Mike Downey joined the EMU Athletics Department as full-time Head Athletic Trainer in the fall of 2001. Mike is a graduate of James Madison University with both bachelors and masters degrees from JMU in 1981 and 1985 respectively. Mike is certified by the National Athletic Trainers Association and licensed by the Virginia State Board of Health to practice Athletic Training in Virginia. As a graduate assistant at JMU, he was assigned to serve the 1983 JMU baseball team that participated in the NCAA College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska.
Following his years at JMU, Mike was employed for sixteen years by Rockingham Memorial Hospital’s Valley Wellness Center and the Rehab Services Departments. He served as Wellness Coordinator of the Strength and Endurance area for two years prior to the Rehab Services Department’s development of the RMH Sports Medicine Center in 1984. He worked as a Clinical Athletic Trainer at RMH and was contracted as the first Certified Athletic Trainer at Eastern Mennonite University in 1989. From 1989 until 1999 Mike served as acting Head Athletic Trainer for EMU while remaining on staff at RMH Rehab Services.
In the fall of 1999, Mike became the Athletic Trainer at Spotswood High School in eastern Rockingham County. He served there two years before returning to EMU as the fulltime Head Athletic Trainer in 2001. Mike also has taught in the EMU Physical Education Department as both an adjunct instructor and as an administrative instructor. His classes have included Athletic Training and American Red Cross First Aid. Mike is an Approved Clinical Instructor for the James Madison Athletic Training Education Department as their student athletic trainers are assigned to assist as interns at EMU.
Mike has accompanied several of EMU’s teams to NCAA regional and Final Four competitions and has helped coordinate care for many conference championships and NCAA regional competitions here at EMU. He has assisted with the development of the EMU Student Athletic Advisory Committee and their two year participation with the APPLE conference at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.
While a student at JMU, Mike joined the Harrisonburg Rescue Squad and served for nine years in a variety of positions including President and Emergency Medical Technician- Instructor. He is now a non-active Life Member of HRS. Following his time with the rescue squad he trained and participated in the sport of triathlon for several years which included a 1989 age group national qualifier in Hilton Head, South Carolina where he competed alongside the likes of a then 16 year old named Lance Armstrong.
Mike has attended many local and national continuing educational conferences and has spoken at the Virginia Athletic Trainers’ Association statewide conference on the topic of running shoe selection. While at RMH Mike developed the “Shoe Zoo” program and made many local public presentations. He also helped present a community education program on the topic of “Sport Parenting” with the assistance of now Bridgewater College’s Head Athletic Trainer Barbara Long. Most recently Mike has assisted the Grottoes Little League with their coach’s safety training and injury awareness programs.
Mike is married with two children. His wife Bonnie (JMU ’82) teaches first grade at McGaheysville Elementary in Rockingham County and has enjoyed many EMU student teachers over her 20+ years of teaching. Mike and Bonnie have a son Chris and daughter Meganne. Mike and Bonnie are members of Covenant Presbyterian Church here in Harrisonburg. They reside in Massanutten Village and enjoy developing their skills as avid “yardists”.