Pierce is an athletic trainer at the University of Saint Mary who isn’t mentioned much around campus. Yet, Pierce is the backbone for sports at the University of Saint Mary. The reason why is she makes sure that athletes are in peak condition, meaning no injuries become recurring injures. She tries her best to makes sure that every student-athlete that she sees gets better and stronger.
Pierce has been an athletic trainer for twelve years and had been at USM for two of those years. She has received the first KCAC athletic trainer award that any athletic trainer has received. She can also claim to be the first in the NAIA to receive it this year. Yet, she is a very humble and shy person, so when she received the news, she had no idea it was coming. However, it was well deserved because her peers and others around her know how much time she devotes herself to making sure that her athletes get the best possible treatment they can.
Pierce is a local Kansan who attended the University of Kansas majoring in athletic training and attended grad school at East Stroudsburg. When asked how it feels to transition from one sport to another, she stated, “It’s not complex or hard. You just have to have a different mindset because each sport has tendencies to injure a certain part of the body, but you just have to stay aware of that.”
Pierce undergoes a lot of stress when she has multiple appointments with all the athletes. Still, she said, “It what I signed up for. “ She feels like she has to look deeper into why her athletes keep getting hurt and how she can stop this.
She meets with more than five athletes a day. She has to remember each student’s injures and tries to find a way that will best work for each particular athlete. Many may say this seems like a lot, but to someone who loves what they’re doing, its worth it. Pierce gets to see her athletes succeed, and for her, that’s a key reason why she does what she does.
Mark Noel, an athlete that Pierce works with, stated, “ I don’t know about any other sport but the track team, we love Katie and appreciate her, and she does her job amazingly, and she has a great relationship with the whole team.” Other students can agree around the campus that she is a very kind woman and has a great connection with athletes and coaches. One coach stated that “ Katie is a team player, and she has no exterior motive; she just really wants to see these athletes succeed.”
Students and others may underappreciate Katie, but she doesn’t care. She does her job because she loves it, not because she’s looking for the spotlight, and that alone has brought the spotlight to her because it’s well deserved. She deserves all the good coming her way because she sets the example for other athletic trainers.
Donel Jack is a freshman and a communications major at the University of Saint Mary and competes in
track and field for St Mary.