Wharton High School Training Facility Is Hidden Gem

The Wharton Wildcats athletes and USF sports medicine students benefit from a state-of-the-art training facility at Wharton High School.

Wharton High School athletic trainer Tim Kocher is one of the more understated people you will ever meet. His presence is ubiquitous during Wildcat practices and games although one might never know who he was or what he’s doing unless one asked.

Tim Kocher is one of the most renowned athletic trainers in the county, probably the state as well. He worked at Hillsborough High School for 22 years then worked with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for 17 years, including late Hall of Famer, Lee Roy Selmon.

Kocher has been with the Wildcats for the last 15 years, pretty much since the school was built. Kocher brings with him nearly 40 years of athletic training experience and is listed in the Athletic Trainers Hall of Fame.

Kocher also brought with him a state-of-the-art training facility that you might only see at a university or professional athlete training facility.

“We’ve been fortunate through the school’s budget and through donations to acquire some great equipment,” said Kocher.

Most notable of the devices in the facility is the Biodex Isokinetic and Rehab Machine, which, according to Kocher, “tests and helps rehab virtually every joint in the body.

“It measures how hard the muscles around a certain joint are working to perform basic movements. If we see that muscles around a certain injured joint are working harder than the muscles around the good side, we can determine if the player is ready to get back on the field or not,” he said.

“We don’t want the athlete to go back out there too early. On the other hand, we want them to get back out there as soon as possible,” said Kocher. “The Biodex machine really helps us do that.”

Why has Kocher brought all of this equipment and expertise to Wharton High School?

“I live, basically across the street,” said Kocher. “It was just one of those things that I wanted to do for the community.”

Kocher knew Wharton head coach David Mitchell from Leto High School, where they worked together and knew principal Mitch Muley professionally.

Wharton High School is now a clinical site for the USF Athletic Training Education Program.