Recognizing Legends: After 50 Years Of The Commuter, We Choose to Honor Those Who Have Helped Us Along The Way
Fifty years ago, ‘The Commuter’ released its first issue to Linn-Benton Community College, broadcasting the events and news around campus for students, staff, and alumni alike. Throughout the years, the LBCC Athletic Department has had many amazing people come and go, but one thing remains certain: the department boasts reliability, honesty, and accountability. Since starting as a sports writer, the department has helped me and the Commuter with any questions we had regarding stats, players, coaches, or just how the Activities Center operates.
I spoke to a few of the prominent faculty members that give the Activities Center it’s life, and I was rewarded with a heap of knowledge and info about the department. Things like this show just why and how it’s been so helpful to my writing for the past year and a half. I use the activity center for more than my journalism – whether it be basketball or my weight training class – and I’ve always found that there is help around the corner. One member of the staff I see every single day is Tom Bohmker, who has serviced the department as the Equipment Manager for the past 18 years, starting in 2002. Bohmker can be found in his office, typically washing towels or jerseys and awaiting any questions that students and athletes alike come in with.
“I love teaching,” said Bohmker. “I wasn’t very close to sports besides being a football equipment manager in high school.” Beyond being the EQ manager, Bohmker spent years teaching automotive classes at LBCC before taking on the job of EQ manager.
Some of Bohmker’s duties include game manager, stat taker, and even announcing baseball games for the team, even if he wasn’t always certain of what was going on. Bohmker may have never been big into sports, but it’s his willingness to help and guide that makes him a mainstay in the heart of the Athletic Department. He can spot someone who isn’t frequent in the department, and can guide them to what or where they need. Bohmker serves as an all seeing eye for the department, and has only praise for what he sees.
“This department has a genuine interest in student wellness. They’re very cohesive and work with happiness. I’ve been apart of many departments and this one is absolutely the happiest,” said Bohmker.
He noted that one of the most impressive parts of the athletics department is their ability to gain coaches with so much talent, despite limited resources. He has seen many retire in his time, but who they choose to take the helm has always been something of quality.
“Athletics fills a gap that some kids never had growing up with the families they had,” said Bohmker. “It teaches cohesiveness and accountability. The talented and hardworking individuals they hire here are mentors for every athlete.”
Bohmker decided to retire after almost two decades in the department, quoting he’d rather walk into retirement than crawl, but his service will leave a permanent mark on the entire department.
It wouldn’t be such a well run department without its head honcho, and while he’s only been here for a year and a half, Athletic Director Mark Majeski embodies all of the qualities that earn the department praise; someone bright, happy, and focused on the task at hand. Majeski has recently made his first hire, Men’s Basketball coach, Joe Schaumburg, who’s care for players and people is apparent in his work.
“When I took this job, I knew it was a place committed to student success, but I’ve learned just how many people and programs go above and beyond in helping students,” said Majeski. “We have an elite group of coaches that all do an excellent job of running programs that contribute to LBCC community and student success.”
An Athletic Director Giving credit to coaches is a great sign of trust in the department, and that they know the hires they’ve made or supported have done a great job at succeeding the vision of the athletics department. One of those recent hires, Strength and Conditioning Coach Jake Forshey, has been able to work directly with athletes for the past few terms, and has received great praise for his work environment.
“I have worked at four year universities in the past, but the amount of support I see from LBCC’s department of athletics is second to none. The athletes here are given every opportunity to succeed both in sports and in the classroom.” said Forshey.
Forshey sees how the people in athletics help the student athletes prepare for life beyond sports in other roles beyond what they play. Before Forshey began, he asked the department for a list of equipment that would help the athletes in the long run. When he arrived during fall term all of the equipment was there waiting for him.
“I have never seen that kind of support for athletes at any school. I was very impressed with Brad [Carman] with his support for the kids and the weight room.” said Forshey.
If there’s one thing these staff members have in common, it’s their words towards the environment they work in. Cohesive, responsive, and always looking out for the students. From mainstays to those just arriving, they view a common theme. From the baseball team winning three NWAC south titles in a row to Coach Jayme Frazier bringing yet another one of her teams to the NWAC playoffs over a decade later, the department has plenty to celebrate and even more to look forward to in the future. The department is in good hands going forward, and those who move on will have only good to say about Linn-Benton Community College athletics.
Story by Cam Hanson