The people behind FAU’s student-athlete

There are 450 student-athletes at FAU. Have you ever stopped to think about the people working behind the scenes, the ones that keep these athletes in top physical and mental condition? Immediately coach comes to mind, but what most people don’t think of are the counselors, trainers, and medical staff. Who are these people and what exactly do they do?

FAU has a large student-athlete support staff with much to offer through three main programs: Academic Counseling, Sports Medicine Department, and Strength and Conditioning. These programs employ athletic trainers, academic advisors, graduate students, interns, and physicians. They work together to create a safety net for FAU’s athletes, meeting all their needs.

Finding a balance between athletic schedules and academic schedules is key for student-athletes. However, this can prove to be a difficult task. “It’s pretty stressful being a student-athlete, especially when you are on the road and missing classes,” says Missy Glaser, a freshman guard on FAU’s women’s basketball team. “You can get behind really easily if you aren’t careful.” FAU’s Academic Counseling program at the Student-Athlete Center for Academic Excellence helps student-athletes like Glaser with these difficulties. They provide individualized counseling, tutorial services, academic advising, “life-skills” programs, and a study hall. “It’s our job to provide a network of academic support for the student-athletes and make sure that they are achieving as best they can,” says Michel Allen, the director of Academic Counseling. “The academic affairs officers function as liaisons between the athletic and academic communities.” Each athlete is assigned to an academic counselor who helps him/her develop important fundamental academic skills and time management strategies through weekly meetings. These sessions also enable the counselors to monitor the student’s progress in class and help identify potential problems early on before they become serious. The center also provides a comprehensive tutorial program so that student-athletes can supplement what they have learned in class. Study Hall, which is required for all freshmen athletes, is available in the Oxley Center from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 8 a.m. to 5p.m. of Fridays.

The Sports Medicine Department at FAU is made up of five athletic training staff, six graduate assistants/interns, and four physicians. According to Randy Warren, the Head Athletic Trainer, the training staff’s main goal is to provide overall medical care and health education to FAU’s student-athletes through the prevention, evaluation, management, rehabilitation, and reconditioning of athletic injuries. They also act as a liaison between doctors and athletes. Each team has an assigned trainer that comes to each practice and game. They even travel with the athletes. The department has two training facilities. The Oxley Center training room is the main athletic facility, and it’s equipped with x-ray view boxes, a hydrotherapy room with spa whirlpools, muscle stimulator units, paraffin baths, and the latest rehabilitation equipment. The Field-house, which is used mainly as an auxiliary facility between 1 and 6 p.m., is also outfitted with the latest advancements in athletic care. “The best part of my job is seeing athletes recover and get back to playing as quickly as they can,” Warren says. He adds that although the department does not have any teaching curricula they offer internships for interested students who want to learn and get experience in the field.

Lastly, the Strength and Conditioning program works to prevent injury through training and strengthening student-athletes. In this program student-athletes are instructed and educated in the most up-to-date training methodologies available for their sport such as injury prevention, dominant energy system conditioning, muscular strength/endurance/power and mental toughness. The Vandervere Weight Room, located in the Oxley Center, serves as the main conditioning facility for all of FAU’s student-athletes. This program is also accepting interns for summer, spring, and fall semesters who want to assist the staff and learn the complex workings of a collegiate strength program.

For more information about the Academic Advising program, the Sports Medicine department, and the Strength and Conditioning program go to For information about internships stop by the office at Tom Oxley Athletic Center.