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Central Connections Magazine

Alumnus Wins Seahawks Super Bowl Ring

Stricklin
Photo courtesy of Seattle Seahawks

CWU alumnus David Stricklin dreams of going to the Super Bowl for a third time. He lays claim to being the only Wildcat who has been to the Super Bowl twice before with the Seattle Seahawks.

Stricklin, a 2003 CWU graduate, was with the team as an athletic-training intern when Seattle lost to Pittsburgh in Super Bowl XL. He was on the sidelines again as one of the team’s full-time athletic trainers when Seattle beat Denver in Super Bowl XLVIII last February.

"To be honest, it was just like any other game," said Stricklin of his second Super Bowl experience. "I really tried to not build it up too much, especially from my experience in Super Bowl XL. You definitely could tell it was different, but I just tried to focus, pay attention and do my job."

Stricklin acknowledges he was able to come away with good memories from this year's championship game, as compared to the contest eight years ago.

"That was a little more of a whirlwind for me; everything happened so quickly," he recalled. "That experience helped me handle this year. Overall, I felt that we were more ready as an organization this time around. We were detail oriented and well prepared."

The preparation included being ready for the first Super Bowl ever played in winter-weather conditions along with an extended halftime break.

"We had a whole plan in place for a cold-weather game," Stricklin said. "Fortunately, the weather was perfect. And we definitely had a plan going into halftime and the amount of time the guys are going to be inside. Certain guys had to change clothes and we had to address the need for some food, some quick energy, because guys were going to be starving."

While many people may consider Stricklin's job a great way to see NFL action up close and personal, that’s not exactly the case. He says he only saw about half of the Super Bowl.

"There was not a lot of enjoyment for me personally in watching the game live," he said. "At one point, I looked at the scoreboard and saw we were ahead by a lot. I didn't really know what happened. [After returning to Seattle] I had the staff over for a Super Bowl party at my house. We watched the replay and were able to kick back and enjoy it—that was really nice."

Stricklin is one of eight certified Seahawks athletic trainers, who work in state-of-the-art facilities at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center in Renton.

"This is, arguably, one of the best facilities in the NFL," Stricklin pointed out. "It's huge, spacious and laid out properly. Many times, free agents will come here from other teams and they absolutely can't believe what they're seeing.”

While playing football at South Kitsap High School (SKHS) in Port Orchard, Stricklin also served as a student trainer with the school’s wrestling and softball teams. His first work with football, and first trip to Ellensburg, was as one of six student assistants that SKHS athletic trainer Patrick Olsen brought to CWU for a high school summer camp. Subsequent to that, Stricklin was recruited to attend Central by CWU Athletic Hall of Fame trainer Gary Smith (now retired).

"Coming out of high school, I thought I wanted to be a high school athletic trainer," Stricklin said. "Then, from my experiences in college, I thought I wanted to be a college athletic trainer. In 2002, when I did my internship with the [San Francisco] 49ers, I wanted to be an NFL athletic trainer."

Despite the long hours and grueling pace of now being an NFL athletic trainer, Stricklin calls his job with the Seahawks "awesome."

"I love this organization," he added. "So, if I'm here for the next 30 years, I think that would be a huge blessing. Right now, this is absolutely where I want to be."

 

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