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Athletic Training Students Land Internships with Reds, Bengals and Steelers

90 Percent of WC's Graduating Seniors Taking the National Certification Exam Passed It on Their First Try — the National Average Is 45 Percent

May 3, 2010

Pictured from the left are Tyler Ortlieb, who got an internship with the Cincinnati Reds; Kenny Marsh, Cincinnati Bengals; and Jun Matsuno, Pittsburgh Steelers.

Pictured from the left are Tyler Ortlieb, who got an internship with the Cincinnati Reds; Kenny Marsh, Cincinnati Bengals; and Jun Matsuno, Pittsburgh Steelers.

Three Wilmington College students have been called up to the Big Leagues. They won’t be swinging a bat or throwing a football, but the experience will no doubt be a significant step in their athletic training career preparations.

Tyler Ortlieb, Kenny Marsh and Jun Matsuno have received internship opportunities with professional teams in Major League Baseball and the National Football League.

The athletic training majors will be seniors this fall.

Ortlieb, of Leesburg, started an internship with the Cincinnati Reds baseball team in mid-April and will continue through the end of June, while Kenny Marsh of Lima also recently began an internship at which he will work for the Cincinnati Bengals for their entire season — early January or (hopefully) longer.

While the College’s athletic training program has had a long-standing relationship with the Cincinnati teams, Matsuno, from Japan, became the institution’s first athletic training student to be granted an internship with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

For Ortlieb, the opportunity is literally a dream come true.

“I’ve been a huge fan of the Reds since I was little,” he said. “I’ve wanted to have an internship with them since I was a freshman.”

Marsh, who worked a mini-camp in late April, will be with the Bengals from their first practice in July through what he hopes will be a venture into the playoffs. He will work all home games at Paul Brown Stadium.

“It’s awesome,” he said. “I always wanted to end up there.”

Matsuno will join the Steelers during training camp in July and stay with the team through the end of preseason. He also might be called to help when Pittsburgh visits Cleveland and Cincinnati.

The Steelers have been exemplars of incorporating diversity into their training staff as they have the first female assistant trainer, Ariko Iso. Also, she happens to be of Japanese descent.

“When I was in Japan, she was in the news when she was hired by the Steelers,” said Matsuno, who is the recipient of a $1,000 NFL Ethnic Minority Scholarship.

Larry Howard, WC’s athletic training program director, said fewer than 2 percent of those in the athletic training profession work in professional sports settings.

“This is a great clinical experience for our students to see a level of athletic training that many do not,” he said. “Also, these types of internships are a big recruiting tool for us.”

2009-10 has been a banner academic year for one of the College’s premiere programs.

The Athletic Training Quiz Bowl team repeated as Ohio champions and all eight students that submitted their research abstracts to the Ohio Athletic Trainers Association annual meeting had them accepted for presentation May 7.

These students include Daniel Allbaugh, Erin Sturgill, Amanda Burley, Amanda Sabin, Stephanie Prechtel, Megan Vaughn, Daniel Givens and Ashley Leon. A WC student has won the state’s “Undergraduate Research Excellence Award” at this conference each of the past six years.

Also, Allbaugh and Sturgill will give poster presentations of their individual research alongside professional researchers and Ph.D. holders at a session sponsored by the National Athletic Trainers Association Research and Education Foundation.

Finally, the department recently learned that a “phenomenal” 90 percent of those graduating seniors that took the Board of Certification examination for athletic training passed it on their first try this spring. The national average is 45 percent.