Minnesota West Community and Technical College will present Joel Krekelberg with two special honors. Krekelberg will be recognized for receiving a lifetime “Service Award” from Region XIII of the NJCAA and for being inducted into the “2020-2021 MCAC Hall of Fame” as a contributor. Krekelberg will be presented with these honors at halftime of the Bluejay football game Saturday, Sept. 25. The game starts at 1:30 p.m. vs. Rochester Community and Technical College.

“Krek is that person, who for 36 years is everything that both women and men in the National Junior College Athletic Association, Region XIII, Minnesota College Athletic Conference, Minnesota West Community and Technical College, and Bluejay athletics wants representing them when teaching and caring for its athletes and coaches. He is selfless in giving his time and experience in performing his duties as an athletic trainer for our community,” stated Bob Purcell, Minnesota West men’s athletic director.

Krekelberg has been an NATA Certified Athletic Trainer from 1976 to the present and has been licensed by the Minnesota Medical Board of Practice in Athletic Training since its inception in 1993. Krekelberg worked, as an athletic trainer over the years at the NJCAA Wrestling National Tournament and in 1983 was head athletic trainer for the NJCAA Wrestling National Tournament. He worked two summers with the New Orleans Saints and for the NFL Houston Oilers from 1978-85 where he was in two AFC Championship games. He was presented the Joe T. Dugger Award 2017 and The National Football Honors Foundation – Fred Zamberletti Award in 2018 for his work as an athletic trainer. Currently assigned through Sanford Health, he is the Lead Athletic Trainer at Minnesota West CTC.

He has taught prevention and care of athletic Injuries for over two decades at Minnesota West. For 21 years Krekelberg was the lead trainer for the Bluejay/Worthington Wrestling Open fundraiser. He started an athletic trainer outreach program in the early 1990’s in southwest Minnesota where he worked with eight local schools in triage, treating, and referring athletes where needed.

Most of those schools now have athletic trainers of their own. In 2010 he developed concussion protocols for both Minnesota West and local high school. He has provided his services for all Region XIII and MCAC regular and post-season events held at West for the past 36 years.