Submitted by: Michael Gerlach
Years Certified: 16
Current Position: Athletic Trainer to Independence High School in Thompson Station, TN
Why Athletic Training: “I have always loved sports and helping people has always been a passion of mine. I knew I wanted to be involved in sports after high school and I have always been fascinated by injuries and how people recover from them and are able to return to activity or their sport.”
Fun Fact: “I got married on the 50 yard line of Independence Football field July 10, 2010. I’ve been the only athletic trainer at Independence High School since we opened in 2004. I’m married to the wonderful Roy Mangrum who is the Founder/Owner of Barbell VooDoo and we have 2 adorable rescue Pit Bulls named Bacon Saban (after Coach Saban) and Ella Blade (after Independence football coach Scott Blade).”
Shared Mantra: “I say this every day, every period when students leave my classroom: ROLL TIDE, GO EAGLES, MAKE GOOD CHOICES! Years after they graduate, and I run into them somewhere they will still remember that and say it back to me!” Education: BS in Athletic Training from the University of Alabama; MS in Health Education from Middle Tennessee State University Mentors: The amazing Dr. Deidre Leaver-Dunn Associate Dean of the College of Human Environmental Sciences and former Program Director of the Athletic Training Education Program at The University of Alabama. Tim Hoskins, Athletic Trainer and current Administrative Manager for Vanderbilt Health and Williamson Medical Center Walk in clinics and Meg Stockham Athletic Trainer who took me under their wing while I was a graduate assistant athletic trainer just starting out in Tennessee in 2003. Jay Moore Director of Sports medicine for Williamson Medical Center and Bone & Joint Institute. All these incredible athletic trainers have helped mentor me along my path and have played a tremendous role in making me the athletic trainer that I am today. Honors and Awards: Williamson County Athletic Trainer of the Year 2019, Training & Conditioning’s 2019 Finalist for Most Valuable Athletic Trainer of the Year, Tennessee Athletic Trainers Society Athletic Trainer of the Year, and has been recognized as Teacher of the Year at Independence High School.
Journey to Becoming an Athletic Trainer
Brandi started as a graduate assistant athletic trainer while working on her master’s in Health Education at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU). She started as the Athletic Trainer for Brentwood Academy for the 2003-04 school year. When Independence High School opened for the 2004-05 school year, she says, “I came here [Independence] to finish my graduate assistant position and began teaching here during the 2006-07 school year once I graduated with my master’s degree.”
Brandi now teaches four classes of Health Science Education and two classes of Honors Rehabilitative Careers. She is also the certified athletic trainer for all TSSAA sports at Independence as well as a Preceptor for students in the athletic training education program at MTSU.
Being both a teacher an an athletic trainer has given Brandi an opportunity to impact the lives of more than just the athletes that come through Independence High School. She says, “being able to help people and build relationships with our athletes (who are our patients), but also their families, coaches, administration, and fellow teachers” is one thing that she loves about both athletic training and teaching. She also tells her students and student athletes that, “once you have been my student or my athlete, or both you are my kiddo for life!”
Most Memorable Moments
Brandi says a moment she will never forget is performing CPR on a football official during a freshman football game. She says, “getting to know him and his family after his recovery was incredible.”
She also loved being the athletic trainer for a state championship basketball team at BA during the 2003-04 season, being the athletic trainer at Independence High School for a state runner up football team during the 2007 season, a state championship Volleyball team in 2008, and for a state championship football team in 2015 and state runner up football team in 2016.
Life Outside of Athletic Training
Brandi loves to travel with her husband and close friends when she has some time off. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, and of course her precious pit bulls Bacon Saban and Ella Blade. Brandi and her husband also have a garage gym that they work out in or she says she loves to go to hot yoga.