Douglas G. Boersma, 48, of West Lafayette, passed away from an unexpected heart attack on Wednesday, June 21, 2023.
Doug was born in Highland, IN, on October 13, 1974, to the late Bonnie and Jerry Boersma. After 13 years of dating, he married his seventh-grade sweetheart, Cari (Brown) Boersma, on June 10, 2000. If you knew Doug, it was clear that he adored his three daughters: McKenna (20), Ashlyn (18), and Kayden (14). As his girls' biggest fan, he was constantly supporting them throughout their dance and school activities, and was proud beyond measure to be their father. You would often find Doug running, or biking, as he completed various marathons and triathlons throughout the span of his life. When he had the time, he loved to be fishing, whether that meant on a lake or at the pond with his girls. For 30 years, he attended, then later planned, an annual fishing trip amongst friends at various lakes across the Midwest. He also looked forward to his annual Big Sky, MT, trip with the Bandits that started as colleagues and became a brotherhood. Whether you knew Doug as a friend, close colleague, or one of his student-athletes, he made every moment with him memorable. His warmth, generous spirit, and larger-than-life smile made strangers feel like instant family.
Doug’s career brought him back to his alma mater, Purdue University, in 2012, where he served as the Senior Associate Athletics Director for Performance and Sports Medicine. He oversaw all 18 Purdue sports programs' medical treatment, rehabilitation, and pre-habilitation. Doug also oversaw the areas of strength and conditioning, nutrition, and sports psychology. In 2020, he received the IATA Professional Excellence Award. During his time on the Purdue staff, he began as Director of Sports Medicine in 2012, was promoted to Assistant Athletics Director in 2013, and promoted again to Associate Athletics Director in 2016. He was elevated to Senior Associate Athletics Director in 2021.
He was nationally renowned and respected for excellence in his field, sitting on numerous regional and national committees, including the Big Ten Conference Sports Medicine Executive Committee, the National Athletic Trainers' Association’s Intercollegiate Council for Sports Medicine as the only Big Ten representative, and the NCAA Mental Health Advisory Cabinet. Doug was critical in creating and implementing procedures and processes allowing sports to take place during the COVID-19 pandemic. He was also a highly valued team member of Purdue University’s COVID-19 advisory committee, ensuring the safe operation of Purdue University during the same time period.
As a certified NATA member, Doug entered the professional ranks after earning his bachelor's degree in athletic training in 1997 at Purdue's West Lafayette campus. During his two-year graduate assistantship, he completed his master's degree in health promotion at the University of Kentucky in 1999 while tending to the football and women's gymnastics programs.
Next, he spent four years at Notre Dame working with the football program and oversaw the athletic training needs of the men's ice hockey, men's soccer, and all lacrosse programs. During his tenure with the Fighting Irish, he designed an online injury-tracking system with a technology company in South Bend. He implemented and then managed that system––Shamrock Net Design––at Notre Dame and his next stop at Bowling Green State University (BGSU).
In 2003, at age 27, BGSU named Doug to the role of Director of Sports Medicine and Head Athletic Trainer for football, making him the youngest in the country to ever receive this title at a Division I school. He also worked with the men's and women's golf teams. In 2010, he was named Assistant Athletics Director for Sports Performance. He also served the BGSU campus as an education coordinator for the Mid-American Conference Sports Medicine Association and was a part-time faculty member in the School of Human Movement, Sport and Leisure Studies. During his time at BGSU, he received multiple awards for excellence in collaboration, professional performance, cooperation, and the spirit of working together for a common purpose or goal. He also participated in designing and developing two state-of-the-art sports medicine facilities in Bowling Green, Ohio: the Sebo Athletic Center and the Stroh Center.
Doug is survived by his loving wife, Cari (Brown) Boersma; daughters McKenna, Ashlyn, and Kayden Boersma; in-laws Sandy and Clyde Brown; sister-in-law, Chris Brown; brother-in-law, Bob (Sally) Brown, and Tom (Vivian) Brown; sister, Melissa (Dave) Strezo; aunt, Patricia Burke; and four nieces Megan (Adam) Gannon, Nicole Brown, Brielle and Raelyn Strezo; and one great niece, Emersyn Gannon. Doug was preceded in death by his parents, Bonnie and Jerry Boersma; and brother, Stewart Boersma.
A celebration of life will take place Thursday, July 6, at Holloway Gymnasium at Purdue University. Visitation will be from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. with a service immediately following, starting at 1 p.m. Hahn-Groeber Funeral Services is honored to assist the Boersma Family at this time. Parking will be available in the large lot located directly north of Ross-Ade Stadium, accessible from Cherry Lane off of Northwestern Avenue.
In place of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions can be directed to the Boersma Family Trust to help cover educational expenses for McKenna, Ashlyn & Kayden. Via Venmo @Boersmafamilytrust or c/o Farmers & Merchants Bank, 275 Sagamore Pkwy W., West Lafayette, IN 47906 Memories and condolences can be left at hahngroeberfuneralhome.com.
Thursday, July 6, 2023
1:00 - 2:00pm (Eastern time)
Holloway Gymnasium, Purdue University
Family will greet friends from 11:00 AM until the Celebration of Life service at 1:00 PM Thursday July 6 at Holloway Gymnasium on the Purdue University Campus