Dr. Michael Kogan has been part of Jacobs High School athletics since 1995

Algonquin orthopedic surgeon takes great care of the Golden Eagles

Dr. Michael Kogan, from Fox Valley Orthopedics, has worked the sideline at Jacobs football games for 28 seasons.

While growing up in Skokie, Michael Kogan, being on the small side, was not an accomplished athlete.

Kogan loved watching sports, but his participation was pretty much limited to intramurals at Niles East, and later Niles North high schools.

Now, Kogan, an orthopedic surgeon with Fox Valley Orthopedics, enjoys golf, mostly on weekends with friends, fulfilling his need for athletic competition.

Kogan never envisioned being put into any athletics hall of fame, but his support for almost three decades at Jacobs High School earned him that recognition two years ago. Kogan was inducted into the Jacobs High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 2022 for his service with the football team on the sideline at games.

“It’s my way of giving back to the community,” Kogan said. “I’m not under any contract with the school or anything. I’ve been fortunate that they’ve felt comfortable all these years allowing me to do it.

“It’s my community service, and to be recognized like that … I’ve never been the athlete that was going to be inducted into any hall of fame based on my athletic pursuits. To have this bestowed upon me was a tremendous honor.”

This is one in a series of Shaw Local News Network stories thanking first responders for their contributions around the community. While Kogan said it was “generous and he would in no way put himself in a category with people who go above and beyond,” he still makes a difference being there to administer aid at critical moments for young athletes.

Kogan has helped Jacobs since 1995, when he came to Algonquin as an orthopedic surgeon with Orthopedic and Spine Surgery Associates.

“It’s something special in the fact that he’s been doing it so long,” Jacobs athletic director Jason Ziols said. “Whenever we have a football game, you expect to see Dr. Kogan there. He’s a part of not only the football program, but the school, and a part of our community. He’s always smiling, he always shakes my hand, he’s part of the family.

“The fact that he volunteers his time to coming out and doing what’s best for our student-athletes and being there … I feel like whenever we’ve had a critical injury, he’s there. He assists our trainers and provides further care for our student-athletes if they need it. He’s a go-to guy, so friendly. It’s just a pleasure always having him around.”

Kogan lives in Kildeer with his wife, Holly, and their son, Max, a student at California-Santa Cruz; and daughter, Sarah, a senior at Stevenson High School. He attended University of Illinois-Chicago medical school, then did his residency at Ohio State University, along with a one-year fellowship at Western Ontario University.

Kogan started with Orthopedic and Spine Surgery Associates in 1995, which later changed its name to Midwest Bone and Joint Institute. In September 2020, it merged with Fox Valley Orthopedics.

Back in 1995, Jacobs High School’s trainer approached the new doctor in town about working with the athletic program, and Kogan has been there ever since. He usually attends home and away football games, along with an occasional basketball game, working closely with trainer Chuck Marth.

“Growing up, even though I was a sports advocate, I wasn’t a competitive athlete. I loved that notion of seeing athletes on TV,” Kogan said. “I got caught up in seeing the people who helped them do what they were doing, whether it was an athletic trainer at a game or doctors who helped them on the field.

“Reading stories about procedures that got them back to their athletic pursuits, that triggered an interest. I knew I wanted to do something with my hands. I wanted to be a doctor and I wanted to do something procedure-oriented. It all kind of tied together.”

Kogan loves helping people, often young athletes, get back to the activities they enjoy. And the people at Jacobs feel fortunate to have him on its team.

“He has a very calming presence about him on the sideline,” Golden Eagles football coach Brian Zimmerman said. “He’s very straightforward when he evaluates our kids. We had a slew of injuries this year, and he was always making sure they got the best treatment and he had them making the right progress to return.”

Jacobs offensive-defensive lineman Matt Shannon was one of those athletes. He suffered a left knee injury in the season opener against Prairie Ridge.

Shannon, a senior, balked at sitting out to let the injury heal. He wound up finishing the season, was a Northwest Herald All-Area first-team selection on the offensive line and helped the Eagles make the Class 7A playoffs.

Shannon also got to know Kogan when he injured his right knee as a sophomore.

“When that happened, he advised me to go into his office, and we worked through that,” Shannon said. “Working with him, he’s great at what he does. He knows what he’s talking about. He understands when you’re saying something about the pain. He remains calm and is always willing to help and do what’s necessary to get you back as soon as possible.”

Zimmerman, who finished his fifth season as head coach and has been with the program for 10 years, appreciates what Kogan does for the players.

“His No. 1 goal is to always get our players back out on the field,” Zimmerman said. “That’s something he has done exceptionally well for all the years I’ve been there. He’s great and he explains everything to us. As coaches, we always go, ‘This can’t be that bad.’ And he always breaks it down for us so we can understand it in our terminology.

“Our kids love him. Our parents trust to bring their kids into him and we’re very fortunate to have someone like that on our staff. He never misses a game, he’s there every Friday night. He knows how important sports are to our kids and wants to get them back on the field. Sometimes you get doctors who aren’t the best communicators and that’s something about him, with him and our athletic trainer Chuck, they do a great job making sure our players are back on the field safely.”

Some of the worst injuries Kogan sees are not on the athletic fields, but people who have suffered traumatic injuries and are in emergency rooms. On football fields, Kogan usually lets Marth and his student assistant trainer tend to the injury on the field, then speaks with the athlete on the sideline in a quieter environment to assess the damage.

“If the trainer’s out there more than a couple minutes, then I’m going to go out and investigate,” Kogan said. “I try to get kids to the sideline and assess them in a quieter environment without the whole spotlight of the arena on them. It’s basically to gather information and pin down, as best I can, what may be going on.”

Kogan share’s in the student-athlete’s elation when they return from an injury.

“It’s a tremendously positive reinforcement circumstance when anybody I treat, we’ve treated them effectively, and it doesn’t always mean surgery,” Kogan said. “More often than not, I’m treating people nonsurgically. That’s what I love about orthopedics: We’re very much a treat-and-release practice.

“Especially when I’m seeing kids that I’ve treated at the school get back out there, that’s extremely rewarding and positive. They appreciate it, the parents appreciate it, the trainer, the coaches, the staff. It’s a total win across the board.”

More than 20 years ago, former Jacobs teacher Ed Allen was the public address announcer for football games and started a new tradition with the announcement of “Jacobs High School would like to thank our team physician, Dr. Michael Kogan, for his contribution and service to the school.”

Kogan was surprised and thrilled. He, too, started a tradition by waving to Allen in the box and to fans who cheered.

Allen serves on the Hall of Fame committee and two years ago felt it was fitting that Kogan be inducted. After all, 27 years of service is a long time. Others agreed.

“On the back end, he gets clients for his business,” Ziols said. “But that’s not why he does it. He’s out there and his interactions are always in a caring fashion, not businesslike. It’s awesome what he does for our student-athletes and our community.”

Kogan was blown away by it all.

“Ed nominated me. When he told me about it, I was totally floored,” Kogan said. “It’s been a professional passion of mine to do this. I’m very blessed.”