The National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) recently inducted Jeff McKibbin, an educator in the University of Central Oklahoma’s athletic training program, since 1980, an honor only four Oklahomans have garnered in the 67-year history of the organization.
McKibbin, director of Central’s graduate athletic training program, was one of seven individuals from throughout the U.S. to be honored at the association’s 68th Clinical Symposia and Expo in Houston.
“Jeff McKibbin represents the best of his kind in the field of athletic training,” said James Machell, Ph.D., dean of Central’s College of Education and Professional Studies.
“He has served UCO, his community, his state and beyond exceptionally well. I can think of no one more deserving than Jeff to be inducted into the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Hall of Fame.”
A native of Duke, Oklahoma, McKibbin made significant contributions to the passing of legislation to update both the Oklahoma Athletic Training Practice Act (1996) and the Oklahoma Concussion Law (2015). Other leadership roles include chair of NATA’s Government Affairs Committee and member of the NATA Political Action Committee board of directors. He was inducted into the Oklahoma Athletic Trainers’ Association Hall of Fame, Mid-America Athletic Trainers’ Hall of Fame and the UCO Athletic Hall of Fame.
McKibbin began as a student athletic trainer for Central while an undergraduate student, earning his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UCO. After working as a teacher and coach at Deer Creek Public Schools, he returned to Central as head athletic trainer in 1980, a position he had for 24 years. While serving in that position, McKibbin also served as an assistant athletic director and, later, as an associate athletic director. In 2004, he moved to his current role as director for UCO’s nationally-accredited graduate athletic training education program. He played a key role in developing the program into the first accredited graduate athletic training program in Oklahoma.
The NATA Hall of Fame is the highest honor an athletic trainer can receive. Honorees are recognized for contributions that enhance the quality of health care provided by athletic trainers and advance the profession. Since inducting its first class in 1962, the Hall of Fame has 310 members.