Dennis Richetelli '85 M.S., ATC

Richetelli's ('85) hard work began at Notre Dame

Once Dennis Richetelli received his diploma from Notre Dame, he headed north to New Hampshire to attend Keene State College. After receiving his undergraduate degree, Richetelli continued north to the Canadian border to attend Canisius College. At Canisius, he worked as a graduate assistant athletic trainer for their Division 1 athletic programs.

After earning his M.S. in Sports Medicine, he immediately began working in an outpatient physical therapy practice in Norwalk. Additionally, Richetelli took on the role of the athletic trainer at Weston High School. Richetelli is currently in the midst of his 29th year with the Weston Trojans, and also serves as a health and physical education teacher.

As an athletic trainer, Richetelli faces new challenges every day. “You may encounter similar injuries between athletes that are diagnosed the same, yet when you take into account each individual's ability levels, pain thresholds, and healing potential, the injuries actually present and are treated quite differently,” said  Richetelli. No two days are the same, which keeps things exciting and fresh.

Like most healthcare professions, athletic trainers face constant stress and pressure.  “We need to be alert and prepared to make quick decisions that may have an impact on an athlete's health and well-being.”

Richetelli explains that the skills and traits cultivated on "the hill" are still with him today. The discipline and strong work ethic he developed at Notre Dame help him power through the long hours and the demands of the job. “The faculty and staff at ND challenged me in the classroom and beyond, helping me develop as a man grounded in character. Furthermore, as a student, I developed a camaraderie with other Green Knights that is still solid decades beyond graduation.”

Although the days can be long, the infinite rewards of the job keep Richetelli coming back for more. “The most rewarding part of my job has to be the relationships you develop every day.  As part of the allied health profession, we collaborate closely with physicians, physical therapists, coaches, athletes, parents, and others.  The fact that I am also a teacher enables me to further build on the relationship and trust of the students in the classroom as well.”

Notre Dame’s Signature Program in Sports Medicine is inspiring the next generation of allied health professionals. Richetelli encourages students to work hard, stay organized, and manage their time. “I relied on the values and skills I learned from home, and hopefully, they can too -- set priorities and stick to them, with God, family, and studies at the forefront.”