The busiest place per square foot on the campus of Loyola Marymount University is not what one would think. It is not LMU's on campus commons area, the Lair, University Hall or the LMU bookstore. It is the LMU Athletics Training Room.
Right around 1,000-square feet, the LMU Athletics Training Room at any given moment in season is what Head Athletics Trainer Keith Ellison calls "organized and controlled chaos." In the height of its busiest time of the year, when all 22 LMU NCAA Division I sports are in action, the Athletics Training Room can make a casual onlooker dizzy.
However, Ellison, his four full-time assistants, Joe Gonzalez, Steve Cortez, Colleen Duff and Christina Mancuso, and 15 student assistants make it look easy.
In his 25th-year at LMU and 18th as the Head Athletics Trainer, Ellison and his staff have turned the LMU Athletics Training Room into a model for the school's main conference affiliate, the West Coast Conference.
"This is a great place to be because of the people," said Ellison, who graduated from LMU in 1987. "The fulltime staff we have here is the best in the conference. We have the right personalities for LMU and they all genuinely care and are concerned about the student-athletes, not just for their injuries and sports they play, but for each person as a whole.
"And it is not just my staff. It is the students that make this place great. The student-athletes care and respect what we are doing. With 18 sports and just three athletic trainers, it can get difficult in seeing to every need of the athletes. But the students understand and respect each other and make this place very, very successful now and in the future."
Ellison is one of three LMU alums on staff in the training room, joined by Gonzalez who earned his Bachelor's in 1997 and Masters in 2009; and Mancuso, who graduated in 2008.
On a given day, the Athletics Training Room will see about half of the 325 student-athletes at LMU. A given day will include lots of paperwork, therapy for student-athletes recovering from injuries that keep them out of competition, appointments with doctors and pre- and post-practice needs.
"Our mission is to eliminate the chance for injury. We stress the use of ice and strength and conditioning to reduce the risk of injury. Thus, the traffic in our Athletics Training Room can get very heavy throughout the day," said Ellison, who has been busy this year. "We have had a lot of different injuries with many different teams. Because of that we have had a lot of traffic in our Athletics Training Room doing rehab and doing the normal stuff to prepare for practice or games."
In addition to providing the best care available in the nation to LMU athletes, the athletic training program services the needs of its opponents in a first class manner and provides an opportunity for students in the field of athletic training to earn valuable experience.
With more than 50 years of experience in the field, the Athletic Training Program provides services that includes a philosophy that places a high value on health and wellness, a program that allows injured student-athletes to return to their sport as soon as medically safe and to substantially reduce the risk of athletic injury for those student-athletes.
The Athletic Training Room at LMU features state-of-the-art equipment in a 1,000-square foot sports medicine complex. The equipment includes whirlpools, paraffin bath, ultrasound, muscle stimulation and hydrocalators.
- GO LIONS -
Updated: July 30, 2014