Toronto Loses Head Trainer Nikki Huffman
Among the many different items the Toronto Blue Jays will have to address this offseason, they will now be on the hunt for a new head athletic trainer.
Made official late this week, the Blue Jays saw head athletic trainer Nikki Huffman part ways with the team. Huffman plans to open up her own business going forward.
Huffman was just the second woman ever to serve as a head athletic trainer for one of the four major sports in North America. She has spent several years in that position after joining the team back in December of 2015.
Huffman was first noticed for her work at Duke University helping Marcus Stroman recover from a torn ACL (anterior cruciate ligament). After several years with the team, Huffman got the call to be the next head athletic trainer for the Blue Jays. That came in December of 2017 as she followed former 15-year trainer George Poulis. Poulis decided to take off to Atlanta.
Huffman earned a bachelor’s degree in athletic training at Everett University. From Everett University she transitioned to the University of St. Augustine for a Doctorate of Physical Therapy. Being an athlete is something Huffman is very familiar to her having played both basketball and lacrosse at Everett University.
Going forward, the Blue Jays have several options they could go with to replace Huffman. Assistant athletic trainers Voon Chong and Jose Ministral will be two of the individuals in the running.
Huffman’s departure marks just one of many changes happening within the health department for the Toronto Blue Jays. Assistant physical therapist Scott Peters was promoted to medical research co-coordinator. Among his new duties, Peters will now be handling risk assessment in draft acquisitions. Ben Freakley will be the head of mental performance and now will be stationed fully at the team’s Dunedin Florida facility. Along with that note, Jimmy VanOstrand will now become the mental skills coach.
The Blue Jays should name Huffman’s successor somewhere around the Winter Meetings. It will be just part of an interesting off-season for the Blue Jays.