Steve DeHart: Trainer and Savior
By Griffin Cipriani
The man, the myth, the legend, Steve DeHart keeps Novato High athletes safe from themselves. Dehart, in his third year as the Athletic Trainer at Novato, is a key part in a successful sports department. He is the peanut butter to Novato’s jelly.
As he rolls through Novato’s halls in the golf cart, you often hear “Hey Steve,” or “Steve my man!” or just “Steve!”
He is certainly one of the most liked people on campus. He is the type of person that is not afraid to be blunt about what you need to do in order to get and stay healthy.
DeHart grew up in Southern California until he was 13. Then, he moved up to the San Carlos Peninsula in the Bay Area. After high school, he spent six years at Cal Poly, where he became an industrial tech major. DeHart soon after decided that he would much rather pursue massage therapy. In 2000, he went back to school to get his Athletic Trainer certification at Sacramento State.
When he got his certification in 2003, he moved to Yuba Community College and was the head trainer there for four years. Then, he took a year off to spend time with his newborn daughter (who now attends Chico State). After that, he spent four years as Director of Athletic Training at Sacramento State. After those four years, he decided to run his own rehab clinic for the next five years. Then only 3 years ago, he was subcontracted through Sutter Health to Novato High.
DeHart’s job involves more than one might think. First and foremost, he tends to injured athletes from Novato and visiting schools. For Novato’s athletes, DeHart assists with recovery and never-ending injury prevention. Although most of the actual recovery and prevention is done by the athlete, DeHart points them in the right direction. He arrives at Novato from 1 to 2 p.m. and can stay anywhere from 7 to 10 p.m. depending on when the last athlete leaves. He also works from home before he comes to school.
“Steve helps me feel safe when I’m on the field because I know that someone with medical training is there watching me in case I get hurt,” said junior Gillie Mason. “He always follows the rules and is very professional.”
One aspect of DeHart’s job that is overlooked is the extensive paperwork that he has to file for every one of his student athletes. Also, he always needs to be filling up and handing out water bottles to keep Novato’s athletes hydrated.
When explaining how to deal with an injured athlete DeHart said, “Well first you have to make sure their basic life support is good. Then if that is good, I do a general assessment of the injured area. When I asses the area, I am looking for what type of injury it is and its severity. Once I determine that, I decide what action to take whether it’s tape up, a cut, wrap with some ice, or call 9-11.”
The biggest challenge he faces is being a one-man operation. With so many student athletes, it is a major challenge for one person to oversee injury prevention, rehab, and paperwork. These tend to be the most difficult things to deal with.
Junior Parker Kuehn knows all about DeHart’s importance.
“I’ve had some injuries where I normally play through the pain, but Steve had wanted to check me out and found that I had an injury that I needed to take care of or else it could really mess me up later in life. If he didn’t check on me I would’ve kept playing, seriously injuring myself. He’s a big help for sure,” said Kuehn.
DeHart knows all about competition in a variety of sports, as he played football, basketball, and did the high jump in college. After college, he continued to play hoops, mountain bike, and many other sports. Nowadays, he enjoys staying active, listening to music, time with friends and family, and exploring nature.
“I believe that love is the source of everything,” said Dehart. “I see myself staying with Novato as long as they keep me. I am happy to be here, love the student athletes, feel comfortable and confident with the way the athletic program is going, and I feel really grateful to be here. Go Hornets!”