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Athletic Training Faculty

Meg Frens, MS, AT, ATC
Athletic Training Program Director
Assistant Athletic Trainer
Assistant Professor of Kinesiology

Contact Information:
Phone: 616.395.7450 (office)

Meg is a 1996 graduate of the Hope College Athletic Training Program. She was a member of the first class to graduate under the athletic training major. After graduating from Hope, Meg went on to earn a master's degree in athletic training at Indiana University, where she worked with the volleyball program. She completed her graduate degree and was hired as an assistant athletic trainer at Slippery Rock University. Meg joined the athletic training faculty for the first time as a Visiting Lecturer and Athletic Trainer in August, 1998. After a two-year stint at Hope she was hired as an assistant professor in the athletic training program at the University of New England. In July, 2002 Meg returned to Hope as Assistant Professor of Kinesiology and Assistant Athletic Trainer. Meg teaches courses within the athletic training major, supervises the clinical experiences of athletic training students and co-teaches a Senior Seminar with Eva Dean Folkert.  She is active at the state level serving as Co-Chair of the MATS Professional Education Committee, a member of the GLATA Education Committee and an Exam Developer for the Board of Certification in Athletic Training. Meg resides with her husband, Rick, her son, Sam, and daughters Nora and Paige in Holland, MI.

A message from Meg: 

“Hope College has been a part of my life now more than it’s been out of it.  I feel I grew as a person at Hope as a student and now as a professional in the role of assistant professor.  Hope has given me some of my best friends, mentors and colleagues.  I truly enjoy the profession of athletic training and cannot see myself doing much else.  I enjoy working with people and my hands.  Athletic training allows me to do this in unique and individual ways based on the injury or situation the athlete is presenting to me.   I enjoy helping others and finding ways to help them be their best physically.  Others come before you in many situations and I enjoy living my life for my students and athletes.  But most importantly, Hope allows me to keep my family in focus at all times.  The students and faculty are large parts of the life I live here in Holland with my husband Rick, and with my kids, Sam and Nora.  Rick was a football player here and has also been impacted by the coaching staff, football team and education department in very positive ways during his time at Hope.  Hope gave both of us a great education and life experiences we will never forget.  We are proud of and love to talk to prospective students about coming to Hope.  Let me know if I can ever answer any questions for you about the Hope experience.”


Kirk Brumels, PhD, ATC
Kinesiology Department Chair
Assistant Athletic Trainer
Associate Professor of Kinesiology

Contact Information:
Phone: 616.395.7356 (office)

Kirk Brumels, a 1988 Hope College graduate has over twenty years of athletic training experience in various venues. A graduate of Hope's athletic training program, he received both his masters and doctorate degrees from Western Michigan University. Dr. Brumels has spent more than a decade as an athletic trainer with the New England Patriots from 1990-2001, returning to Hope College in 2001 to become the institution’s third head athletic trainer. Kirk was a second-generation Hope student as his father Bruce, the past- president of Hope's Alumni Association Board of Directors, is a 1959 graduate, and his mother Doris is a 1962 graduate. Dr. Brumels is a certified member of the National Athletic Trainers Association and is the President – Elect of the Michigan Athletic Trainer’s Society. His awards include recognition with Patriots head athletic trainer Ron O'Neil as the 1997 National Football League Athletic Training Staff of the Year. He has been a guest speaker or lecturer in numerous venues, including state, regional, and national athletic trainer conferences and symposiums. Dr. Brumels has a passion for athletic training evidenced by several peer-reviewed journal publications and involvement as a co-author of the textbook Developing Clinical Proficiency in Athletic Training (Human Kinetics, 2009) and seven chapters within the forthcoming book entitled Core Concepts in Athletic Training (Human Kinetics, 2010). Dr. Brumels enjoys exercise, outdoor activities such as fishing and hunting, and home projects. Additional hobbies include making hand planed split bamboo fly rods, wooden fishing nets, and he takes the opportunity to enjoy both every chance he gets. Dr. Brumels and his wife Stephanie live in Holland with their two children, Hunter and Rebecca.

A message from Dr. Brumels:

“The field of athletic training has been a great career choice for me and one that has provided me with many personal and professional benefits. I have really enjoyed the opportunities that this profession has afforded me from working as an athletic trainer at a Friday night high school football game to working on a Sunday afternoon in January of 1996 on the sidelines of Super Bowl XXXI. One of the things that I get pleasure from is that this profession allows me to perform many different responsibilities throughout my day such as providing emergency injury care, initiating treatment to facilitate the recovery, advising a patient in exercises as part of extensive injury rehabilitation, and educating patients and students to name just a few. I have been excited about this profession from the time I first came to understand its role in the allied health care community and that excitement continues to this day. I thoroughly enjoy the responsibilities of this field of study and practice as they have given me the opportunity to meet many individuals and humbly serve them with a little bit of my knowledge and skill. I absolutely love the academic material that athletic training demands from its practitioners and combining that with the psychomotor skills needed to provide health care to individuals pursuing an active lifestyle has been very gratifying.

I love Hope College. I loved it from my first day on campus as a freshman in the mid 80's to the day I graduated in 1988. I kept in touch with many individuals and the college as a whole while I was working in Boston, and was very excited about the opportunity to return to Hope College as a faculty member in 2001. My wife Stephanie and I are very happy at Hope College and love raising our children, Hunter and Rebecca in Holland, Michigan. It is an absolute pleasure to be a faculty member at Hope College and work with other colleagues to enhance the educational, social, and spiritual development of students. It makes me very happy to work in a place where I can live out my faith, have the wonderful opportunity to provide clinical care to the student-athletes at Hope College, and teach within the athletic training program and Department of Kinesiology. If you are a prospective student, I hope that we get the chance to sit together during a campus visit so that I can share my passion about Hope College and athletic training with you.”


Tonia Gruppen, MS, AT, ATC
Assistant Athletic Trainer
Assistant Professor of Kinesiology

Contact Information:
Phone: 616.395.7455 (office)

Tonia Bruins Gruppen is a native of Zeeland, Michigan. An outstanding athlete and student at Zeeland High School, Tonia attended Hope College for her undergraduate education. She was part of the first class to graduate under the newly accredited athletic training education program in 1998. Following graduation from Hope College Tonia attended Indiana University where she earned a master's degree in athletic training. After two years as a certified athletic trainer at the University of Notre Dame, Tonia returned to her hometown where she served as an assistant athletic trainer at Zeeland High School. Tonia had a part-time position as an assistant athletic trainer at Hope College in addition to her role as a practicum instructor before being hired as an assistant professor of kinesiology in 2005. She has also taught Health Dynamics. Tonia resides in Zeeland, MI with her husband, Kevin and two daughters Riley and Reese.

A message from Tonia:

  “Hope College is a great place to be!  I was first drawn to the Hope College Athletic Training Program as a prospective student.  I was interested in becoming actively involved in the care of high level collegiate athletes at an early stage.  During my time as an athletic training student I was able to learn through a variety of hands on experiences throughout the four years. 

  I was drawn back to Hope College’s Athletic Training Program as a Certified Athletic Trainer because of those same reasons.  I still enjoy being actively involved in the care of high level collegiate athletes.   I now enjoy encouraging our athletic training students to learn through their many hands on experiences.  I hope that each of them will grow into a successful Certified Athletic Trainer one day and say “Hope College was a great choice for me!”    


Tim Koberna, MA, AT, ATC
Head Athletic Trainer
Assistant Professor of Kinesiology

Contact Information:
Phone: 616.395.7705 (office)

Tim is a 1990 graduate of Mount Union College.  He received his master’s degree in physical education with a specialization in athletic training from Western Michigan University in 1992.  Tim has over twenty years of collegiate athletic training experience.  Prior to coming to Hope College, Tim served as the head athletic trainer at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa from January 2006 until his arrival to Holland in July of 2013.  Tim has a working history in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association.  He was the head athletic trainer and clinical instructor at Albion College from 2000 until the fall of 2005. Before his Division III experience, he was the director of medical services at Western Michigan University for football and the ice hockey program. He has worked professionally with the Detroit Lions Football Club as an intern athletic trainer.  Tim currently works with USA wrestling, providing medical coverage at national senior and junior level Freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling tournaments.  He was awarded the Iowa Athletic Trainer’s Society “College/University Athletic Trainer of the Year” in May, 2011.  Tim resides in Holland with his wife MaryBeth, their daughter Lindsay and their son Cameron.

Katharine Rose, EdM, AT, ATC
Assistant Athletic Trainer

Katharine is joining the Hope College Staff as a part time athletic trainer after completing her graduate studies in Boston, MA, and returning to West Michigan with her husband Matt. Katharine graduated from the AT program at Hope in 2010 and completed her Master's degree in Health Education from Boston University in 2012. Katharine served as a graduate assistant AT at Emerson College in 2010, and as an assistant AT at Gordon College from 2011 - 2013. Katharine will be assisting the AT staff in delivery of health care services to Hope College athletes in the fall and spring athletic seasons. Katharine lives in Zeeland with her husband Matt, and son Ezra.

Additional faculty:
Patrick Hulst, MD – Team Physician
Jason Burgess, AT, ATC – Approved Clinical Instructor at Zeeland East High School
Diana Albers, AT, ATC – Approved Clinical Instructor at Zeeland West High School
Sandi Karafa, AT, ATC – Approved Clinical Instructor at Excel Rehabilitation


© 2015 Hope College | Kinesiology | 222 Fairbanks Avenue | Holland, MI 49423 | phone: 616.395.7070 | fax: 616.395.7175