Parkland College has named Brendan McHale as its next director of athletics, overseeing the college’s eight Cobras sports teams.
A Parkland College Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2009 inductee, McHale brings two decades of administrative experience at Carle Foundation Hospital following more than a decade of work as a Parkland College athletic trainer.
Vice President for Student Services Mike Trame, who led the search for school’s next athletic director, explained why the college is “fortunate” to have McHale return to fill a new role.
“Brendan possesses great integrity, athletic experience and managerial skill,” Trame said. “He is also well respected in the District 505 athletic community. We look forward to the innovation, leadership and skill that he adds to Parkland’s pursuit of excellence for our student athletes, both in the classroom and on the field of competition.”
Before rejoining Parkland, McHale was in his 20th year at Carle Foundation Hospital Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Champaign, having served as the department’s supervisor for the last 12 years. In that role, he managed more than 25 athletic trainers and negotiated contracts with athletic directors, coaches and school administrators to define and meet their needs and contractual obligations. He also collaborated with Carle administrators to manage the department’s budget.
“It is truly an honor and a privilege to be the next athletic director for Parkland College,” McHale said of his new role. “My predecessors, both Rod Lovett and Jim Reed, were such great leaders; I am fully aware these are big shoes to fill, but I am humbled at this opportunity. I am eager to go to work for Parkland College, and look forward to being a part of helping student athletes be successful.”
Prior to his time at Carle, McHale served as head athletic trainer at Parkland College from 1992 to 2006. As the sole athletic trainer for 13 collegiate sports with over 200 student athletes, McHale developed therapy plans, implemented an injury tracking system and coordinated medical staff for the athletes’ physicals and medical services. Even after leaving the college, McHale continued his collaboration with Parkland through his work with Carle Sports Medicine, maintaining his relationships with the coaches and staff. In 2010, he was inducted into the Parkland College Athletic Hall of Fame as a member of its Class of 2009.
“When this opportunity presented itself, to say I was intrigued would be an understatement,” McHale said about the AD position vacated by Lovett, who retired this past summer after serving as AD since 2000. “The chance to be a member of the Parkland College family again is something I am extremely excited about. Coupling that with my love for sports connects these two interests. Helping serve and support the coaches, staff and student athletes at Parkland College is something I will enjoy doing again.”
Lovett also expressed his excitement on seeing McHale become his successor.
“Brendan has the perfect personality and the exceptional communication skills to take on this challenge,” Lovett said. “Brendan is a ‘doer’ and will jump in where needed. Additionally, he understands the importance Parkland plays in the local area. He is an outstanding choice, and I’m excited for the coaches and athletes at Parkland.”
A graduate of Western Illinois University in 1990, McHale earned his Bachelor of Science in Physical Education K-12 with an emphasis in athletic training after spending his first two years at Parkland College. He made his first professional stop at St. Mary’s Medical Center in Galesburg, Illinois, from 1991 to 1992, where he developed and implemented a sports medicine program with local high schools and counseled coaches on care options. During his first seven years at Parkland College, he also served as Christie Clinic Association’s athletic trainer, where he evaluated and reconstructed rehabilitation protocols, coordinated patient treatments and administered evaluations.
McHale has continued to take advantage of professional development opportunities through 23 leadership courses and annual attendance at National Athletic Trainers Conferences.
He lives in Mahomet with his wife, Karen, and their four children, Catherine, Nicholas, Jack and Alex.