Get to know one of our uncommon Concordians, Angi Steffen (’07), director of sports medicine at CUW.
Editor’s note: A version of this story first appeared in the fall 2023 edition of Hearts Together. The official magazine of Concordia University Wisconsin and Ann Arbor publishes biannually.
Angi Steffen is the best friend a Falcons student-athlete can have—especially when aches, pains, and injuries inevitably become a part of the athletic life. An athlete herself from a young age (Angi played for the Falcons Softball team), she thought a career in athletic training, that let her “get paid to watch sports,” seemed almost too good to be true. She’s a Concordia lifer, a 2007 graduate of the athletic training (AT) program, and one of the most popular and valued members of the athletics staff. In other words, she’s the one who has turned out almost too good to be true!
Who has been a big influence or mentor for you at CUW?
From an athletic training/sports medicine standpoint, Russ DeLap and Katherine Liesener, previous and current AT academic program directors. Both are still at CUW, and I continue to learn from them in different capacities. From an athletics administration standpoint, Rob Barnhill and Stacey Brunner-Jones. I’ve known both since I was an undergraduate student here, and both have been critical to my growth in a professional role and increased responsibilities over the years.
What has been the biggest or most exciting sports moment here for you?
Without spending too much time racking through the years, I would have to say Softball’s 2023 post-season run. They were the first team to win a regional tournament and advance to the Sweet 16 in CUW’s NCAA era, something that only 16 teams in the nation accomplish. AND the team that ended their run went on to win the national championship!
As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A veterinarian. So I guess I stayed in health care but tossed in my passion for athletics. I’ve always loved dogs. I currently have Ali, a sweet 14-year-old beagle mix living her best life.
What do you love about your job now?
The lack of monotony. Some days are more mundane, sitting behind a desk, doing admin stuff. But others are out on the sidelines in all the elements—that’s where you’ll catch the biggest smile. I’ve gotten to visit states and see things I wouldn’t otherwise have. And, of course, watching student-athletes return to competition following long-term injuries can’t be topped!
What’s the weirdest thing that has ever happened at a game?
(Head Football) Coach Etter loves this story: I once took out a sideline official during a football game! We were sprinting in opposite directions and collided. I wasn’t fazed, but he went down, laid there, looked up at me, and tossed the flag! I don’t think I took a breath for the next two drives until I knew the penalty wasn’t going to hurt us or change the outcome of the game. Now we laugh about it often!
Athletic trainers play a vital role in the athletic program, on and off the field. They typically provide the first care an athlete receives following injury. They collaborate with other health care professionals to ensure athletes receive high-level care for the return to the field and other physical activities.
The fall 2023 Hearts Together magazine hits mailboxes in November. View a PDF version of the magazine here. If you are not on our mailing list, but are interested in receiving a free copy, email Jennifer.Hackmann@cuaa.edu.