Flagler Palm Coast athletic trainer is back where he belongs

Ron Steinwehr returned to FPC in 2021 after 16 years, and for many it seems like he never left.

Flagler Palm Coast athletic trainer Ron Steinwehr works a recent girls soccer game. Photo by Brent Woronoff
Flagler Palm Coast athletic trainer Ron Steinwehr works a recent girls soccer game. Photo by Brent Woronoff
Photo by Brent Woronoff
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Ron Steinwehr, Flagler Palm Coast High School’s athletic trainer, is always running into former students who now have their own children at the school.

They say, “Mr. Ron, you’re still here? That’s awesome.” He responds, “No I left. But I’m back.”

Steinwehr seems like such a fixture at the school, engaging with students, coaches and parents, it almost doesn’t seem possible that he wasn’t on the FPC sidelines for 16 years. He returned in 2021 when AdventHealth joined into a partnership with the Volusia and Flagler County school districts to provide athletic trainers to the high schools.

“He was my athletic trainer,” said Scott Drabczyk, FPC's athletic director, who graduated from the high school in 2001. “He’s seen a lot of us come through.”

When former wrestler and wrestling coach Bobby Bossardet returned to FPC in 2022 as the school’s principal, Steinwehr was excited that Bossardet was coming home. The feeling was mutual.

“Sometimes the way he introduces me to people, he says, ‘Hey guys, this is my athletic trainer. When I was in school, he took care of me, all my wrestling injuries,’” Steinwehr said.

“Some of our coaches or teachers were here when I was here.” he said. “Coming back home always feels good, because when you’re coming back, you’re feeling welcome and respected. Athletic trainers don’t get big accolades, so small things count, like a thank you or a fist bump or a parent sending a text or email.”

Steinwehr is appreciated by FPC’s athletes, parents, coaches, student aides and administrators.

“He goes above and beyond,” Drabczyk said. “He keeps everything organized and makes our life easier. He communicates with the students and the parents. He does a lot for us that goes unnoticed.”


Erik Nason, who manages the sports medicine partnership for AdventHealth's East Florida Division, said Steinwehr is the perfect athletic trainer for FPC.

“He has a commitment to serve. It’s unwavering for Ron,” Nason said. "He raised his (four) children in Flagler Schools. He has passion. He has loyalty and dedication to his community, and it's so great to see him in that position where he can change the lives of student athletes and their families.”

Steinwehr, who is from New Jersey, went to graduate school at the University of Florida, where he met his wife, Meashell, and earned his master’s degree in athletic training. In his first stint at FPC, from 1996 to 2004, he was a full-time teacher and athletic trainer.

He has loyalty and dedication to his community, and it's so great to see him in that position where he can change the lives of student athletes and their families.”
— ERIK NASON, AdventHealth senior manager for sports medicine partnerships

After his third child was born in 2003, he decided he couldn’t be a good dad and husband while working two full-time jobs anymore, so he became a teacher at Florida Virtual School and kept his hands in athletic training on weekends on a contract basis for club team events, AAU tournaments and USTA events.

“I was able to set my own schedule, and I knew one day I was going to come back and potentially work (as a trainer) full-time,” Steinwehr said. “And then when the job opened here with the partnership with AdventHealth and the school district, I applied and got the position, so it's been kind of a whirlwind.”

He said he thought and prayed about it and talked to Meashell, but it was a no-brainer.

“I used to work at FPC. My wife used to (teach) at FPC. All four of my children graduated from FPC. And I knew the buildings. I knew a lot of the coaches. I knew the culture. I work for AdventHealth, but I'm 100% on site at FPC,” he said.

Steinwehr works with 650 to 700 athletes. He also has a group of sports medicine student aides, some of whom may become athletic trainers themselves someday.

“He's gearing up to launch a more official club program for student athletic training aides in the new year,” Nason said. “I told him, I’m glad you’re doing that, because that’s how I became interested in becoming an athletic trainer.”


Steinwehr arrives at school around noon each day and starts seeing athletes for evaluations, treatment or just quick check-ins. He usually remains on campus until about 9:30 p.m. or after the last athletic event has ended.

Sometimes FPC hosts three or four events simultaneously at different venues. Sports are prioritized by injury risk, Steinwehr said. A football game has a higher risk than a tennis match, for example. Steinwehr spends most of his time at the higher-risk events and rides his golf cart to check in on the other events. When needed, contracted trainers through AdventHealth are called in to help. All of the coaches also have CPR and first-aid training.

“A lot goes into the pre-planning,” Steinwehr said. “Individuals may see me on the sideline or sitting in my cart just watching, but a lot of hours of pre-planning went into that thought process, and I’m always on alert status. Some games, like football, my spider sense, I call it, is on high alert.”

You get to know the kids really well. ...  It's a special time in their life, and you get to share that.”

Steinwehr and Matanzas athletic trainer Michael Doersch have support and resources at their disposal through AdventHealth, including team doctor Michael Campbell, an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in sports medicine, and other medical specialists.

“Ron makes sure that there's a care circle around the athletes,” Nason said. The athletes are never without an arm's reach distance from someone that can support them, especially if they're going through an injury.”

Steinwehr said a lot of athletic trainers aspire to move up the ranks to college or professional sports. But he prefers high school because the athletes are playing for the pure enjoyment of the game.

“You get to know the kids really well. You get to know their brothers and sisters, their moms and dads, their background stories. It's a special time in their life, and you get to share that,” he said.


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