Local athletic trainer receives Indiana's highest honor

NOW: Local athletic trainer receives Indiana’s highest honor

SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- Local athletic trainer, John Coddington received the Sagamore of the Wabash Award on Thursday night at his retirement party. The award is the highest honor the governor of Indiana can give. 

Coddington has worked as an athletic trainer in La Porte and South Bend for 47 years. On his last day of work, he was surprised with a retirement party and the award.

"You never realize how much you affect someone’s life until they do something like this and then you say, 'God, I did make a difference!'" said Coddington.

Coddington has become a staple across Michiana in his nearly five decades of work.

"John is like a household name. He’s very well known," said Lisa Wolff, Director of Operational Therapy Services at South Bend Orthopedics. "If you played sports, especially baseball, you’ve probably come in contact with Mr. John Coddington."

Wolff says Coddington's ability to think outside of the box when it comes to treating patients is going to be a part of his lasting legacy at South Bend Orthopedics.

"John could look at things in a holistic way and really nail down sometimes what was really going on with that person and I’m gonna miss that," said Wolff. "I’m gonna miss his guidance."

Coddington says the people he was able to help along the way is what he'll most about the job.

He also says that retirement won't just be vacations and relaxation for him, but he'll continue to work with local softball and baseball players at the South Bend Cubs Performance Center from time to time.

"I get to set the hours," said Coddington. "I get to decide when I’m gonna be there, when I’m not going to be there and it’s just going to be a lot of fun."

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