New trainer hired by athletic department


Denis Perez

New athletic trainer Nichole Oaks wraps a bandage around Comet men’s soccer team defender Raul Garcia’s arm during a home game on Friday against College of the Redwoods.

By Alex Kwasniza, Staff Writer

This semester brings necessary changes to the Contra Costa College athletic department and one shift is more important than any structural makeover the facilities could receive.

A new athletic trainer, Nichole Oaks, is settling in as the one responsible for helping all Comets get on the field as healthy and ready for game time as possible.

Hired shortly before the fall semester began, Oaks, born in Palo Alto, spent most of her life in Washington before earning her master’s degree in athletic training at Montana State University in Bozeman.

Although still young, Oaks is no novice when it comes to treating athletes with physical therapy. She is capable of dealing with everything from small injuries to more serious ones.

She has been working in athletic training professionally for about two years and has tended to players from some of the most violent sports — rugby, hockey and arena football.

Oaks said she has always had an interest in physical therapy as a career, but chose to pursue athletic training simply due to her love of sports.

“I get to watch sports while working,” she said when giving reasons why she enjoys her job.

Although not even one month has passed since she was hired at CCC, Oaks said she is already pretty comfortable and optimistic about being the athletic trainer.

“I’ve enjoyed working with the athletes so far,” she said.

Athletic Director John Wade seems relieved and pleased with Oaks as the new athletic trainer.

“Finding a new trainer is an extremely difficult process,” he said. “Nichole (Oaks) has been doing a fantastic job so far and she couldn’t have been a better fit for us.”

Having a constant and stable person in the athletic department’s training room is something that is much needed.

“She’s been very helpful with us as far as rehabbing and trying to get some of our players who are injured back onto the field — and those with little slight injuries here and there. She’s been very available to us,” men’s soccer coach Nikki Ferguson said.

“I can honestly say for the first time I feel like our players are comfortable with going to the training room.”