Butte is incredibly lucky to have St. James Healthcare’s Sports Medicine program looking after its student-athletes.

Even those who do not participate in high school or college sports in town have reaped the benefits of the program that was started in 1996 by Dr. Nick DiGiovine.

Chris Heard has been in on that program since the begining. After studying at the University of Montana and serving as a certified athletic trainer for the 1995 NCAA 1-AA national champion Montana Grizzlies football team, the 1989 Butte High graduate returned home to serve as the athletic trainer at Butte Central.

Then, Heard took on the responsibilities at Montana Tech. Currently, he is in charge of all of the St. James athletic trainers, working hard to make their jobs easier.

March is National Athletic Trainer Awareness Month, so I figured it would be a good time to sit down and talk to Chris about the job he has done and continues to do in the Mining City.

Listen in as he talks about working with the likes of Don Reed, Mick Dennehy and Dave Dickinson. Listen as he talks about working with Dr. DiGiovine and working to install concussion protocols in Butte and around the state.

Listen to hear how he will follow in the footsteps of the retired DiGiovine to continue to raise the bar on the quality of care our student-athletes receive while playing for the Bulldogs, Maroons, Orediggers and beyond.