Zaf Bludevich Saying Goodbye to Saint Michael's

Published 04/25 2014 06:32PM

Updated 04/25 2014 06:47PM

Colchester, VT -- For parts of 5 decades, injured Saint Michael's Purple Knights have been going to see Zaf Bludevich. In return Zaf always delivers.

"What do you get when you cross an elephant with a rhinocerous?" Bludevich asked ABC22/FOX44 in the SMC training room. "Elephino."

Some might call them bad jokes:

"What's the quietest sport in the world? Bowling. Why? Because you can hear a pin drop."

But in the Saint Michael's College training room. They're called Zafisms.

"I really believe that sometimes laughter is the best medicine." said the long-time Purple Knight athletics staffer. "So that's what I've tried to do. Regardless of the situation, I try to make people smile. And so, 39 years, one generation tells the next generation tells the next. So I've created a reputation or maybe a monster."

A 39-year run of Purple Knight Zafisms will end at the close of this school year when long-time Saint Mike's head athletic trainer, administrator and coach Zaf Bludevich hangs up his ankle wrap and retires. 

"The college is in a great place." Bludevich says. "The department is in a great place. You know, you always want to leave on a high note. Not a low note. So the timing is good."

Bludevich spent 29 years as SMC's head athletic trainer but also coached everything from cross country to diving to field hockey. When he talks about his time as a Purple Knight, he's not adding up wins and losses. For Zaf, it's about the people.

"I know what I'm most proud of is the student-athletes that graduate." he said. "They go out into the world and then they come back and they're successful and I'm like, wow. That's great."

While the Purple Knights enjoy their final couple of weeks of Zafisms, Bludevich will be enjoying the students.

"All the things that I've learned here. All the people. All the friendships that I've made, I'll never forget." Zaf said. Especially the students. That's the best part. I've been blessed. I can't complain."

Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.