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  • Nick Cody

Grant Wiggins: Behind the Scenes of Olivet Athletics

Olivet College athletics is known for its winning football team, its goal-scoring soccer teams and even its speedy track stars. Many people don’t see the behind-the-scenes work that helps these athletes perform so well. Whether it is stretching or putting ice in the baths for athletes, the Olivet athletic trainers are there to get the job done.


One person in particular that gets the job done is trainer Garret Wiggins. Wiggins looks after five teams, including the men’s and women's soccer teams during the fall season.


When asked about a typical day, Wiggins said he wakes up at 7 in the morning, and from there he has free time to work out and eat until he has to go to the Cutler Athletic Complex where his work day starts at 1:30 p.m.


Wiggins said treatment typically runs from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. After treatment, Wiggins takes his dinner break. An hour later he's back at it working from 6:15 until 10 p.m. when he needs to be out on the field for all the sports teams' practices. Practices, Wiggins said, “…which consists of making sure my teams have water on the field and I have all my required equipment to provide adequate care for them.”


Wiggins’ exercise science knowledge helps the Olivet athletes perform their best. When asked about the trainer's dedication to Olivet athletics, freshman soccer star Aiden Reynolds said, “Garret is committed to keeping us all safe and healthy.”


Wiggins’ career started like many jobs across the country: start from the bottom and work your way up. Wiggins studied exercise science at Western Michigan University. From there he interned with the Broncos football team. Working 30 hours a week, Wiggin's job was to make sure the team was well-kept and healthy in between practices. Coming out of college, Wiggins spent one year at Schoolcraft High School near Kalamazoo, where he would gain his independence and help develop young student-athletes. A year later he came to Olivet. When asked why he chose Olivet, Wiggins said “I was drawn to OC by the people that I met and the interactions I had with them.”


According to the Olivet Athletics website, Garret oversees five teams including both men's and women's soccer, which takes place in the fall. Every day Wiggins treats dozens of athletes to make sure they perform their best. In total, he looks at over 200 college students, whether it be for stretching or taping their joints.


One of the Olivet students with Wiggins a lot is freshman Brock Veltman as he works with Wiggins daily for his sports medicine class. When asked what it's like working under the trainer, Veltman said, “Having someone care about you as much as Garret does makes a person like myself feel good.”


Wiggins said his favorite part of the job is interacting every day with the athletes and knowing he “fixed” them. With half a year under his belt and loving the Olivet experience, Garret said he plans on staying here “for years to come.”


Image Courtesy of Echo Staff.

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