Jim Malseed

Archmere Head Athletic Trainer Jim Malseed received the Carl S. Campion Service Award for service to Archmere Academy on February 3, 2021

Jim Malseed was a not-particularly tall senior at Bishop Neumann High School in Philadelphia when a staff member told him he could find a career in athletics, four decades of Archmere athletes have reaped the benefits.

Brother Jim Love, a family friend, suggested Malseed take an athletic training student clinic that summer, which led to going to Temple, and then a job opportunity at Archmere Academy in 1981.

He never left.

Malseed said the job description of an athletic trainer is quite simple.

"We are responsible for the care, treatment, rehabilitation, and evaluation of any athletic injuries that happen at Archmere."

It wasn't always that simple, Malseed said when he started in 1981, there were just three high school athletic trainers in Delaware, John Knarr at Tower Hill, Roger Hunt at Smyrna, and himself.

"There was no state license for athletic trainers. We weren't recognized by DSSAA. Technically I couldn't even be on the sidelines for football, now, it's tough to go to any high school sporting event in Delaware and not see an athletic trainer."

Now, according to Malseed, there are just three high schools in Delaware without athletic trainers, and every school with a football program has at least one on-call for practices and games.

Malseed credits long-time Archmere basketball coach and athletic director Vince Filliben for early words giving his athletic trainer the respect needed to be successful.

"You were hired to take care of the injuries, the coaches were hired to coach. You take care of the injuries, don't talk to the coaches about strategy or anything else, and I'll make sure that our coaches don't question you when it comes to injuries."

Malseed joined the Delaware Athletic Trainers Association Hall of Fame in 2004, and has received awards from the National Athletic Trainers Association during a 40-year career.

He nearly retired a few years ago, but after a surgery he felt inspired to return to the only school he'd called home as a professional.

"I had a brain tumor that was removed, and I came back because I wanted to prove to myself that I could come back and do the job. I did that, and I said 'okay, now it's time to not take a chance and spend some time with my wife, my kids, and my grandkids."

In between those family duties, Malseed said he still wants to spend time furthering the athletic training profession in Delaware.

"One of my goals was to have a full-time athletic trainer in every high school, and if we couldn't get that, at least a full-time athletic trainer that has football. Okay, we don't have full-time athletic trainers, but we have athletic trainers at just about every school. I'm going to continue to work towards hitting that goal. In some states, like New Jersey, athletic trainers learned how to give injections during COVID. I would like to see us be able to do more things in Delaware that we're not allowed to do, but that requires change in licensure law."

Malseed said he won't be a stranger at high school games, even if he's not on the sidelines working in the future.

"If there's a game I think will be a good game, I go to high school games. I like watching high school athletics, I really do."

One staple of athletic trainers at all levels are the omnipresent golf carts, used to haul water, equipment, or sometimes injured athletes around quickly.

Malseed said there was in fact something of a Golf Cart Driving 101 at his school.

"We did have one at Temple, I can say that. I can't speak for other schools, but when I was a student at Temple, you had to take a driving test on the golf cart, and you've seen at Archmere there's the one gate that's narrow and barely fits the golf cart. At Temple, they had something similar, and if you couldn't get the golf cart through, you couldn't drive it."

Malseed might not be tall in stature, but he's stood tall in the growth of the athletic trainer's role in Delaware.