By Renee Busby
Mobile Press-Register Staff Reporter
Courtesy of the Mobile Register 2011 © All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.
Jimmy Fisher first thought he wanted to be a photojournalist.
Then he wanted to study business management.
He also considered the medical field, but he didn't want to go to medical school.
And then he found his niche - athletic training.
"I realized I love sports, and I love helping people," said the 22-year-old Fisher, who will earn a bachelor's degree in athletic training education.
He will be among the 340 University of Mobile students to receive their degrees at Saturday's commencement at Mobile Civic Center.
At the university, Fisher maintained a 3.96 grade point average while working 30 hours per week at an outside job, taking a full load of 18 credit hours, and working in various clinical rotations, including the University of South Alabama's football program.
He has been awarded a graduate assistantship to complete his master's degree at the University of Texas at Tyler and will be working as the assistant athletic trainer at a Texas high school.
"I've been doing this for 34 years, and he's the best student I've ever had," said University of Mobile professor William Carroll, director of the university's athletic training program.
The combination of having a "tremendous work ethic" and a caring attitude makes Fisher a good student and athletic trainer, Carroll said.
"Jimmy not only studies a lot, he mentors other students in the program who are having problems," Carroll said.
Fisher has served as president of the local Athletic Training Student Society for two years, has encouraged other students to get involved in Special Olympics and developed a program to mentor younger students in athletic training.
He's spent the last three summers taking classes and doing clinical rotations.
His goal is to be an NCAA Division 1 athletic trainer and to eventually teach when he retires.
Recalling his senior year in high school, Fisher said he made it through basketball and track and field without major injuries. And then during baseball season, he tore his rotator cuff.
"We had an athletic trainer, but he wasn't always there," Fisher recalled of his own experience as an injured athlete.
That incident was one of the reasons Fisher chose athletic training.
"I want to let them know that someone cares for them and can get them back out to competing and succeed in the sport," he said.
Photos by Jon Hauge/Correspondent
Jimmy Fisher, from the University of Mobile Athletic Training Education Program,
examines Henry Labradd at Blount High School on April 28. Fisher is graduating
from the University of Mobile on Saturday.