Article reposted from Lewis and Clark Athletics
Author: Zachary Shore
Well deserved. That was the sentiment in the Lewis-Clark State College athletic department on Thursday afternoon after the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics announced during the National Awards Day Announcement show that long-time LCSC athletic trainer, Tracy Collins, is the 2016 NAIA-ATA Athletic Trainer of the Year.
“I want to say thank you to the Frontier Conference and the NAIA for allowing me to receive this award,” says Collins on winning the award. “I have been very blessed to work with amazing people from the administration, staff and coaches, and especially our student-athletes throughout my career at Lewis-Clark State. I am also humbled to be included with the distinguished group of previous NAIA-ATA Athletic Trainers of the Year.”
Collins has distinguished herself as one of the best Athletic Trainers in the Frontier Conference and the NAIA as a whole. Her leadership has been instrumental in leading the NAIA-ATA to completing and incorporating concussion and medical guidelines for NAIA national championship events. She’s very active at the national level and has served as the Head Athletic Trainer for the Avista NAIA World Series since its return to Lewiston in 2000. Collins, in working as the Frontier Conference Athletic Training Chairman and liaison to the Council of Athletic Directors, led the establishment of the first ever Frontier Conference Athletic Training guidelines and policy manual.
“Tracy is a very deserving winner of this award,” said Warriors Athletic Director Gary Picone. “Her passion for serving our student-athletes and caring for them goes beyond explanation. She’s been doing it for 20-plus years and her passion for the job remains as high as ever. She goes the extra mile, is very professional and has tremendous relationships within the medical community throughout the region. She’s been a mentor to numerous trainers entering the field and has been a great asset to our conference in developing new and innovative policies to better serve our student-athletes. I’m thrilled to have her on our team and we are fortunate to have her as our athletic trainer.”
As a key member of the Idaho State Athletic Training Association – where she was the first ever char of the Board of Athletic Training and held the position for eight years – Collins is responsible for taking the Athletic Training profession to where it is today in the State of Idaho. She is also serving as the director/coordinator for the ISATA meetings, held in Lewiston for the first time, next year.
Collins has played a major role in the new drug testing standards in the NAIA and has been at the helm of the Lewis-Clark State College training program since 1996. In addition to her duties as head athletic trainer, Collins held the titles of equipment manager and laundry specialist for nearly a decade, managing all 12 sports on her own. For many years, Collins was the lone trainer on campus for LCSC and managed up to 150 athletes on her own before the establishment of the WSU intern program and the addition of a full-time staffer prior to the 2014-15 season. Her innovative idea of creating an internship program with Washington State University allows students to get hands-on experience by being key members of the LCSC athletic training staff for a semester. This initiative allowed the LCSC athletic department to continue to grow and be successful while maintaining a highly functioning athletic training department.
Collins also helped establish the LCSC cross country and track & field programs where she remains an assistant coach. She plays a major role in the development of the cross country scholarship program, where individuals and businesses contribute money to the team to be used by the student-athletes to help offset the costs of going to school. She also does many of the other administrative duties that help to keep the program moving in the right direction.
Throughout her 20-plus year career with LCSC, Collins has developed relationships within the community that include having an orthopedic specialist on campus once a week to work with student-athletes. She has been part of 10 NAIA baseball national championships and six individual track national championships and all have mentioned that without her expertise and her ability to keep her student-athletes in the game, the couldn’t have had the success they did.
Collins has impacted not only Lewis-Clark State College but the Frontier Conference, the Idaho State Athletic Training Association and even Washington State University. Her leadership has been instrumental in the success of LCSC Athletics.
This award recognizes a National Athletic Training Association certified athletic trainer at an NAIA institution who has distinguished themselves as a model of the profession of athletic training in personal conduct and professional allied health service to student-athletes.