|Title:||Class of 2011|
|Organization:||Football and Track and Field|
There’s an old adage in sports that you can’t teach speed. If that’s the case, Miguel Concepcion must have had plenty of time for his academic studies—a path that would lead him to become a medical doctor—as his natural speed helped make him one of WPI’s top athletes ever in both football and track and field.
A defensive back by trade, Concepcion began to contribute during his first two seasons. As a freshman, he totaled 14 tackles and recovered a fumble. In 2002, he tallied four interceptions to go along with eight pass breakups, 22 tackles, and a blocked kick.
During his junior year, he became one of the country’s premier kickoff returners. He returned kicks for three touchdowns, including a pair versus Endicott in the Power Gulls' inaugural collegiate football game. He was fourth in NCAA Division III with an average of 30.5 yards per return while amassing 30 tackles, an interception, and an additional 50-yard touchdown scored on a fumble return.
Concepcion’s senior year saw him rake in the awards and honors. He was named Liberty League Special Teams Player of the Year after earning first-team conference honors as a defensive back and a return specialist. The senior was third in the country in kickoff returns (33.7 yards), including a touchdown, three interceptions, and 55 tackles. He took home regional recognition for first-team All-ECAC and was named to the New England Football Writers Division II/III team.
“Since the day he first suited up for the football team, there was something different, something special about Miguel,” says Chris Robertson, Miguel’s defensive coordinator and current WPI head football coach. “His personality was quiet, yet confidence filled the young man. He would tell you exactly what he was going to accomplish and then go out and do just that.”
His honors were not limited to the gridiron—he was an NCAA postgraduate scholarship finalist and Top Eight award nominee, as well as a first-team All-District Academic selection. And his accomplishments did not end at the conclusion of the football season. He continued to exhibit excellence as a member of the indoor and outdoor track and field teams. A two-time member of the NEWMAC All-Academic team, he took home the silver medal at the New England Division III Indoor championships as a senior in 2005. He also garnered multiple All-NEWMAC and All-ECAC accolades as a member of the 4x100 meter relay team.
“Miguel was pivotal to the success and rise of Track and Field teams during his time here. He was what coaches like to call track-smart,” says Mike Maceiko, his track and field coach and current WPI cross country coach. “He always knew what we were doing and why we were doing it. Miguel was both an athlete and coach to his WPI teammates.”
A native of Lowell and Fall River, Mass., Miguel graduated with a BS in biotechnology. He went on to the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where he received his medical degree in 2009, and pursued specialization in family medicine at Tufts Family Medicine Program. He is currently in his last year of residency and is in the process of applying for a primary care sports medicine fellowship. He plans on integrating his background as a certified personal trainer, sports medicine, and primary care into his future practice.