University of Maine Director of Athletics Steve Abbott has announced several changes to the athletic training staff. Paul Culina, who has been at the University of Maine for the past 18 years, becomes the director of men’s and women’s hockey operations and will serve as athletic trainer for the men’s ice hockey team. Ryan Taylor has been named head athletic trainer, while Michelle Bowers and Kelleigh O’Neill join the staff as assistant athletic trainers.
“We are excited to announce these changes within our athletic training program,” said Director of Athletics Steve Abbott. “Paul has done a great job overseeing our athletic training department in the past and we look forward to his new position with our men’s and women’s ice hockey programs. This will add efficiency to our operation, while ensuring that our athletes get excellent medical attention. Ryan is a natural choice to oversee our athletic training staff and I am confident that he will do a great job in that role. He has tremendous knowledge of our overall operations, is a skilled athletic trainer, and his diverse background and experience will help make him a strong manager. We have been very pleased to have Michelle and Kelleigh on our staff; they have already injected additional excitement and enthusiasm into our program.”
Culina has served as the head athletic trainer at Maine since 2001. After joining the staff in 1995, Culina worked with the men’s ice hockey team en route to its second national championship during the 1999 season. He worked with the football, women’s ice hockey and baseball teams, before returning to hockey prior to the start of the 2007 season.
As director of men’s and women’s hockey operations, Culina will be responsible for the coordination of all aspects for team budget and travel for the men’s and women’s programs. In addition, Culina will continue to serve the day-to-day athletic training needs of the men’s ice hockey team.
“Paul is a very talented and dedicated professional, and we are thrilled that he will be expanding his role with our team,” said men’s ice hockey coach Tim Whitehead.
Taylor becomes the 10th head athletic trainer in Maine history. He will oversee all the day-to-day operations of the training program. An ATC from Willoughby, Ohio, Taylor has been at the University of Maine since 2007 where he has served as athletic trainer for the football program. He will continue to work with the football team. He has also worked with the swimming and diving programs at Maine. Taylor is a member of the National Athletic Trainers Association, Maine Athletic Trainer’sAssociation and Collegiate Athletic Trainer’sAssociation.
Taylor came to the University of Maine from the University of Maine at Presque Isle where he served as head athletic trainer from 2004–2007. A 1992 graduate of the University of Toledo, he worked as a graduate assistant at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Upon his graduation, he worked as a head athletic trainer in St. Louis from 1994–2004.
Bowers begins her first season at Maine and will work primarily with the field hockey and men’s basketball teams. A native of Burlington, Maine, she received her bachelor’s of science in athletic training from Merrimack College in 2011.
She obtained her master’s of science in athletic training from California University of Pennsylvania. While there, she worked as a graduate assistant at Burgettstown High School. Bowers is a member of the National Athletic Trainers Association and the Maine Athletic Trainers Association.
O’Neill begins her first season at Maine and will work with women’s soccer and women’s basketball programs. Originally from Westford, Mass., she completed her bachelor’s of science in athletic training at Springfield College in 2010. She garnered her master’s of science in human physiology-athletic training from the University of Oregon, where she served as a graduate assistant trainer. She is a member of the National Athletic Trainers Association and the Maine Athletic Trainers Association.