Employee Profile: Booker McJunkin

As part of The Yale Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, Booker T. McJunkin is responsible for assisting in the ambulatory care needs of patients, including the application of casts and splints, under the guidance of Dr. Gary Friedlaender, Wayne O. Southwick Professor of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation and Professor of Pathology; Chair, Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation and nursing leadership. 

Outside of this role, Mr. McJunkin has another passion, one he brought with him when he moved from New York City to New Haven in 2012, and that is football.  Not just football however, but coaching troubled youth on and off the field.  Known as the New Haven Venom Football Club, McJunkin is owner, head coach, manager, mentor, and teacher.  “The club is targeted towards young men between the ages of 18-25 who have lost their way,” said McJunkin.  “The goal is to teach these young people how to build community, business and social relationships. ‘Venom’ can have a bad connotation, but we get powerful medicines from venom too.”

As a former high school football player and retired military veteran that worked in medicine before coming to Yale, he encourages EMS training for those he sees as good candidates.  He also encourages his players to go back to school and helps them receive their GEDs.  McJunkin explained that football is a positive outlet and gives him the opportunity to reach them on other levels as well.  Building off of the discipline and teamwork required in football, he helps his players learn ways to lead a better, more fulfilling life. 

Team members also learn Microsoft Office techniques and other computer software programs.  They are instructed as to how to speak to a potential employer and how to write a resume and cover letter, skills they may otherwise have never learned.   Dr. Friedlaender commented, “Booker is a special gentleman of great passion and talent, with a demonstrated ability to change the future of disadvantaged youths in a highly positive manner.  He does this by providing a strong role model, genuinely and unconditionally devoted to his mentees on and off the athletic field, through his unselfish commitment of time and boundless energy, and by virtue of his persuasive challenge to each of us to join in supporting his life-changing investment in the youth of our community.”

The New Haven Venom Football Club is seeking and accepting support from individuals, corporations and the community in order to keep the club running.  To learn more, please contact Coach Booker McJunkin at coachvenom@gmail.com