EVANSTON – Having graduated this past year with a communications major and a business minor, Mike Trumpy is taking graduate classes as he prepares for his final football season in a Northwestern uniform.
A former Wheaton North High School standout, Trumpy has scored eight career touchdowns for the Wildcats despite a pair of season-ending injuries in 2010 and 2011. Last fall, he rushed for 349 yards and three scores as Northwestern won its first bowl game since 1949, beating Mississippi State in the Gator Bowl.
What have you been up to this summer?
I have an internship downtown with a trading firm, the Gelber Group. It’s a lot of fun ,and I’m learning a lot. Trading is what I want to do; it is a very competitive and challenging industry. Once football is over, I will need something to drive me, and I think trading is that thing.
What do you do to stay in shape and get ready for the season?
We still have all of our workouts, I just go in the earlier group. We start workouts at 6 [in the morning] and go to about 8 or so. We’ve been going four days a week.
What is your excitement level heading into the 2013 season?
As a team, we are all very excited. We return a lot of guys and we know we are very talented. We’ve been working very hard to improve as much as we can every day. We are working hard toward our main goal of winning a Big Ten championship and going to the Rose Bowl. For me, it’s going to be my last camp. I’m going to try to have as much fun as I can and do everything I can to help the team.
Have you started to think about this being your final season playing football?
I was sitting at my locker recently looking at one of the incoming freshmen and I was thinking, this guy is 18 years old and I’m 23. It’s been four years already, it’s ridiculous. It is such a cliche to say it goes by so fast, but it’s true. I am curious to see how I will react to football being over. Football has been my life for the past 23 years; everything I’ve done has been pretty much for football.
How big was last season’s Gator Bowl win?
It was huge, and it was not just huge for our team but for our program in general; both for the guys who played before us and for the guys who will play in the future. This group of guys has paved the way for future guys in the program. I guess you can say we’ve started a new chapter. We are not satisfied with just getting to bowl games; we are going to win bowl games now. We worked hard, and it paid off.
Do you guys have big expectations entering the 2013 season?
We want to build off our previous season; we had a very successful season in 2012. We are focused on continually improving and worrying about what we can do. As long as we work hard and continue to improve, I think we will have a good season.
You are one of two Wheaton players [along with Dan Vitale] on Northwestern while a third [Clayton Thorson] is coming next fall. What do you think has made football in the town of Wheaton so successful?
It starts at the youth level. And then both coach [Ron] Muhitch [Wheaton Warrenville South] and coach [Joe] Wardynski [Wheaton North] are excellent coaches. Muhitch has the tradition of being a great coach, while Wardynski just started as the head coach my senior year and has turned the program around. You have to give credit to the coaches who are producing these players.