For the first time in 38 years, Utah State will have a new head athletic trainer.
With long-time head trainer Dale Mildenberger retiring this spring, the Aggies had to replace the Hall of Famer. Those big shoes will be filled by someone who is very familiar with USU and made headlines last December.
Mike Williams will be the new head trainer. The announcement was made Thursday afternoon by USU Director of Athletics Scott Barnes. Williams will take over the job from Mildenberger on May 1.
“We are thrilled to have Mike remain on staff and move into the position of head athletics trainer,” Barnes said in a statement Thursday. “Mike has been a valued employee during his many years at USU and brings tremendous experience and knowledge with him to this position. It’s a great fit.”
Williams is no stranger to Aggie athletics. The Robin, Idaho, native came to USU after graduating from Marsh Valley High School. He received a bachelor’s degree in exercise science in 1996.
For the past 14 years Williams has been an assistant athletics trainer at USU. He has worked primarily with the men’s basketball programs, while providing support for USU’s other 15 NCAA Division I programs.
“I want to thank Scott Barnes and Utah State University for the support and opportunity to be the head athletics trainer,” Williams said in a statement. “I also want to thank Dale Mildenberger for his guidance and leadership over the past 14 years and I aspire to live up to the standard he has set in this position. The support USU athletics receives is second to none and I am honored to be associated with everyone in the athletics department, from the coaches and student-athletes, to all of its administrators.”
Williams, who is not one to seek the spotlight, was thrust into it last December. He played a major role in saving Aggie basketball player Danny Berger, who collapsed during a practice and went into full cardiac arrest on Dec. 4. Williams’ quick response was life saving for the USU forward.
Recently Williams was named the 2012-13 Athletic Trainer of the Year in the state of Utah. He was also presented the Heartsaver Hero Award by the American Heart Association this past winter because of the way he began cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and used an automated external defibrillator (AED) on Berger.
Williams was also honored at the 2013 USU Robins Awards earlier this month. He received the Gerald R. Sherratt Award, which is given to a member of the university who has displayed superior leadership skills and abilities, as well as unsurpassed dedication and service to others.
Prior to being an assistant athletic trainer at USU, Williams worked for Intermountain Health Care in Logan as an athletic trainer and served as the Head Athletic Trainer for the Idaho Stampede of the Continental Basketball Association (CBA).
After getting his bachelors from USU, Williams attended the University of Idaho and graduated with a master's of science degree in sports administration in 1997.