Nunley’s absence felt by student athletes


MaKenzi VerVaeke

C Team basketball coach Gabby Santos tapes Tori Greene’s (9) ankle before practice. This is a job Nunley used to do.

MaKenzi VerVaecke, Junior Reporter

At the end of semester one, former athletic trainer, Nick Nunley, resigned from Manitou Springs High School to accept a new job opportunity as Director of Sports Medicine at Colorado State University Pueblo.  

Nunley had to make a hard decision when accepting the new job at CSU Pueblo to continue his career goals according to his wife and Manitou Springs Secondary Instructional Coach Jessie Nunley. 

“It was an opportunity that came up that supported his major career goals around working at the collegiate level, which he’s always wanted to do because he was a collegiate athlete himself,” Mrs. Nunley said. 

This was a big change for many of the staff and students at MSHS according to Cameron Jones, Athletic Director. 

“It left a big void when he took the new position. Not only was a essential part of athletics with injury treatment and prevention he was also a volunteer football coach and helped with baseball and basketball as well. On top of that Mr. Nunley had four classes he taught,” Jones said. 

Since Nunley had many responsibilities at MSHS, when hiring someone to fill the position the district is looking for someone to take on those other responsibilities, and not just an athletic trainer. 

“We are hoping to find an enthusiastic trainer who is friendly, likable, and knowledgeable. This person would hopefully have some previous experience teaching as well as experience as an Athletic Trainer,” Jones said.  

Students, especially athletes like sophomore Kate Johnson are also hoping for the district to find someone that will be there to help them not with just their injuries. 

“[We want] someone who isn’t just all business. As an athlete, I have been through some pretty rough injuries; and it’s hard to admit to someone that you’re hurt when you know that it could potentially bench you,” Johnson said. 

Many other athletes feel that it is important to have a trianor that is there not just to treat injuries, but listen to them. 

“Sometimes, kids and athletes just want someone to listen to them when they are in pain,” Johnson said. 

Having a trainer like Nunley who worked hard to make all athletes feel that they were listened to helped athletes, like senior Ashlyn Thomson, through their injuries. 

Nunley was the reason a lot of athletes came to school everyday and played sports. He had a special way of connecting with athletes and pushed them to be the greatest they could be.”

— Ashlyn Thomson (12)

He was the one that walked me through the process of how my recovery would be, how long it would take and just how it was gonna feel. He was very calm about it and made me feel like everything was going to be okay,” Thomson said, “I wouldn’t have wanted to go through what I did with a different athletic trainer.” 

Nunley was also a coach for football, basketball and baseball. He worked with athletes not only with their injuries, but during their season to help them improve. 

“Nunley was the reason a lot of athletes came to school everyday and played sports. He had a special way of connecting with athletes and pushed them to be the greatest they could be,” Thomson said. 

Many athletes said that without Nunley’s help they would not be where they are today. 

I owe a tremendous amount of my athletic successes to him, because I honestly wouldn’t have been able to be the athlete that I am without him,” Johnson said, “ He made a positive impact on everyone that he helped.”