Farewell to ‘Trainer Matt’

Matt Berning worked as the athletic trainer for more than four years, but is now leaving high-school specific work behind. Berning has taken a position at the Mercy Sports Clinic with Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Julienne Lippe.

Courtesy of Joyce Debenport

Matt Berning worked as the athletic trainer for more than four years, but is now leaving high-school specific work behind. Berning has taken a position at the Mercy Sports Clinic with Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Julienne Lippe. "The best thing is working with athletes young athletes and helping them overcome their injuries and times that are hard for them because they're in pain or their hurt and they can't play the sport they love," Berning said.

After teaching classes, supporting athletes and training college students to be athletic trainers, Trainer Matt Berning is leaving to work at the Mercy Sports Clinic with Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Julienne Lippe.

“Matt is someone that you can trust and count on. He has always had the players’ health and safety as his number one priority,” head football coach Jeff Duncan said.  

Berning started his career in physical therapy at Hastings College in Nebraska. From there, he went on to the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Ark. to attain his master’s degree. He enjoys working with athletes to help them overcome injuries so they can return to their sport.

“The best thing is working with young athletes and helping them overcome their injuries. These times can be hard for them because they are in pain and can’t play the sport that they love. I tried to be there for them and help them through it mentally and physically, ultimately helping them get back to their sport,” Berning said.  

Berning found that his biggest challenge was spreading his time among the various sports over three different seasons. 

“Everybody has their own timeframe as to when they can practice or play. I’m here at school until seven or eight o’clock sometimes,” Berning said.  “It’s hard to have normal hours. You have to try and find the right time for athletes to see me within the hours that I am able to work.”  

For more than four years, Berning worked to help student-athletes overcome their injuries. 

“Trainer Matt is someone who has built good relationships with kids and can communicate effectively. He knows how to help the student-athletes through a significant or minor injury with rehab.,” Athletic Director Brian Kessler said.

Berning has bitter-sweet feelings about his departure.  

“I enjoyed helping the student-athletes at their most painful times, and hope I made a difference in their health.  [My] new position will allow me to help at West here and there, and I will do that as many times as I can.”