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Meet the talented athletic trainer that keeps RGVFC healthy

When injuries happen for RGVFC, athletic trainer Randi Lininger steps up to get the players back on the pitch.

Athletic trainer Randi Lininger chats with former Toro Jorginho James last season.
Christian Inoferio

As a fan, player, coach, or front office member, injuries are never a welcome sight. To help minimize their occurrence and limit their damage, we have the great men and women of the athletic training industry. Thankfully for RGVFC, they were able to score an awesome one of their own, and I was lucky enough to catch up with her.

Randi Lininger got her undergrad at Colorado State University-Pueblo and her Master’s degree from California University of Pennsylvania. After swimming and playing soccer and volleyball in high school, Lininger focused only on the beautiful game in college, playing left back and center back. Her first full-time athletic training gigs were at St. Mary-Corwin Orthopedics and head athletic trainer at Pueblo South High School. Before joining RGVFC, she was an assistant athletic trainer at UTRGV.

Despite being a young woman working with a team of all young men, Randi says her gender was never really an issue and she doesn’t mind the banter throughout the day. Not only is she a female working with all men, she’s also working with a lot of players that speak primarily Spanish. “I understand more than I can speak, so it can be very difficult and challenging sometimes. But, I’m getting better (I think) and the bilingual players are very helpful,” Randi explains.

Another person that plays a big part in her job is RGVFC second-year manager Gerson Echeverry. “Gerson is definitely helpful. The trust between an athletic trainer and the coaches, especially the head coach, is without a doubt important and vital as the season progresses,” she says. “If there isn’t trust, then neither can properly do their job and then it’s the players who suffer.

“Gerson is understanding of my role. We have a great working relationship and open communication which I think is key. Ultimately we want the same things: healthy players on the field and the success of the team.”

The respect is mutual. When asked about Randi, Gerson says, “Randi is extremely important to our team. She makes sure our players are brought back from injuries and works on injury prevention with them. They trust her tremendously as her professionalism is an important part of our overall success.”

Don’t worry, her life is not entirely occupied by athletic tape, stretching, and ice bags. In her free time, Randi likes to work out and bake. Being someone with a sweet tooth and a few extra pounds myself, I had to ask what her go-to desserts to make are. She answered, “Cookies. Of course, chocolate chip. But I love a good snicker doodle or oatmeal cookie. I like trying new recipes. I recently tried double chocolate espresso.”

It would definitely be sweet if she didn’t have many injuries to deal with this season. But, when they inevitably happen, RGVFC players are in great hands with Randi Lininger.