Our Trainer and Healer, Dean Tiffany

Sriya Bandi, Reporter

Known throughout the halls of Burroughs, Dean Tiffany is the athletic trainer, and nearly every athlete at JBS has visited Tiffany’s office for a bruise or a sprain or even just for ice. For the past twenty years, he’s helped students overcome injuries, and he was also a wrestling coach until last year.

Tiffany initially wanted to go into physical therapy, but when he took a prerequisite class that served as an introduction to sports medicine, he realized just how much he loved the idea of working with athletes and helping on the field if someone injured themselves. Thus, he continued on to be an athletic trainer. After college, he began working at a physical therapy company called Health South P.T. When he found out through Dr. Donald Bassman that the Burroughs’ trainer was leaving, he began filling in the afternoons at JBS for a few games a week.

From the first day, Tiffany was captivated by Burroughs’ uniquely close-knit community and supportive environment where people genuinely cared about each other. He was originally set on going to graduate school, but after a few meetings with former athletic director Skippy Keefer, it was settled that he would continue working at Burroughs, assisting injured athletes in their recovery, responding to field injuries, and coaching the wrestling team.

Tiffany wrestled in high school and loved it; he even attributed considerable personal growth to the sport. Naturally, when Keefer was arranging a full-time position for him at Burroughs and found out about his wrestling days, she asked him to coach the team and help rebuild the wrestling program. He stepped up to the plate and continued coaching for 16 years, during which he turned the wrestling team into the program we have today.

Depending on the season, Tiffany sometimes sees more than thirty athletes a day, who range from those with serious injuries working hard to rehabilitate, to those with more minor discomforts that Burroughs athletes push through with his aid. Of his most bizarre injury situations, he explained how unusual it was that after decades of not coming across any femur fractures, he encountered two in two years; he went on to explain that some of his fellow athletic trainers had never aided anyone in recovering from a femur fracture in their entire career. Of course, Tiffany couldn’t refrain from subsequently recalling the moment he had to put athletic director Peter Tasker’s dislocated shoulder back into place in the matchup against MICDS earlier this year.

For the past 20 years, Tiffany has helped athletes recover from concussions, broken bones, muscle strains, ankle sprains, or even dislocated joints.  His favorite part of his job is “being there for a young athlete at the worst time of their day and being in a position to help them through the terrible situation.”