Mike Pendergast (Athletic Trainer, Certified): Mike began his Western Illinois career in 1977 as a graduate assistant athletic trainer. He took over the following year and served as the department's Head Athletic Trainer from 1978-2007. He has worked locally at Advance Rehab and Sports Medicine as an athletic trainer since December 2008.
Pendergast began his career working for the Chicago Winds professional football club in 1975, then worked two years at North Dakota State as an assistant athletic trainer. During his years at Western, Pendergast looked after the well-being of thousands of Leatherneck student-athletes, including numerous of his fellow Hall of Fame members.
In football alone, Pendergast worked with five different head coaches, witnessed the move to Division I, five conference championships, seven conference runner-up finishes and eight appearances in the Division I playoffs - a span of 336 games worked. During the first two years the men's basketball program was in the Mid-Continent Conference (Summit League), Western won the 1983 regular season title and 1984 tournament championship.
A standout prep athlete at Fargo Shanley High School, Pendergast was a four-year player in football and basketball. As quarterback he helped Shanley HS win four consecutive state titles, the starting quarterback during the final two. The team also earned a No. 1 national ranking. A basketball team captain, Pendergast helped his team to the state quarterfinals in 1970-71.
The induction into the Athletics Department Hall of Fame will be the second such honor Pendergast will earn in as many weeks, as he will be inducted into the Shanley HS Hall of Fame as part of the 1968 state championship team.
Pendergast received his Master's degree from Western. He and his wife Susanna (1982-Bachelor's; 1994-Master's from Western Illinois) have one son, Michael Jr. (junior at Western Illinois and member of the Dean's List). They reside in Macomb.