Restoring Health

Greg Goerig, son of Bill and Cynthia Goerig of El Campo, works 11 months out of the year as the head athletic trainer for Midlothian ISD for the past 12 years. Altogether, he has been mending athletes for 23 years. Here he is seen on the field under the ‘Friday Night Lights,’ a place where he can be found on the sidelines during football season to help injured athletes. But his work doesn’t stop there, it continues with ongoing therapy in the athletic training room helping student recover from sports injuries. He also oversees the student athletic training program with the district. They are able to perform CPR, first aid, AED and can help identify major issues, such as a concussion, heat-related illnesses and other problems.

A high school injury gave Greg Goerig a glimpse of what his future might hold for him after graduation. Instead of returning to the basketball court, the high schooler recovered and turned to helping his fellow athletes with their injuries as a student trainer.

“During my high school years at El Campo High, I injured my knee in basketball, which kept me from playing and in turn, I helped the team,” Goerig said. “For the rest of the season and the following years, I became a student trainer and manager for basketball under the direction of Coach Brad Barnes.

Coach Barnes was a tremendous role model for me in which he inspired me to be the best I could and not to ever settle. It was during my time at ECHS that I realized I wanted to pursue the career of helping others in the field of athletic training.”

Goerig, who currently works for Midlothian ISD, graduated from ECHS in 1987, then headed off to college to pursue a degree in exercise and sports science while majoring in athletic training at Texas State University.

As an athletic trainer for the past 23 years, with 12 of the past years at Midlothian ISD, he believes in making a difference for his students.

“Being in the education field, there is nothing more satisfying in this profession than making an impact in our children’s lives,” he said. “Just as Coach Barnes served as a positive role model to me, I try to pay it forward to my students each day.”

In his role as athletic trainer, his expertise allows him to provide injured athletes with the best care possible, something he strives for daily.

“Helping our injured athletes get back to the field or court after suffering an injury is very fulfilling to me,” Goerig said. “No doubt, young student athletes are very resilient, and seeing these kids battle from something that was an obstacle in their life to success is very gratifying for me to play a part in.”

Goerig works with student athletes in grades seven through their senior year of high school.

“The majority of my job is usually treatment of injuries, but it also includes evaluation and rehabilitation of injuries as well as preventive measures,” he said.

Keeping injured athletes on track to full recovery can be challenging, too.

“One of the most difficult tasks I believe athletic trainers face is motivating our athletes who have a lengthly recovery time on an injury,” he said. “It is very important during this time to set short and long term goals that can be reached as well. It is also very imperative to keep the rehab interesting so that it doesn’t become repetitive and monotonous.”

Goerig works closely with students’ health professionals in the recovery phase to ensure rehab is successful. The key here, he says, is communication.

“These long term rehab athletes we see also share time with physical therapists on alternate days,” Goerig said. “Athletes who do this, I believe, get the best of both worlds. Rehab can be very effective if both the athletic trainer and the physical therapist work together.”   

Goerig is also in charge of the student athletic training program with the school district. 

“We usually have 15 student trainer aides that assist us with the care of the athletes,” he said. “These students are trained in CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation), first aid, AED (Automated External Defibrillator), as well as educated to help identify signs and symptoms of major issues, including heat illness, concussions and asthma related issues. Having a great group of students in the program makes my job very enjoyable.”  

Goerig works 11-months out of the year, and during those few summer weeks off, he helps his dad Bill and uncle Leonard, Goerig Brothers Farms, with grain harvest in the New Taiton area. Goerig says he’s “proud to be from El Campo and proud to be a former Ricebird.”

“No doubt, it (summer harvest) is one of my favorite times of the year,” he said. “In June, I normally spend more time with our athletes who need rehabilitation as well as input paperwork for next school year.”  

Goerig tries to balance work and home life as best as he can, too.

“The most challenging part of my job is trying to balance the time I spend at work versus the time at home,” he said. “Like most athletic trainers and coaches, time at home is very limited, due to the number of hours spent at work. Therefore,  when I am able to go home, I try to spend as much quality time with the family as possible.”

Goerig was born and raised in El Campo and his parents, Bill and Cynthia Goerig, still live here. He and wife Brittany have three children: Kaylee, 21, Landen, 18 and Maycee, 10.

“Working at Midlothian ISD, I have tried to follow the words of Teddy Roosevelt, who said: ‘People won’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.’”

Editor Note: While Greg Goerig no longer lives in El Campo where he grew up, he has lots of family here in addition to his parents. The El Campo Leader-News would like to share more stories like his to let readers know what ever happened to “so and so” and what are they up to now. If you have a story to share like Goerig’s, please email your idea along with contact information to: lifestyle@leader-news.com.

Thank you Greg for sharing your story.

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