KY Coaches Take Online Safety Course

By: Daniel Kemp Email
By: Daniel Kemp Email

After 15-year-old sophomore Max Gilpin collapsed and later died while running sprints last August during a football practice in Louisville, the Kentucky General Assembly created a program in hopes of ensuring something like that never happened again.

That program required coaches from across the state, including those right here in Warren County, to complete new training before they could even meet with their players for practice this week.

"You hope and you think that what happened in Louisville wouldn't happen at Greenwood or any other school. Unfortunately those things happen," explained Mark Nelson, head coach of Greenwood High School's football team.

Coach Nelson knows football.

But when the sun's beating down on his players during practice, he knows safety too.

"Anything that you can do knowledge-wise to prepare for something happening can only help. It's not going to hurt," Coach Nelson said.

Nelson and his staff were just a few of a couple thousand across the state mandated to take a four-hour online safety course related to heat injuries and the staph-infection known as MRSA.

"I think it can't hurt for them to be reminded what could happen if kids don't get enough water breaks," said Robin Ciochetty, a parent of a football player.

Ciochetty says the new training is a good thing.

"If it wasn't mandatory, you would have coaches, not necessarily ours, but some who would not sit down and take the time to do it," she said.

Ciochetty, who's both a football parent and registered nurse, knows the dangers of heat-related injuries and the steps needed to prevent them.

"They need water before they say they're thirsty. Once they say they're thirsty, they're already dehydrated a little bit," she said.

Her only concern this season?

Ice immersion tanks that will soon debut at all football practices.

"That's a medical treatment for heat-related injuries and you have to decide what it is before you use an immersion tank," she said.

But it's a state-mandate Coach Nelson says won't come without the right supervision.

"We have a trainer on-site and she makes the call," he said. "I love our athletes here at Greenwood and I would hate to have anything happen to them."

Nelson adds the training wasn't just for football coaches, but for all sports starting in the fall including band directors.

In Louisville, Jason Hiser, a defensive coordinator at Pleasure Ridge Park High School, was hired Tuesday to replace Jason Stinson, the coach indicted for reckless homicide after Max Gilpin collapsed last year. is happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules:

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