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Meet Our Sports Medicine & Athletic Performance Experts

OMC's Sports Medicine & Athletic Performance team delivers high-quality care in a high-energy environment for all athletes, all sports, and all ages.

Matt Thompson, MD

Image of Matt Thompson, MD

Dr. Matt Thompson received his Bachelor of Science in biology from the University of Minnesota—Duluth and later his Master of Science in viral immunology from the University of Minnesota. He graduated from the University of Minnesota Medical School and did his residency at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine. He completed a fellowship at the Medical College of Wisconsin in primary care and sports medicine.

Dr. Thompson's specialties include sports medicine and concussion management. He currently serves as the primary care physician for Rochester Community and Technical College's athletics programs and is the team doctor for the Milwaukee Brewers, a Major League Baseball team.

He has also worked with the US Ski Team, US Speed Skating, the St. Louis Rams, and the Milwaukee Ballet.

Molly Plueger, MEd, ATC

Image of Molly PluegerMolly is a physician extender in sports medicine and a certified athletic trainer. She attended the University of Northern Iowa and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Athletic Training and Sports Psychology. She then received a Master of Education degree in Exercise Science from Auburn University, where she also served as a trainer for Kenny Howard Fellowship athletes, the university's intramural and club sports players, and athletes at Russell County High School.

Prior to coming to OMC, Molly was the head athletic trainer for the Columbus Lions, an arena football team. She spent nearly four years with East Alabama Orthopedics and Sports Medicine as a clinical/outreach athletic trainer, focusing on high-school athletics, arena football, and youth lacrosse.

Jake Hesse, MS, ATC, ATR, CSCS

Image of Jake Hesse, physician extender

Jake is a physician extender in sports medicine and OMC's athletic performance manager. He attended Wartburg College and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Athletic Training. He received a Master's degree from the University of Northern Iowa in Athletic Training. Prior to coming to OMC, Jake worked at nearly all levels of athletics including high school, college, and semi-professional, as well as at Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine. For the past ten years, Jake’s focus has been on the throwing and hitting athletes such as baseball and softball. Jake also is certified in Functional Movement Screening (FMS), the seven-point movement screen designed to identify dysfunctional movement patterns and asymmetries within the body.

Wes Emmert, ATC, CSCS

Image of Wes Emmert, sports and athletic performance managerWes is our sports and athletic performance coordinator. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from Michigan State University and attended graduate school in exercise science at the University of Nebraska—Lincoln. Prior to moving to Rochester, Wes was the strength and conditioning coach at Boston College for 12 years. Wes has over 30 years as a certified athletic trainer and strength and conditioning specialist, working with athletes of all levels and the general population. He trains athletes one-on-one, as well as teams. Wes also is certified in Functional Movement Screening (FMS), the 7-point movement screen designed to identify dysfunctional movement patterns and asymmetries within the body.

Steve Nelson

Image of Steve Nelson, lead trainer

Steve is a lead skating and hockey trainer. He brings a high level of hockey and coaching experience to OMC offering energy, enthusiasm, and passion to the Sports Medicine and Athletic Performance hockey programs. Nelson grew up in Albert Lea, MN, where he began his hockey career. After completing high school, he was drafted by the Junior A North Iowa Huskies of the USHL. In his two seasons, Nelson helped win the Junior A National Championship and played in the North South All-Star game. After Junior A hockey, Nelson played Division I hockey for the WCHA’s Colorado College Tigers. During those four years, Nelson’s accomplishments included being named to the All Academic team, playing for the USA’s Team Colorado against Team Canada in the Mexico Festival Exhibition Games, and helping to win the WCHA league champions’ McNaughton Cup.

After college and retiring from competitive hockey, Nelson moved to Rochester to start a family with his wife Amy. They have three kids who have also participated in local hockey. Nelson has donated a lot of his free time coaching in the RYHA and looks forward to educating and teaching the participants in the OMC Sports Medicine and Athletic Performance hockey programs.

Mike Aikens

Image of Mike Aikens, lead trainer

Mike is a lead skating and hockey trainer. He is a Rochester native who was an all-conference player for John Marshall High School in 1988. He then played two years with the Rochester Mustangs, where he was named first team USHL and a league all-star in the 1989-1990 season while helping his team win a National Championship. He earned a scholarship to attend the University of Denver where his career was cut short due to a neck injury.

After serving as a student assistant at the University of Denver, Aikens began his coaching career in Omaha (USHL) where he served as an assistant with the Omaha Lancers beginning in 1995. After three seasons, he landed his first Head Coach/General Manager position with the Rochester Mustangs where he was selected to coach in the USHL All-Star Game. After one season in Rochester, Aikens remained in the USHL serving as Assistant Coach for both the Fargo-Moorhead Ice Sharks (1999-2000) and Chicago Steel (2000-2001).

Mike then shifted to the North American Hockey League, where he guided the Billings Bulls over the next four seasons to an impressive 150-59-15 overall record and two Borne Cup championships. Prior to coaching the Russell Stover Hockey program 2007-2010, Aikens spent one season in the British Columbia Hockey League where he served as Head Coach/General Manager of the Williams Lake Timberwolves (BCHL) during the 2005-06 season followed by a stint as the Assistant Coach of the Topeka Roadrunners (NAHL) in 2006-07. Aikens was most recently the Head Coach/General Manager of the Omaha Lancers (USHL) from 2011-2013, compiling a .624 win percentage.

Aikens has a level four coaching certification from USA Hockey, has coached at numerous USA Hockey Festivals, and has coached hockey schools for 17 years. Mike recently relocated back to Rochester with his wife, Hope and their two daughters, Maren and Brianna.

Josh Conley

Josh received his Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from the University of Wisconsin—Platteville and his Master of Arts in Instruction degree from St. Mary’s University in Winona. He also played baseball at UW-Platteville.

Josh has coached 18 seasons of sports including four years of baseball, five years of softball, five years of wrestling, and five years of football. He has been to the National Softball Coaching Clinic in Minneapolis for the last four years. Josh has also played amateur baseball for 14 years, with the last five years have been playing for the Rochester Royals.­ He­­­­­ has helped at various baseball camps including the Rochester Royals Baseball Camp, Batter Up Baseball Camp, and UW-Platteville Baseball Camp. He has worked for Skyhawks Sports Academy where he helped run a variety of sports camps and has also been a math teacher for six years.

At OMC Sports Medicine and Athletic Performance Josh is a hitting league assistant, provides training for athletes in the baseball/softball strength program, and provides one-on-one lessons for baseball and softball players at all levels in hitting, fielding, and pitching.

Justin Soukup, CSCS

Justin SoukupJustin is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the NSCA and a former UW La Crosse graduate. Prior to OMC, Justin served as a Strength Coach at Rochester Lourdes High School, assisting with all of the athletic teams.

Becky Salfai, CSCS

Becky SalfaiBecky has a Bachelor of Science degree from Northern Michigan University with a focus in management of health and fitness. Prior to moving to Minnesota, Becky worked as an exercise specialist at Bell Hospital located in Ishpeming, Michigan. Her roles included personal training, group fitness, community health, and program coordinator. She was also the program leader for the Strength From Within program, designed to help motivate kids ages 9-14 become more active. Before Bell, Becky was a personal trainer and wellness leader for the local YMCA. She created a prenatal and postpartum program and trained the American Legion Hockey Team in both strength and speed/agility training.

Becky, a certified strength coach, is a group fitness instructor at OMC Sports Medicine and Athletic Performance who will offer personal training and will teach group fitness classes. She also will teach prenatal and postpartum fitness classes.  Becky is also is certified in Functional Movement Screening (FMS).

Nicole Cummings

Nicole CummingsNicole teaches yoga and group fitness classes at Olmsted Medical Center. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Child and Family Services from the University of Northern Iowa, and has spent several years teaching a variety of fitness classes to people of diverse ages and abilities.

She has earned certifications in several levels of yoga teaching, including prenatal/postnatal yoga and yoga for seniors. Nicole also is a certified Zumba, TurboKick, and Silver Sneakers instructor. She is passionate about helping her class participants reach their fitness goals.

Jeff Crouse

Jeff is a basketball, baseball, and softball instructor at Olmsted Medical Center. He has taught and coached for more than 30 years at every level of athletics, from elementary school to NCAA Divisions I and II.

A native of El Paso, Texas, Jeff attended college in Minnesota and has spent the majority of his professional coaching career here. He also has 25 years of experience playing ASA and ISC Major Men's fast-pitch softball, including play in 10 national tournaments and on the 1998 all-tournament national team.

Jeff's experience both playing and coaching sports, as well as his time spent recruiting and managing athletic team operations, make him an ideal mentor for youth athletes and coaches alike. 

Joe Knoepke

Joe is a trainer on the Hockey Staff in sports medicine. Joe graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stout with a degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing and Sales. While attending Stout, Joe also played for the hockey team during that time. Prior to collegiate hockey, Joe played his high school hockey locally at Rochester Century High School. After high school he went on to play junior hockey in the USHL for the Sioux Falls Stampede and in the NAHL for the Alexandria Blizzard. In addition to working for the OMC Hockey Staff, Joe is also an assistant coach for the Rochester Lourdes Boys High School Hockey Team.

Pete Spratte

Pete SprattePete, one of our trainers, is a LSSU graduate and former NCAA division one hockey player. You'll see him in the hockey room and the weight room occasionally!

John Wenker

John Wenker played high school baseball at Maple Grove Senior High where he was a two-time All-Conference and All-Section selection as a pitcher, and led his team to the state tournament as a senior. After high school, John went to Winona State University and played from 2009-2012. In 2011, John was a key member in Winona State's run to the National Championship game, and was the winning pitcher in the National Semifinal against Southern Connecticut State. Other notable accomplishments include playing in the Minnesota High School State Baseball Tournament, Minnesota American Legion State Tournament, Minnesota Amateur Baseball Class B State Tournament, and the NCAA DII Baseball Tournament 3 times (2010, 2011, 2012).

Cody Beach CSCS

Cody BeachCody received his Bachelor of Science degree from Winona State University, majoring in Exercise Science with a minor in Nutrition. Prior to being hired at OMC Sports Medicine and Athletic Performance, he was an intern at both St. Mary’s University in Winona and OMC Sports Medicine and Athletic Performance. As an intern, he worked with men’s and women’s hockey, soccer, and baseball, as well as women’s volleyball and basketball. He helped implement the strength, agility, speed, and conditioning programs used for each respective team. In addition to being a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), Cody is certified in Functional Movement Screening (FMS). In his free time, Cody enjoys hunting, fishing, and watching sports. His favorite teams are the Minnesota Gophers, Vikings, and Twins.

Kayla Schmit CSCS

Kayla Schmit- CSCS, FMS-1, RPR is one of OMC’s assistant sports performance coaches. Kayla graduated from Winona State University with a BS Exercise Science and a Minor in Nutrition. Kayla is currently working towards a Master's Degree in Sports Conditioning and Performance Coaching. After grad school, she plans on getting her PN1 (Precision Nutrition) Sports Nutrition Certification. Her roles included designing and implementing strength and conditioning programs for a wide variety of age groups and skill levels. Kayla played soccer and basketball and she enjoys fishing, hunting, hiking, spending time outdoors, playing sports, working out and staying active, cooking, and spending time with family and friends.

Mia Erickson MS, CSCS

Mia EricksonMia Erickson- CSCS, RSCC, USAW, CSAC, USATF, CES, FMS-2 is one of OMC’s Assistant Sport and Athletic Performance Coaches. Mia holds a Bachelors from the University of South Florida in Physical Education with emphasis in Exercise Science. She also holds a Masters in Applied Kinesiology for the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. Prior to working for OMC, Mia worked as a Sports Performance Specialist at Mayo Clinic, University of Minnesota Athletics, University of Missouri Athletics, Northern Arizona University and the National Strength & Conditioning Association Human Performance Center. Her roles include strength/power training, speed, agility & quickness development, metabolic conditioning and functional/performance assessments. Mia was a USF Track & Field athlete(Jumps), a member for the USA Women’s Bobsled Team and two-time National Champion in Olympic Weightlifting (Women’s 75kg).

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Need more information? Call us at 507.535.1977 or use our Contact Us form.

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