Bronco Legends: Athletic trainer Ruem Malasarn

By Amber Frias

Once you’ve found a place that feels like home, it’s hard to leave. Cal Poly Pomona alumnus and head athletic trainer Ruem Malasarn found a home with the Broncos that he just can’t leave behind.

This year marks Malasarn’s 13th year with the Broncos. He graduated from CPP in 1997, majoring in kinesiology and minoring in communications.

After graduating from CPP, Malasarn went on to La Puente High School as a football athletic trainer and then as an aide at a physical therapy clinic. He went on to graduate studies at Fresno State University, where he served as a graduate assistant from 1998 to 2000.

He then arrived at CPP as an assistant athletic trainer and part time lecturer in the kinesiology department. He was promoted to his current position in 2002.

Malasarn says that it means a lot to him to give back to school that provided him with so many opportunities.

“Now looking back and realizing that the education I got here, the connections I made here have provided me with the life I have now,” said Malasarn. “My education here has given me the ability to provide for my family. And, the friends that I went to college with, I still keep in touch with.”

Not only does Malasarn still keep in touch with some of the friends he made at CPP, but he also works alongside two of them. Malasarn has been friends with assistant trainers Michael Anderson and Alexis Barnagian Jacey since their college days. Malasarn keeps a graduation picture of the three of them together at his desk.

Barnagian Jacey said that working together has brought them closer and created a stronger relationship between them.

“We’ve all been together for such a long time that we’re like a family here,” said Barnagian Jacey. “This is our second family.”

Barnagian Jacey said that the trio is always there to cover for each other and that they work well together.

“He’s very easy to work with,” said Barnagian Jacey said about Malasarn as a boss. “He’s probably the best boss anyone could have because he understands; he knows family comes first.”

Malasarn’s responsibilities include CPP’s sports medicine program, injury prevention, injury evaluation, therapy, and treatments for all 280 athletes.

“I love watching him do evaluations and educate student athletes with their injuries,” said Barnagian Jacey. “He can take a piece of tape and educate that person on what’s going on with their body part with that piece of tape.”

Other than his duties with the department, he is also involved with the Far West Athletic Trainers Association.

Malasarn holds a strong relationship with the student-athletes.

“There are a lot of athletes that come in here just looking for Ruem,” said Barnagian Jacey. “They’re not afraid to come and talk to him. He’s really good with each and every one of the athletes.

“He treats them almost like his own kids sometimes.”

Jenna Janadi is one of five student assistants working alongside Malasarn to earn experience in the field. Janadi is a 2015 kinesiology graduate from Cal State Fullerton.

“He’s a really good person and he wants you to grow as a person, not just as a professional,” said Janadi.

Having worked alongside Malasarn for over three years, Janadi has been able to experience first-hand the type of relationships Malasarn keeps with the athletes.

“He keeps things interesting,” said Malasarn. “He’ll tell them things how it is, but in a nice way. I have yet to meet an athlete that doesn’t like him.”

For Malasarn, CPP is truly a good fit.

“I love it here,” said Malasarn. “I love my job, I love coming here. The administration and the athletes here are awesome to work with. I definitely would love to stay here.”


Zoran Liu-Moy / The Poly Post


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