• July 6, 2024

Sports Medicine Adds Phetkhamchanh and Rodriguez to Staff

Sports Medicine Adds Phetkhamchanh and Rodriguez to Staff

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) Department of Intercollegiate Athletics announced on Monday the hiring of Braden Phetkhamchanh as associate athletic trainer and Maria Fernanda Rodriguez as assistant athletic trainer.

Braden Phetkhamchanh

Phetkhamchanh is joining UTRGV after spending the past three years at William Penn University where he oversaw football, baseball, women’s soccer, men’s golf, and women’s wrestling. Phetkhamchanh also worked closely with team orthopedic physicians, collaborated with athletic performance coaches to coordinate rehabilitation for injured student-athletes, and assisted with gameday operations and practices when needed.

“We’re very excited to have Braden join our staff as an Associate Athletic Trainer,” associate athletic director for sports medicine Steven Kraus said. “He’s coming in with good experience from William Penn University covering multiple sports throughout his tenure that I think will translate very well covering men’s soccer and track & field/cross country. He was a previous student athlete and athletic training student for our Director of Football Medicine, Shane Venteicher, who spoke very highly of him. I look forward to seeing the great things he can do for those programs and with the management of the training room at the UTRGV Soccer and Track & Field Complex!”

Phetkhamchanh earned his Master in Sports Management from William Penn in May 2023, a Bachelor of Arts in Athletic Training from Wichita State University in May 2021, and an Associate of Arts in Sports Medicine-Athletic Training in May 2018. He is a Certified Athletic Trainer and an Iowa licensed athletic trainer.

“I’m very excited to be a part of Vaqueros Nation,” Phetkhamchanh said. “I want to thank Steven and the sports medicine department for offering me this opportunity. I have been keeping tabs of UTRGV and the Valley and I believe it is headed in the right direction. I can’t wait to get started and building connections in the Valley.”

Maria Fernanda Rodriguez

Rodriguez spent the spring semester with UTRGV Sports Medicine through an immersion experience where she worked with men’s and women’s tennis and assisted with other sports.

“Maria spent the last semester with us as an immersive student in her final semester of graduate school,” Kraus said. “Not only did she provide great clinical work, but she handled herself in such a professional manner and simultaneously with such joy and positivity that I knew she would be a great fit in our Sports Medicine department. She is originally from the Rio Grande Valley and has a strong desire to give back to the university and local community which I very much appreciate. I know the women’s soccer, track & field/cross country programs will connect with her immediately and do great things together moving forward!”

Prior to UTRGV, Rodriguez spent 18 months as a student athletic trainer at Abilene Christian in where she covered football, track and field, volleyball, and assisted with other sports. Rodriguez provided a wide range of physical assessment, therapeutic intervention, rehabilitation, performed pre-participation assessments, and collaborated with an orthopedic surgeon, physician, coaches, and parents to create a cohesive training or injury management plan.

“I’m very excited and feel blessed to begin working as an athletic trainer for UTRGV women’s soccer and track and field teams,” Rodriguez said. “Thank you for this great opportunity.”

Rodriguez earned her Master of Athletic Training from Abilene Christian in May and her Bachelor of Arts in Kinesiology with Athletic Training Emphasis from St. Edward’s in May 2020. She is a Certified Athletic Trainer and a Texas licensed athletic trainer.

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