Article reposted from PBATS

President Mark O’Neal of the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society (PBATS) today announced the winners of the Minor League Athletic Trainers of the Year Awards for the 2017 baseball season.

These awards are given annually to one member of each of the 16 leagues in Minor League Baseball, as well as one award for the Dominican Summer League.  An additional award is given to the Minor League Coordinator of the Year.

“I’m thrilled to announce PBATS’ Minor League Athletic Trainers of the Year,” O’Neal said. “These athletic trainers have had such a huge impact on their organizations and have been named, by their peers, the best athletic trainer in their respective league. To win an award voted on by your peers is so important. It shows everyone around the league that you’re working hard and doing your job with passion and amazing skill. I couldn’t be happier to award these great athletic trainers for their hard work.”

All 16 league winners, the Dominican Summer League winner and the Minor League Coordinator of the Year will now be eligible for the prestigious Minor League Athletic Trainer of the Year award voted upon by the full membership of PBATS. That award will be given at the 2017 Major League Baseball Winter Meetings in Orlando, Fla.

Award Winners:

League Winner Organization
Coordinator Joe Rauch Philadelphia Phillies
International League Scott Johnson Chicago White Sox
Pacific Coast League Masa Abe Arizona D’Backs
Eastern League Jeremy Heller Cleveland Indians
Southern League Tyler Moos Cincinnati Reds
Texas League Grant Hufford Houston Astros
Florida State League Masanobu Koyanagi Kansas City Royals
California League Joshua Guterman Colorado Rockies
Carolina League Bobby Ruiz Cleveland Indians
Midwest League Jeffrey Paxson Milwaukee Brewers
South Atlantic League Michael Sole New York Yankees
New York–Penn League Brian Newman Tampa Bay Rays
Northwest League Mickey Clarizio Colorado Rockies
Appalachian League Kris Russell Tampa Bay Rays
Pioneer League Margaret Rall Chicago White Sox
Arizona League Randy K. Roetter Seattle Mariners
Gulf Coast League AJ Cano New York Yankees
Dominican Summer Allison Wood Los Angeles Dodgers

 The mission of the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society (PBATS) is to serve as an educational resource for the Major League and Minor League Baseball athletic trainers. For more information, please visit


CU sports G-MAC Athletic Training Staff of the Year


Article reposted from Cedarville Yellow Jackets
Author: Cedarville Yellow Jackets

Cedarville University has been recognized for having the 2016-17 Great Midwest Athletic Conference Athletic Training Staff of the Year.

It’s the third time in the past five years that the Yellow Jackets’ staff has earned G-MAC’s highest honor for athletic trainers which is voted on by the league’s ATC’s.

CU’s five-person group is headed up by Wes Stephens, Assistant Athletic Director for Sports Performance and Athletic Training, who oversees the care for the University’s 16 varsity sports and cheerleading.

He is joined by Assistant Athletic Trainers Amanda MeadeRebecca Stokes, and Kurt Gruenberg as well as Kurt Beachy, Instructor of Athletic Training.

“Cedarville has very strong athletic training education and athletic department programs,” Stephens said. “It’s something we’ve done well for years and placed a lot of value in.

“It’s gratifying because we feel like we have the facilities as well as the staff to be able to offer high level of services to everyone. It’s a goal of ours each year to be able to provide excellent care to our visitors and student-athletes.”

G-MAC athletic training staffs are limited to winning the award every other year. Cedarville was previously honored in 2012-13 (Head Athletic Trainer Christopher Cross) and 2014-15 (Head Athletic Trainer Wes Stephens).


Colin ‘Toledo’ Robinson Earns Larry Ashley Award


Article reposted from Western Hockey League

Colin ‘Toledo’ Robinson was presented with the Larry Ashley Award in recognition of his commitment to the sport of hockey in the community. The Kamloops Blazers athletic therapist began his career as a trainer in the WHL in 1995. Prior to joining the Blazers in 2005, “Toledo” worked as the athletic therapist for the Swift Current Broncos and was part of Team Canada’s training staff at two IIHF World Junior Championships and at the World Under-18 Hockey Challenge. He was also chosen as an athletic therapist in three CHL-NHL Top Prospects Games and was a member of the training staff at five WHL All-Star Games. This season, the veteran trainer surpassed 1,500 WHL games.


Angelo State Named Lone Star Athletic Training Staff of the Year


Article reposted from Angelo
author: Angelo

The athletic training staff at Angelo State University was recognized by their peers with the 13th annual Lone Star Conference Athletic Training Staff of the Year award for the 2016-17 academic year.

ASU earned its fourth athletic training award for the league, which consists of 11 member institutions with eight in Texas, one in Oklahoma and two in New Mexico.

Troy Hill, the Assistant Athletics Director of Sports Medicine, directs the Ram and Rambelles athletic training staff with assistance from Jaclyn Wood and Ryan Johnson plus graduate assistants Meagan SchraderCole RossDarolyn Nyhan, Stephannie Bledsoe.

The LSC Athletic Training Staff of the Year award is presented annually to the top institution as voted by the head athletic trainer of each member school.

The purpose of the award is to raise awareness of the athletic training profession. Criteria for the award include the athletic training staff’s hospitality toward visiting athletic trainers and teams; preparedness with supplies, equipment and services for visiting athletic trainers and teams; preparedness for emergency situations; and care for injured athletes from visiting teams.

Lone Star Conference Athletic Training Staff of the Year  

2016-17 Angelo State

2015-16 Midwestern State

2014-15 Texas Woman’s

2013-14 Angelo State

2012-13 Tarleton State

2011-12 Midwestern State

2010-11 Eastern New Mexico

2009-10 Midwestern State

2008-09 Eastern New Mexico and Southwestern Oklahoma

2007-08 Midwestern State, Southeastern Oklahoma and Northeastern State

2006-07 Abilene Christian and Southwestern Oklahoma

2005-06 Angelo State and Southeastern Oklahoma

2004-05 Angelo State and Southwestern Oklahoma

Athletic Training StudentAwards

CSUF Athletic Training awards endowed scholarships


Article reposted from The Orange County Register

Cal State Fullerton’s Athletic Training Program hosted its eighth annual Golf Tournament Scholarship Fundraiser at Coyote Hills Golf Course in Fullerton on July 15.

Dr. Robert Kersey, professor of Kinesiology and Director of the Athletic Training Program, said that over the last four to five years, the event has netted between $10,000 to $15,000. He hopes that same figure stands for this past event, which helps endow scholarships for promising Fullerton athletic-training students.

CSUF awarded its third Julie Max endowed scholarship to student Andee Monterone. This is the third Julie Max ’79 endowed scholarship to be awarded to a student, as it honors the school’s legendary head-athletic trainer.

Fullerton also awarded its first-ever Andy Paulin ’78 endowed scholarship to student Jacqueline Miller. Paulin was the second CSUF alum to be inducted into the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Hall of Fame.

“He was very instrumental in moving the profession of athletic training forward,” Kersey said.

Kersey said that Fullerton has had an athletic-training program since the mid to late 1970s. The school obtained its first accreditation in 2001, but before that accreditation wasn’t required, Kersey said.

Roughly 100 to 120 people were involved throughout the golf fundraiser with about 65 golfers participating in the 18-hole match. There was also a dinner afterwards, plus a silent auction and raffle.

“It was a fun afternoon and evening and I think most people had a good time,” Kersey said.


Joe Cunnane humbled by national most valuable award


Article reposted from The Herald News

Things certainly have come a long way for Joe Cunnane and the athletic training program at Lockport since he began working at the school in 1994.

Starting with no training room and eventually becoming one of the leaders in the state, the athletic trainer and teacher is proud of all the advancements and what it has meant for the thousands of Porters’ athletes who have benefited from them.

Because of his tireless efforts over the years, Cunnane recently was recognized by Training & Conditioning as its 2017 Most Valuable Athletic Trainer Award winner. He was honored last month at the National Athletic Trainers Association convention in Houston, which also was attended by his wife and parents.

“It was a really humbling honor, and the neatest part of the whole thing was hearing from some of the alums from those early years, when the athletic training program was just getting underway,” Cunnane said. “When I was a student at Illinois State, one of my mentors used to say that good athletic trainers treat injuries, but great ones prevent them. I don’t know if I’m a great one, but it’s always been a goal of mine as to how can we better prevent things. The world of athletic training continues to evolve, so you have to keep up with that educationally, and it’s a lot of work.”

Lockport athletic director Jim Prunty nominated Cunnane for the award. In his nomination, cited in the May/June edition of the magazine, Prunty wrote, “I am in my 41st year as an educator, and [Joe] is without a doubt the finest athletic trainer with whom I have ever had the pleasure of working. It is both rewarding and inspiring to observe him work with our student-athletes, as he is proactive in preventing potential injuries and extremely caring as he nurtures [athletes] during rehabilitation. It gives me a sense of security knowing we have Joe as our athletic trainer because I understand the quality of his work.”


Cunnane knows that the success of the athletic training program is the result of many peoples’ efforts, and he’s more than happy to spread the credit.

“This certainly was not a one-person endeavor,” Cunnane said. “All of the A.D.s during my tenure have been supportive of the program. We haven’t had too many situations where we bumped heads on anything. And we’ve had a lot of people who’ve come through the program and moved on to other things who were great athletic trainers. This has been a great place to work at and I also raise my family here, so we’ve been very fortunate.

“Mike Petty was a board member who was a trainer at Stagg for many years and he saw a need. Kent Irvin, who was the athletic director, embraced the process and he and I were able to do a lot of things together. And with Chris Marszalek, who was the P.E. chair and assistant athletic director, we worked through a lot of things and built what I have a lot of pride in now.

“It certainly was not just myself, there were a lot of people involved. It was great working with people like that, and with athletic secretary Donna Pattison, who were very willing to work with me whenever I came in with requests that there was some value to. That made it much easier to progress the program from its infantile stages to the program that it is.”

Although the high school committed to the program, he originally had no real work place.

“We had an old weight room that had a closet, and the closet became the training room,” Cunnane said. “So there was enough room for me and the person I was taking care of and that was it. With the big addition to the east campus in 1997, I was able to be involved in the creation of the athletic training room that we have now, which is an incredible facility.”

While many schools opt for private firms to handle their athletes, Lockport went with a different approach and Cunnane likes the hybrid model that’s in place.

“There’s a certain sense of stability when the trainer is a teacher or full-time staff member,” Cunnane said. “It’s nice when you have some stability and know that person is going to be there. Obviously you know the kids during the school day and I think it helps to build better rapport with the coaches since you’re not just seeing them when they’re at practice and busy.”


Michigan Athletic Trainer Honored


Article reposted from
Author: David Troppens

When one thinks of the last 20 years of Fenton High School athletics, a few images pop into mind.

There are visions of state championship track performers and deep state tournament runs in girls and boys soccer.

There are visions of Metro League football titles and great football playoff victories. There are also images of the coaches that have been around during that time.

However, one other vision probably hit a lot of people’s minds, particularly if you were an athlete over those 20 years  — and that is an image of Fenton’s longtime athletic trainer Mitch Smelis.

Smelis was recently honored for his service by earning the Michigan Athletic Training Society’s (MATS) Secondary Schools Athletic Trainer of the Year award for his two decades of service with Fenton athletics.

 “I’m appreciative of the support and recognition, but at the same time, I want to support and recognize the people that have helped me along the way,” Smelis said. “It takes a team to do it and I’ve had great support.”

“He’s such an invaluable resource for our kids and for our coaches,” Fenton’s athletic director Mike Bakker said. “He brings flexibility to our program from a sports medicine standpoint. The kids have built a level of trust in him and a confidence in his abilities, and with our coaches as well. It helps make us a complete program because they know that Mitch has their best interest involved, and he’s going to do everything he can to get them back on the field to play. … He’s built that rapport with the kids and coaches, so he can be trusted.”

Smelis at Fenton

Smelis will be the first to admit when he came to Fenton he didn’t think he’d be at his position for 20 years. In fact, the athletic director at that time, Scott Thurlow, thought that would be the case as well.

“When I took the position in 1997 they had gone through three athletic trainers with each being one (year) and done,” Smelis said. “I thought I’d be one and done. Thurlow said he wasn’t going to get to know me because he said I was only going to be here for a year and then be gone. I said I was going to come back for a year and a day just to prove him wrong. But one year turned into two years and it kept going. The community grew on me. That’s when I met my wife, who is a teacher in the district. Now we live here and our kids are in (Fenton) schools.”

During his time at Fenton, Smelis became the first one to bring concussion testing and monitoring to Genesee County. He also was chosen to be part of a pilot study on concussion management with the Michigan High School Athletic Association. He’s also a certified CPR, First Aid and Basic Life Support instructor with the American Heart Association. And he’s apparently a great mentor as well. The same year Smelis was honored, an ex-student assistant, Emilee (Anderson) VanHoven was awarded with the Distinguished Service Award.

Smelis continues to enjoy his time at Fenton.

“I’m getting kids from the parents I initially (trained as athletes),” Smelis said. “The trust is there and it helps things move forward. If someone has an injury now we do what it takes to get them back on the field, but we also look at the big picture. We want to make them productive members of the community down the line. There are the old people who are out there that talk about their ‘trick’ knee from an ACL they suffered on a game-winning touchdown. We try to make sure we are not setting them up for future problems by just looking at short-term goals, but the long-term goals as well.”


Sims Named to SWATA Hall of Fame


Article reposted from

Four years after receiving the organization’s Most Distinguished Award, longtime Baylor trainer Mike Sims has been named to the Southwest Athletic Trainers’ Association Hall of Fame.

The Hall of Fame was developed for the purpose of honoring members of District VI whose dedicated service, past achievements and professional contributions have furthered the advancement of the SWATA and the athletic training profession. Along with the University of Houston’s Mike O’Shea and former Spring ISD trainer Mike Pace, Sims will be honored this weekend at the SWATA Annual Meeting in San Marcos, Texas.

Sims arrived at Baylor in 1975 as a freshman student trainer, becoming the school’s first full-time assistant trainer six years later. He retired last month after 36 years of service, including the last two as Associate Athletics Director for Athletic Training.

“He has provided steady guidance of our Athletics Training area throughout his career, and he has positively impacted thousands of student-athletes along the way,” said Baylor Vice President and Director of Athletics Mack Rhoades.

Considered one of the nation’s leading authorities on sports equipment safety standards, Sims was previously honored with the 2006 Dave Campbell Award from the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce; the 2007 NATA Service Award; and the Admiral U.S. Grant Sharp Trophy at the 2012 Holiday Bowl for his unselfish commitment, motivation and teamwork.

As a member of the board of directors of the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment, he helped determine safety standards for equipment such as football and baseball helmets and catcher’s masks. Sims served 16 years on the NATA Ethics Committee, including seven as the committee chair.

The Cedar Hill, Texas, native spent five years as a Baylor student trainer under Skip Cox, graduating with a bachelor of science degree in 1980 and a master’s two years later.

Sims said working under Baylor Athletics Hall of Famers Cox and football coach Grant Teaff “helped set my foundation and got me going, just seeing how they were so good about handling situations.”

“That’s how I learned the whole business,” he said. “The way our profession is, it’s more like a family. You do things the way you’re taught them to do them. And with Skip, good work habits and taking care of the players, those were the things he pushed.”

Licensed by the State of Texas and NATA-certified, Sims became Baylor’s head trainer in October 1984 and was promoted to director of sports medicine in 1993. He served as president of the SWATA in 1991-91.

“He just had a way of making you feel like he cared about you as much more than just an athlete. He cared about you as a person,” said Walter Abercrombie, former Baylor running back (1978-81) and current Associate AD for the “B” Association. “Sometimes, athletes are a little superstitious when it comes to who they want to work with. But, Mike had a particular ability to make athletes feel that they were in excellent hands with him, from taping your ankle to taking care of you when you were sick and had to stay home.”

Sims, who now serves as head of the athletic training staff at Southwest Sports Medicine & Orthopaedics, is married to the former Suzanne Stevens, also a Baylor graduate. The couple has two children, Jessica and Keith, both Baylor graduates. Mike serves as a deacon at First Baptist Church of Woodway.




Article reposted from

Jennifer Raybern of Ottawa University has been named Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference Athletic Trainer of the Year. Raybern will be formally recognized at the Sport Management Conference on August 8 at the York College.

Jennifer Raybern is in her 19th year as Head Athletic Trainer at Ottawa University. Jennifer graduated from the University of Kansas in 1996 with a bachelor of science in exercise science with athletic training emphasis. She worked for two years as a student trainer at KU working primarily with the Jayhawk softball, football, women’s tennis and swimming & diving teams. While getting her Masters of Science in Kinesiology and Sports Psychology at the University of Kansas, Jennifer served as a graduate assistant athletic trainer at Baker University.

Arabie Conner, Athletic Director at Ottawa University said, “Jen’s commitment to Ottawa University and the level of care she provides our student-athletes is second to none.  As our athletic programs have grown from 14 to 25 during her time at OU, she has strategically managed to continue to provide a high level of care to all of our athletic programs including training and mentoring new staff and researching new sports in preparation.  She is a lifelong learner, never settling on past knowledge or ways of doing things.  Jen is passionate about what she does with unwavering dedication and ensures that our athletes are receiving the very latest in care methods and techniques as she stays professionally engaged in seeking out the newest practices.  Additionally, Jen is highly regarded and respected by her peers and the many professionals she interacts with daily including coaches, administrators and those in the medical field.  At OU, we know our athletes are being taken care of by a top-notch sports medicine team reflective of Jen’s vast knowledge and commitment to the field.”

As the Head Athletic Trainer for the Braves, Raybern is responsible for the prevention, care and rehabilitation of injuries for the 25 varsity athletic programs. She coordinates the sports medicine staff and supervises student athletic trainers in caring for the sports medicine needs of Braves’ athletics. Raybern works closely with the men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s Basketball, men’s and women’s wrestling and softball teams. She is a member of the faculty in the school of education.

“Jen has taken over as the KCAC Athletic Training president and brought different insights than the leadership that was in place before. she is the voice of reason among the KCAC athletic trainers,” University of Saint Mary head athletic trainer, Raeann Bromert said.  “Other athletic trainers in the conference look to her for guidance and reflections. Jen has committed herself to being the best she can within the profession and within her institution.”

In addition to being a certified and licensed athletic trainer, she is a certified strength and conditioning specialist and performance enhancement specialist. She works with individuals and teams on performance enhancement programs. Raybern is trained and certified in Active Release Technique, Graston Technique, and Kinesio taping.


Missouri Athletic Trainer Earns Hall of Fame Honor


Article reposted from

Morgan Simpson, AT, director of Citizens Memorial Hospital Sports Medicine Center, was one of three individuals inducted into the Missouri Sports Medicine Hall of Fame last month at the annual Missouri Athletic Trainers’ Association Honors and Award Ceremony.

This prestigious award honors medical professionals who have made long standing contributions that have had a significant impact on the athletic training and health care professions. Simpson is a licensed athletic trainer and has a degree in sports medicine and athletic training from Missouri State University, Springfield. He has been the director of the CMH Sports Medicine Center for 19 years.

The CMH Sports Medicine Center is located inside the Ken and Jane Meyer Wellness and Sports Center on the campus of Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar. The staff works closely with the SBU athletic training staff to provide physical rehabilitation services to student athletes. The Center also provides services to area schools including Bolivar, Buffalo, El Dorado Springs, Osceola, Pleasant Hope and Stockton.

For more information about athletic training, call the CMH Sports Medicine Center at 777-7763.