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Wednesday, 17 July 2013 11:15

Where are They Now?

Baker Athletics explores what Wildcat alumni have been up to since their glory days as a BU student-athlete. In this feature, we catch up with Luke Thompson.

Luke is a 2004 graduate who played on the defensive line for the football team and just finished his residency at the University of Kansas Medical School in Family Medicine. This month he just began a one-year Sports Medicine Fellowship at UMKC.

Thompson played at Baker from 2001-04 and graduated in May of 2005. He played his first three years for head coach John Frangoulis and wrapped up his senior year with Mike Grossner.

Baker Athletics: What have you been doing since your graduation from Baker?Luke Thompson bench 

Luke Thompson: I worked in a lab at KU Med the year after graduation from Baker and participated in a clinical research program. That same year I studied to get accepted into medical school while researching. I received my acceptance into the KU Medical School and spent four years working towards my M.D. Two of those years were spent at the KU Med campus in Kansas City, Kan., then the final two years I finished med school in Wichita, Kan., at the KU Med Wichita campus.

My first two years at KU Med was more classroom work, the final two years in Wichita was more clinical work and earned my M.D. in 2010.

Then I continued my schooling at KU Med in its residency program and just finished that up this past May with an emphasis in Family Medicine. In July I began a one-year Sports Medicine Fellowship at UMKC.

Baker Athletics: After all of your schooling, what would you say is your career goal?

Luke Thompson: I'd like to work with an Orthopedic Surgeon and work in the sports medicine side. Eventually work more closely with a team.

Baker Athletics: What are your fondest memories about playing for Baker?

Luke Thompson: The game that sticks out when I look back is when we played Graceland at Graceland in 2003 and came back from 17-points down to win.

But what I remember most are the friendships I made. Becoming close with my teammates. The tradition at Baker is amazing as well. I didn't know much about Baker before I came to campus and I really had a sense of pride putting on the uniform after learning of its rich history. Baldwin City has a lot of pride in the team and that was a lot of fun to have them fill that stadium each Saturday.

Baker Athletics: Looking back now what is some advice you would give to a Baker freshman preparing for his/her first year of college?

Luke Thompson: Enjoy it as much as you can. Being there in the midst of it at two-a-days and in the grind, it doesn't seem like a lot of fun. But when you graduate you will miss it. You will watch Football later as an alum and want to be there again.

Soak it in while you're there. Football is something you can't replicate either. Enjoy your college life, make friends, take part in activities on campus and give it your all in everything you do.

Baker Athletics: What motivated you to go into the medical field?

Luke Thompson: I didn't know I was going into this field until my junior year of college. At that time I was intrigued by the sports medicine field. It made sense and was a right fit for me. When I was at Baker, I worked with Dr. Lintecum at OrthoKansas LLC and shadowed him. That helped me realize that was an avenue I wanted to pursue and seeing it from that aspect was great. I worked with Dr. Cupp a little at Baker but worked with him more after graduation. His role at Baker, serving as a game day doctor and seeing athletes on an as needed basis is something I could see myself doing in the future.

Baker Athletics: What was it like playing for current Baker head coach Mike Grossner?Luke Thompson field 

Luke Thompson: I can't believe he has been at Baker for 10 years. He had a tough job coming in, taking over for Coach Frangoulis. We had a lot of seniors my senior year. It's hard for a new coach to come in and take over for so many seniors.

But I don't feel like we missed a beat playing for him. When I look back at Baker my favorite memories were with him. He has been a real asset to the community and the football team. My senior year we really set things in the right direction for the future of the program. I think its fun to see that Coach has made a home there at Baker and it doesn't seem like he uses the Baker position as a stepping-stone. He has made Baker his home and he's made such a commitment there.

Baker Athletics: What went into your decision to attend Baker University?

Luke Thompson: I grew up in Olathe, Kan., and went to Olathe North High School. I had three different options that had to choose from, either play at Baker or MidAmerica Nazarene or go and play as a preferred walk-on at the University of Kansas.

I decided it would be more fun to play for four years then to walk on. I really liked BU's campus and the people. The coaching staff had the right mentality and Baker had the people I wanted to play with and be around.

I didn't want to go to MNU because it was so close to home. I got the best of both worlds at Baker with my college experience and playing football all four years.

If I were able to do it all over again, I wouldn't have changed anything. I would choose Baker again. I made tons of friends and have numerous people that I could walk up to today and if I needed anything from a fellow Baker alum, they would jump to help and I wouldn't change that for the world.

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