Banse Caps off National Athletic Training Month with National Championship, State-Wide Recognition

Posted on March 31st, 2023 by

Women's Hockey coaching staff and Head Athletic Trainer Troy Banse (second from left) following the National Championship victory. Photo courtesy of Clarus Multimedia Group

SAINT PETER, Minn. — It’s no doubt that March 19 will be a day remembered by many in Gustavus Athletics history. After all, it marks the first team sport NCAA championship won by the college when the women’s hockey team brought home gold after a 2-1 triple overtime win over Amherst.

But the Gusties weren’t the only team to win a national title on the 19th, as the Wisconsin Badgers women’s hockey team captured the NCAA Division I National Championship with a 1-0 win over Ohio State the same day. And the similarities didn’t stop there. Not only were both games decided by one goal, but both athletic trainers representing the teams had something unique in common.

Head Athletic Trainer Troy Banse following Gustavus women’s hockey’s 2-1 overtime win in the National Championship

Longtime Head Athletic Trainer Troy Banse traveled with the Gustavus women’s hockey team for the title game, getting his own chance to hoist the national trophy above his head after 19 years at Gustavus.

Meanwhile, in Duluth, athletic trainer Stef Arndt represented the Badgers as they took the trophy back to Madison. Arndt, who has been a part of the Badgers Sports Medicine staff since 2013, started her career in athletic training at Gustavus as a 2006 graduate of the program. While at Gustavus, Arndt was mentored by Banse, who served as her preceptor in the program.

“Stef was a phenomenal student in a phenomenal class, and to watch her grow in her career at these impressive institutions, to watch her passion for athletic training and her passion for hockey grow, has been really rewarding,” said Banse on Arndt’s career and time at Gustavus. “The way she helps others and the achievements she has earned in her career, it just shows what kind of education Gustavus provides — it’s the close-knit community here that makes this possible.”

Stef Arndt (’06) with the Wisconsin Badgers’ championship trophy following their 1-0 win over Ohio State

Banse and Arndt were able to cap off the month of March, also National Athletic Training Month, with the best celebration in college athletics — a national championship.

“To see these young ladies who I’ve gotten to know all year and of course, Mike Carroll, who’s been here longer than me, achieve this goal they set out to achieve in Mike’s first season here 24 years ago was truly special,” remarked Banse on the title game. “Our ultimate goal is to help these teams reach a national championship and to keep the athletes healthy and safe. After everything we went through this year, to be a part of the pure joy of that moment was really rewarding. At the end of the day, at any level, how often do you get the chance to be a national champion?”

Arndt seconded the notion. “It is an unreal experience to see all of the hard work done throughout the year done by the student-athletes and the whole staff that is involved come out on top after a long season. The feeling is surreal in a way, and this is now my third [national championship] with the Wisconsin women’s hockey team. The feeling of joy and being a part of something bigger than yourself is so amazing.

“I am so proud to be a Gustie alumni and I wouldn’t be where I’m at today — at the University of Wisconsin-Madison working with an elite program — without my time at Gustavus. Troy was a valuable asset to my education and my experiences and I am so proud to see him in his current position and continuing to do great things for not only the athletes but also the athletic training students.”

And the accolades for Banse didn’t stop at a national title. Shortly after the championship victory, he was presented with the Minnesota Athletic Trainers’ Association (MATA) Outstanding Athletic Trainer Recognition Award, presented to athletic trainers whose contributions to the profession have been noticeably significant throughout the year. Banse received the award for his work with injured women’s hockey player Heather Olinger (Sr., Prior Lake), who suffered a career-ending spinal injury during the team’s game against Saint Benedict in January.

“We went through a lot this year, especially with Heather’s injury and the ups and downs of that situation. It was difficult emotionally for all of us, but it makes the win that much more rewarding. The team would still have been in the position to win the title with Heather in the line-up, but to do it for Heather was special in its own way, and I feel fortunate to be a part of that journey.”


Comments are closed.