While tailgaters reveled in the parking lot of Paul Brown Stadium, Bob Stacey set up the football field, filled Gatorade coolers and taped ankles and wrists. The 2003 graduate interned as an athletic trainer with the Cincinnati Bengals during the 2002 season, earning not only class credit, but exposure to the professional sports world.
“When I first started, I thought the pro players would have big heads, but I realized they’re just like everyone else,” Stacey says.
Xavier’s athletic training program began setting up internships with the Reds and Bengals two years ago, sending a total of three students a year. They work with the head trainer, assist in player rehabilitation, inventory supplies and perform other daily tasks.
“They’ve been great ambassadors to the athletic training program because we’ve heard nothing but phenomenal things from the Reds,” says Mike Mulcahey, an assistant trainer at Xavier who initially helped set up the internships. “So that kind of helps the program perpetuate itself.”