Fall 2010

[Alumni News]

Byron Craighead

He's Got Gold

Bobsled Team Photo courtesy of Brian Craighead Photo courtesy of Brian Craighead

BYRON CRAIGHEAD SEES RETIREMENT as his golden years – Olympic gold, that is.

After 37 years teaching and training athletes at Santa Rosa Junior College, Craighead (‘70, MA ’71) retired in 2007. His next step was helping the U.S. men’s bobsled team take gold at the 2010 winter Olympics.

Craighead still recalls the rush of emotions and energy when the men’s team finished the last run and took the top slot. And he was just as proud of the women’s team when it took bronze. “Dreams do come true,” he says.

Although he wasn’t on the sled during the games, he was part of the team as a certified athletic trainer for the men and women’s bobsled teams. “They’re so highly tuned it’s like working with Ferraris,” Craighead says. “There’s a lot of hands-on work that has to be done.”

This wasn’t the first time the Olympics came calling. Craighead participated in the winter Olympics in 2002 as a sports medicine representative to the bobsled team, and came close to going to the Olympics as a certified trainer in the early ‘70s before his appointment fell through. Since then, he has participated in international sporting events including the Europa and World Cups – so he’s no stranger to the world of elite athletic games.

And he hasn’t forgotten where it began. “Humboldt was the roots for me,” he says. “It was a small college. It was personal. For all that, it was invaluable.”

Craighead, who played football at HSU, initially pursued a degree in forestry. It was coach Cedric Kinzer who introduced him to his future career. “I’d never heard of tape before I met him,” Craighead says. “Ced asked me if I’d like to help him in the training room and as soon as I got started I said, ‘Wow! This is what I want to do!’”