer interns, NJCAA compliance requirements, equipment and uniforms for all of the college’s teams.
This summer Student Success & Retention is offering two programs to improve student readiness and success at GRCC. Both our FastTrack program and the newly developed Bridges program will be offered throughout this summer leading up to Fall 2021.
For your information, attached you will find a PDF outlining the details of these two programs. As you encounter students, parents, high school staff, etc., we hope this will provide some clarity regarding these programs and how to best refer interested parties.
Contact information is provided if you have any questions after you review.
Jonathan Douglas, a former Biodiversity student who was dual-enrolled from City High Middle School, and took a number of courses at GRCC, including Chemistry, Zoology, and Botany, has had a previously published photograph of butterflies from his thesis in the scientific journal Experimental Biology selected to be the back cover of a new book that will accompany David Attenborough’s “Life in Colour” series now appearing on Netflix.
The series and the accompanying book examines how “color,” (including color produced by polarized and ultraviolet light), is used by animals and plants for communication, defense, and crypsis. The Attenborough production is a fascinating series (David Attenborough is now 95 but you’d never know it).
Jonathan Douglas is the son of Matthew Douglas (GRCC Biology Department); he currently teaches at Arizona State University and Phoenix College in the Maricopa system.