Ball State alumni inducted into the IATA Hall of Fame


Article reposted from The Daily News
Author: Michelle Kaufman

Neal Hazen’s 31 year career as an athletic trainer has been shaped by a rule that led him to a statewide honor Sunday.

Hazen, a Ball State alumni and current head athletic trainer, was inducted into the Indiana Athletic Trainers Association (IATA) Hall of Fame on Nov 5. He graduated with a physical therapy degree in 1986, the last year Ball State offered the degree as an undergraduate program.

Hazen follows the golden rule when it comes to working with athletes and other trainers– treat others the way you want to be treated. In a field where treating people is the focus, Hazen says the rule has served him well.

“If you can keep that in mind and instill that in the new young professionals, it gets them off to such a good start,” Hazen said. “Because as much as you know, you start to realize there’s a lot more you don’t know. But if you treat people the right way, it goes a long way.”

Hazen worked in Fort Wayne right after graduation, but said the family atmosphere of Ball State brought him back.

“[The atmosphere] was here when I was here as a student and it was a big selling point to me and a big point of what I’ve tried to keep going and our staff has kept going as a team through all of our years here,” Hazen said.

He was involved in sports in high school and college but saw an opportunity to continue his involvement in sports through sports medicine. Hazen was the assistant athletic trainer from 1987 to 1996 before becoming head athletic trainer. Hazen said there have been a variety of personalities, students, faculty and staff throughout the years.

“I think just the culmination of everybody I’ve had the opportunity to work with … I’ve been blessed to have the opportunity to learn from so many people,” Hazen said. “Every day I think is a learning opportunity, and I always try to keep that in mind. If you take advantage of those opportunities, it’s amazing the things that you take away.”

Hazen said he wishes he did more patient care, but still works daily with Ball State’s 19 teams made up of over 400 student-athletes. He’s seen a monumental change in athletic training, as the medical and legal aspect is a lot bigger now, while patient care was a bigger focus in the past.

“We all evolve,” Hazen said. “None of us are the same person, the same athletic trainer today that we were a year ago or even a month ago for that matter … it’s just hard to imagine three decades of being blessed to be in this profession.”

Hazen was nominated for the award by assistant athletic trainer Troy Hershman, who said Ball State has the most alumni or people connected to the athletic training program in the IATA Hall of Fame. Hazen was working at Ball State when Hershman was a student. His earliest memory was meeting Hazen at a football practice

“Being the physical therapist, he was spending more time with patients,” Hershman said. “So if you really wanted to learn something, if you were smart, you hung out with Neal. You would learn stuff from Neal cause he would have more time for you [than some of the other trainers.]”

Hershman graduated from Ball State in 1992 and joined the staff in 2007. He saw the opportunity as a way to give back and also saw the family atmosphere in the program. Hershman said Hazen is highly respected in the program.

“We respect his decisions that he has to make … they’re not always easy decisions sometimes, but I think the mutual respect back to us as professionals and the mentorship he provides our younger staff is really what makes this whole deal really, really special,” Hershman said.

Senior athletic training major Fabian Munoz described Hazen as funny and someone who brings life into a room.

“The first time I ever met him, I was intimidated just by his title and immediately, it was like a breath of fresh air almost because of his personality and how nice he was,” Munoz said. “Working with him and being around him is awesome. He always has good insight and always is complementing and/or giving me tips and tricks on how to better myself as a student and clinician.”

Contact Michelle Kaufman with comments at


MSU-Northern’s Nichole Borst honored as NAIA athletic trainer of the year


Article reposted from Montana
Author: Richie Melby

Montana State University-Northern’s Nichole Borst was named the 2017 NAIA athletic trainer of the year recently. The accolade came during the annual NAIA national awards day where 21 individuals were honored for their achievements on and off the playing fields.

Borst is the head athletic trainer for the Lights and Skylights, serving the MSU-Northern programs for more than a decade. She has been appointed to the Montana board of athletic trainers and is also a member of the NAIA athletic trainers association, as well as the national athletic trainers association.

Borst’s dedication to the university goes beyond the playing fields. She serves as an adjunct professor in physical education as well as health promotions and secondary health. Borst is also the student success advisor. She donates her time training local EMS workers and emergency room employees, while also education local high school and college coaching staffs.

This marks the second straight year a Frontier Conference athletic trainer has won the award. Lewis-Clark State College’s Tracy Collins was named the winner in 2016.


Howze named NAIA-ATA Athletic Trainer of the Year


Article reposted from The Daily Citizen
Author: Hamilton Health Care System

The Athletic Trainers Association recently named Sherman Howze, athletic trainer for Hamilton Sports Medicine, the 2016 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA)-ATA Southern States Athletic Conference Athletic Trainer of the Year.

Howze is the athletic trainer for Dalton State College (DSC).

“Sherman is a big part of our success,” said Hunter Hageman, DSC assistant men’s basketball coach. “He relates well to the players.”

Sayvon Wilson, DSC athlete, said Howze is one of the best trainers he’s worked with. “He loves us all,” he said.

This award recognizes a National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA)-certified athletic trainer at an NAIA institution who has distinguished himself or herself as a model of the profession of athletic training in personal conduct and professional allied health service to athletes.

Erik Simpson, assistant athletic director at Dalton State, nominated Howze for the award.

“Sherman has lowered the cost of insurance, decreased our injury-rate percentage and called for more stringent drug testing at the NAIA level,” said Simpson.

According to Stephanie Rynas, Hamilton Sports Medicine manager, Howze is humble, hardworking and positive.

“Even having the long hours that being a college athletic trainer requires, Sherman still volunteers to help other staff members and is a true team player,” she said. “He cares about doing the best job he can and getting the best results.”


Aces’ Abe named PCL Athletic Trainer of the Year


Article reposted from kolo8 News Now
Author: Reno Aces

The Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society (PBATS) has selected Reno Aces’ Masa Abe as the Pacific Coast League Trainer of the Year. Abe is Reno’s first trainer to take home the award in the franchise’s nine-year history.

The award is given annually to one member of each of the 16 Leagues in Minor League Baseball, as well as the Dominican Summer League, in a selection by their peers. As the PCL winner, Abe is now eligible for the Minor League Athletic Trainer of the Year award, which is voted upon by full membership of the PBATS and announced at the 2017 Major League Baseball Winter Meetings in Orlando, Florida.

Abe is in his second season with Reno and seventh season with the Diamondbacks medical staff. He began his professional career in 2011 with Rookie-level AZL D-backs and moved up to Rookie-advanced Missoula in 2012. In his one season in Missoula, he was named the Pioneer League Athletic Trainer of the Year. Abe’s ascension up the D-backs minor league ladder continued when he jumped to Advanced-A Visalia in 2013 and Double-A Mobile for the 2014-2015 campaigns.

Prior to joining the D-backs, Abe was a graduate assistant trainer at the University of Arkansas. A native of Aiehi, Japan, Abe graduated from the Toyota National of College of Tech High School in Toyota, Japan, and went on to earn his degree in mechanical engineering in 2001. Abe came to the United States and attended Northern Colorado where he earned his undergraduate degree in athletic training in 2007. Abe worked as a Minor League assistant athletic trainer/strength and conditioning coach for one season with the Class A Short-Season Vancouver Canadians.

The Aces return home to Greater Nevada Field for four final regular season home games labor weekend, September 1-4, against the Albuquerque Isotopes. Playoff tickets are also available for reservation by visiting the ticket office or Potential home playoff games are Wednesday, September 6th and Thursday, September 7th at Greater Nevada Field, both scheduled for 7:05 p.m. For 2018 ticket packages or more information, call (775) 334-4700. Follow the club all season long on Twitter (@Aces) or like the team on Facebook.


Florida’s Athletic Trainer of the Year


Article reposted from TBN Weekly
Author: TBN Weekly

Marie Freudenthal, a certified athletic trainer with Morton Plant Mease’s Sports Medicine Outreach program, was recently named the High School Athletic Trainer of the Year by the Florida Athletic Trainers Association.

Freudenthal has been with BayCare for 10 years, serving first as athletic trainer at Osceola High school and spending the last six years at Clearwater High School, where she dedicates her time to ensuring the health and safety of youth athletes.

Freudenthal didn’t plan to become an athletic trainer. Her plan was to be a physical therapist; however, she needed a bachelor’s degree to attend physical therapy school. When she decided to major in athletic training, she found her passion and has made it her life’s work.

“As a high school athletic trainer, sometimes I am the most consistent person in a student’s life,” Freudenthal said. “To work with students, day in and day out, and watch them make good decisions is very rewarding.”

Freudenthal attends football practices in the fall and spring and all home athletic events in the fall, winter and spring sports seasons. She also mentors interns from the University of Tampa and the University of Central Michigan.

“Marie (Freudenthal) takes time to get to know our coaches and athletes,” said Clearwater High School Athletic Director Kathy Biddle. “She is passionate about her job and truly cares about the athletes at our school.”

In 2016, she had the privilege of watching her Clearwater High School football team go from a losing season in 2015 to an undefeated season.

“These seniors were the first group I had worked with for all four years. Many of them have difficult life circumstances so it was wonderful to watch them stay focused, never give up and then achieve great things,” Freudenthal said.

Freudenthal works at Clearwater High School as part of the partnership between BayCare’s athletic training program and Pinellas County Schools. The program’s goal is to increase safety awareness among coaches, student athletes, and parents, and to provide educational materials and follow up evaluations to determine return-to-play timelines for student athletes.


Central Oklahoma faculty member joins NATA Hall of Fame


Article reposted from The Edmond Sun
Author: The Edmond Sun

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.





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