Nick Frangella ’04, who graduated with a degree in physical education-athletic training, is the minor league athletic training and performance coordinator for the Chicago Cubs in Mesa, Arizona. Frangella oversees minor league athletic trainers and works one-on-one with injured players at the year-round facility so they can return to play.

Some of the injuries currently being rehabbed involve the ulnar collateral ligament, rotator cuff, and shoulder labrum. He oversees nine certified athletic trainers in six American cities—Des Moines, Iowa; Kodak, Tennessee; Daytona Beach, Florida; Geneva, Illinois; Boise, Idaho; and Mesa—and  the Dominican Republic.

Frangella has met several Hall of Fame baseball players, including Ron Santo, Ernie Banks, and Billy Williams, and has worked directly with Greg Maddux, Sammy Sosa, Ryne Sandberg, and Jody Davis. The job requires him to be on call 24 hours a day. But it is all worth it because of his key role in making the athletic training staff better, which, in turn, helps to serve the players better and keep them on the field.

Frangella’s favorite memories from his time at Illinois State University include those involving his classmates and the connections he made. He still keeps in touch with athletic training students and the faculty. When asked what advice he would give to current athletic training students who will be looking for employment after college, he replied, “Always be looking to learn and to increase your knowledge and skills. Be as well-rounded as possible and don’t be afraid to try new things!”