Wildcats Welcome New Athletic Trainer Ansel Garvey


There is a new batch of faculty at Williston, including a new Head Athletic Trainer and member of the Williston community, Ansel Garvey.

Garvey grew up in Westfield, and his wife is from Easthampton, so for him and his family, moving to campus is a “huge coming home,” he said.

About his first few days on campus, Garvey told The Willistonian it’s been, “great, kind of a whirlwind seeing all new faces. Trying to learn everyone has been difficult but exciting.”

Garvey decided to be a trainer after his own high school experiences with injuries, and seeing how vital athletic trainers are to the success of a school’s sports program.

“When I was in high school I had a lot of shoulder problems and eventually ankle problems,” he said. Because there were about 1200 kids in his school and only one athletic trainer, Garvey said,”It was just way to difficult for him to be able to care for everyone the way that everyone needed.”

To that end, Garvey went to Springfield College to study athletic training; after he graduated, he did a one-year internship as a trainer at College of the Holy Cross, in Worcester, Mass. After finishing his internship he went to get his master’s degree in kinesiology at UMass Ahmerst.

It was a two-year program; however after his first year he was contacted by Holy Cross to come back to fill in the position of the athletic trainer for the men’s ice hockey team.

Garvey then worked with UMass Ahmerst to manage his classes in the early mornings to finish his master’s thesis, while working for Holy Cross at the same time. He worked at Holy Cross for a year and a half, then he moved on to work for the Providence Bruins for two years; he then got promoted to the Boston Bruins, where worked for a year. Garvey then moved to Belmont Hill for two years before making his way to Williston.

It was with the Bruins that Garvey got his first experience with the tenacity of professional hockey players — and the nerves and stomach of steel required of his profession.

Garvey recalled a game when one of the linesmen got hit in the face right below the visor, “so I brought him back to the athletic training room where I took another look at him and we called our dentist down.”

Garvey said he noticed the injured player’s “front four teeth were back at a 45 degree angle.” Garvey was in disbelief. “I was like, ‘Listen, I am really sorry but your teeth are broken.’ I mean it was bleeding a lot.”

He called the dentist and when the dentist finally arrived, to his shock the player’s teeth weren’t broken, it was actually his jaw.

The dentist told him, “‘I have good news and bad news. The good news is your teeth are actually fine, the bad news is your jaw is broken on both sides of the teeth,’” Garvey recalled.

Typical of tough hockey players, Garvey said the dentist “just grabbed [the player’s jaw] and yanked it back. “It was one of the most horrible sounds I have ever heard in my life, but the linesman sat up and said, ‘I can go finish the game.’”

“The dentist was like, ‘Absolutely not, you need to get reconstructive jaw surgery now,’” Garvey said.

Looking back on the experience, Garvey can’t believe it actually happened.

Now that he’s here, Garvey said campus has been so welcoming towards his family. “I moved here with my wife and my son, he is just a little guy, and it has been so awesome.”

Garvey said he is surprised by how many people around campus already know his son even though he himself might not know the student yet. He also appreciates how the community has made him feel like he has already been here for a lot longer than he actually has.

“Everyone has been so great so far,” he said, “students, staff, faculty, everyone.”


This story originally ran in The Willistonian.