The Georgia Athletic Trainers’ Association (GATA) announced that Young Harris College Athletic Trainer Jared Sandler has been named the Jerry Rhea Athletic Trainer of the Year at their recent annual meeting.
Sandler graduated from the University of South Florida in 2005 before moving to Columbus State University to pursue a master’s degree. Following graduate school, Sandler was promoted to assistant athletic trainer and eventually named head athletic trainer. He is now in his second year as Head Athletic Trainer at Young Harris College. Sandler and his athletic training staffs have been named Peach Belt Conference Athletic Training Staff of the Year at both institutions multiple times over the past five years.
Those working with Sandler note his positive attitude, clinical competence, and communication skills to be his greatest assets.
“His commitment, dedication, and professionalism is outstanding,” said Young Harris Director of Athletics.
“I can vouch for Jared’s clinical competency but, more importantly, his great communication with the medical staff,” said Dr. Champ Baker of the Hughston Clinic. “It makes it easy to help take care of a team when you know that the trainer responsible for the daily care is competent and accomplished.”
True to form, Sandler reflected the honor of the award away from himself and focused on those around him.
“I am very humbled and honored to be named the Jerry Rhea Athletic Trainer of the Year,” said Sandler. “Although this is an individual award, the credit goes to my staff. I would not be able to do the things I do if I didn’t have such a remarkable and first-class staff working alongside me. They are the driving force.
“I am also fortunate to always have the support of the Young Harris College administration, coaches, and student athletes; as well of all of our team physicians and support staff who have been an instrumental part of the athletics program here at YHC,” Sandler added.
The award is named for Jerry Rhea, former head athletic trainer of the Atlanta Falcons, and a pioneer in the athletic training profession. To be eligible for the award the individual must be a certified/licensed athletic trainer demonstrating exemplary service to the profession of athletic training in Georgia. A minimum of 10 years experience as an athletic trainer is required with a significant portion of these years taking place in the state of Georgia.
The Georgia Athletic Trainers’ Association is an organization committed to education of its members and enhancement of the profession of athletic training, leading to better healthcare for the population which it serves.