College and University

Dee Jones to Retire After 30 Years of Service at the Naval Academy


Article reposted from Navy Sports
Author: Navy Sports

Dee Jones, Assistant Athletic Director for Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, is retiring after 30 years of service at the Naval Academy.

“I could not be more appreciative of the leadership and professionalism that has been Dee Jones over the past 30 years,” said Naval Academy Director of Athletics Chet Gladchuk. “She set the bar with the sports medicine staff and her relationships with our student-athletes was one of respect and mutual admiration.  We will miss Dee very much.”

“Dee Jones is one the unsung heroes of Navy Football and the Naval Academy,” said Navy head football coach Ken Niumatalolo.  “Thirty years of dedicated service and care for thousands of midshipmen during her tenure is something I know she is very proud of.  She is a Hall of Fame Trainer who will be sorely missed by many.  So many of us have been blessed by Dee Jones- simply put; she was the best!”

“Thirty years go by in an instant. I have cherished each and every moment, especially working with such amazing leaders, administrators, coaches, physicians, athletic trainers and athletes,” said Jones.  “I came to work every day with a positive attitude, motivated to be the best I could be as the athletes tried to be their best.  I am humbled and inspired by the exceptional student-athletes I have worked with, marveling at the great people they have become; it has truly been my honor to serve my real-life heroes.  I will forever be one of Navy’s greatest fans.”


Jones was instrumental in facilitating a learning environment in the athletic training department at Navy. She initiated an internship program for undergraduate athletic trainer students that exposed them to the unique environment of the Naval Academy, while allowing them to gain the practical athletic training experience required to become certified. In addition, she created postgraduate internship positions that allowed recently graduated, certified athletic trainers the opportunity to work full-time in a high-level Division I athletics program.

Jones started in the ticket office at Navy and was appointed to the athletic training staff in March of 1987 and has taken care of thousands of student athletes during her tenure.

Jones received her Bachelor of Science degree in sports science from the University of Michigan in 1983 and completed the athletic training curriculum at West Chester University that same year.  Jones received her Master of Science degree in sports administration from the University of North Dakota in 1986.

College and University

Women in the Workplace: Mountain Biking Athletic Trainer Keeps Athletes Healthy


Article reposted from South Platte Sentinel
Author: Kyle Inman

Catherine Ortiz is meeting a goal that she’s always had when starting her job at Banner Health as an athletic trainer in March.

Ortiz knew she wanted to work to keep athletes healthy since attending high school in Newburgh, New York. Sports has always been part of her life as she played soccer and ran track and cross country.

She attended Ithaca College in New York, where she received a bachelor’s degree and continued to run track and cross country. She then moved on to earn a master’s degree in exercise physiology at San Diego State University. She worked for four years as a graduate assistant athletic trainer and was thrown into the fire immediately training athletes in sports such as basketball, track, water polo and swimming.

“They hired me late in the year and just being thrown into it, being independent right away and using what I had while asking questions to get my own rhythm out there helped,” Ortiz said. “I gained a lot of experience because they were a Division I school so it was pretty demanding.”

The choice to major in exercise physiology was based on Ortiz’s wanting more knowledge about the science aspect of being a trainer. She has always thought about going back to school to complete a physical therapy degree program and wants to achieve more certifications behind her name. She has a special interest in conditioning and would like to be more involved in that aspect of sports.

“I really enjoy the research part of it so I want to be involved in that,” Ortiz said. “I just like working with athletes and I love being around motivated people.”

There’s something about Colorado that Ortiz has always found intriguing. That’s the reason she chose to come to the state after four years in San Diego.

“I’m not used to the small town, but everybody has been so nice and helpful so far — just so welcoming,” Ortiz said.

She served as the trainer for Northeastern Junior College baseball during the spring and is spending the summer helping in orthopedic and physical therapy areas. She plans to go around to the high schools and help out wherever she’s needed in the area.

Competing in triathlons in graduate school helped to keep Ortiz active and she now focuses on being a cyclist in her spare time. She rides competitively through USA cycling, competing in certified races at different levels.

“I love riding and usually on the weekends it’s 50 miles plus,” the athletic trainer said. “My long rides are Saturday and Sunday while during the week I just try to stay in shape. I have a lot of training in the front range so it’s just trying to figure out where to do it here.”

College and UniversityProfessional Development

Athletic Training Staff attends Spine Boarding Session at Shirley Field


Article reposted from Texas A&M International University Dust Devils
Author: Tim Fairhead


The Texas A&M International University Athletic Training Staff got some hands-on experience at Shirley Field on Wednesday. Members of the staff had an opportunity to attend a spine boarding session hosted at Shirley Field.

For the first time in either district’s history, UISD and LISD came together to prepare athletic trainers for the upcoming football season.

The districts, in partnership with Laredo’s first responders hosted a special clinic on dealing with spinal injuries and how to properly place athletes on a spine board.

Head Athletic Trainer Ernst Feisner saw the opportunity as a great way to get student-trainers hands-on experience with spinal injuries and how to properly respond. Feisner commented, “I appreciate the opportunity to participate in the spine boarding clinic hosted by LISD.  It gave my Athletic Training students a chance to learn vital skills from doctors and Athletic Trainers in town.  It also gave the students, Sarai , and I a chance to interact with other  ATs and some of their students.”

The clinic was attended by trainers from both school districts, Laredo Sports Medicine, Laredo Fire Department, and Victorious Care Ambulance service.


College and University

SCF athletic trainer Lora Stelzer leaving for Cal State Bakersfield


Article reposted from Bradenton Herald

Matt Ennis noticed Lora Stelzer’s knack for bursting into dance at a State College of Florida sporting event.

So SCF’s athletic director joked with Stelzer that he’d catch her on video at some point and post it on SCF’s social media channels.

It never happened.

“I think I just planned it at the right time where he couldn’t think fast enough to film me,” Stelzer said. “You have to stay goofy and loose, especially working with college students.”

And now, it will not.

Stelzer, SCF’s athletic trainer since 2011, is leaving the Manatees to become Cal State Bakersfield’s athletic trainer.

Her last day at SCF is Friday, Aug. 4. Stelzer, who is from California, said her new gig’s target start date is in mid-August.

“My husband and I are going to drive from Florida to California,” Stelzer said.

Stelzer became the Manatees athletic trainer after Ennis became the program’s athletic director, and she left her native California with a cross-country drive to Bradenton in 2011.

“Totally a great opportunity for her,” Ennis said. “Super excited for Lora and what it holds for her.”

It’s an exciting opportunity, but also bittersweet for Stelzer. She said it was a difficult decision after spending more than six years in the role. But a key selling point to take a job at a four-year school was returning home.

“My brother will be about an hour away,” Stelzer said. “My parents are about three or four hours away, so definitely having them close is definitely a benefit.”

During Stelzer’s career with SCF, she took on several extra responsibilities as an athletic trainer. She chaired Florida’s collegiate athletic trainer committee, which includes colleges at all levels. Stelzer also was involved with athletic training at the National Junior College Athletic Association level and being an instrumental force in a state-level sports medicine group.

“When she’s on the job, you know your students are taken care of,” Ennis said.

College and University

Fordham Head Athletic Trainer Vinny Porricelli Announces Retirement


Article reposted from Fordham Athletics
Author: Fordham Athletics

Fordham University head athletic trainer Vinny Porricelli, ATC, CSCS, who has worked with Fordham student-athletes for the past 35 years, announced his retirement effective August 25, 2017, it was announced today.

“We are immensely grateful to Vinny for his outstanding dedication and devotion to Fordham athletics and the student-athletes,” said Director of Athletic Dave Roach. “He worked tirelessly to provide the student-athletes the best of care with their well-being always a priority. Vinny will be missed.”

Porricelli, who joined the Fordham training staff in a part-time capacity in 1982 before becoming full-time three years later, took over as head athletic trainer after longtime head trainer Jim Wilson retired in 1999. He is just one of four people to hold the position of head athletic trainer in Fordham history.

A 1973 Manhattan College graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education, Porricelli received his Certificate in Physical Therapy from Columbia University in 1975, and three years later a Masters in Exercise Physiology at the New York City-based school.

Porricelli became a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) by the National Strength & Conditioning Association (NSCA) in 2003. And in January of 2008 he received his certification from the Titleist Performance Institute as a Certified Golf Fitness Instructor.

In 2008, Porricelli was rewarded for his 20+ years of service to Fordham, as he was inducted into the Fordham Athletic Hall of Fame.

College and University

Athletic Trainer Jeremy Busch Keeps Illini Football Running Smooth


Article reposted from The News-Gazette
Author: Matt Daniels

Jeremy Busch has a lengthy checklist to complete every Saturday from early September to late November.

Well before the Illinois football team even kicks off a game.Busch, about to enter his third season as the head athletic trainer for Lovie Smith’s program, starts gamedays by checking in with the players during breakfast.

Then, between breakfast and the pre-game meal, he and his staff may perform treatments or mobility work with certain players.

“We also are working with the hotel staff to make sure all of our meeting rooms and the pre-game meal have our Gatorade and bottled water available for our student-athletes,” Busch said. “During this time, I also check in with the coaching staff and give them updates on any existing situations or new ones which may arise.”

Once that is done and he is at the stadium — whether it’s Memorial Stadium in Champaign or any other venue the Illini are playing at — the undergraduate athletic training aides Busch supervises, along with the remainder of the football sports medicine staff, setup of the field, locker room and athletic training room with supplies commences.

Then it’s onto pre-game treatments and taping, before touching base again with the Illinois coaching staff, game officials, the emergency medical personnel, the medical spotter, the Illini’s x-ray technician and the opposing team’s sports medicine staff.

All before Chase McLaughlin strikes the opening kickoff or Kendrick Foster waits to return said opening kickoff. Once the game starts, Busch and his staff go into what Busch said is “ijury management mode.”

“If a student-athlete sustains an injury, we remove him from the field and take him into the evaluation tent to be examined by our physicians,” Busch said. “After the game is over,we go through an injury check with anyone who did sustain an injury during the game, while the athletic training aides are cleaning up the field and athletic training room. I then communicate with Coach Smith, the coordinators and appropriate position coaches of their injured student-athletes. Once this is completed, we meet as a sports medicine staff, review all new injuries, and begin to set the treatment plan and coordinate any further diagnostic testing if directed by the physicians.”

Busch is familiar with the Big Ten. Illinois is the fifth school in the league the 2002 University of Iowa graduate, who grew up in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, has associated with since his undergraduate days.

He arrived at Illinois prior to the 2015 season after a one-year stint as the head football athletic trainer at Texas Tech in 2014, which was preceded by two years spent as the assistant football athletic trainer/rehabilitation coordinator at Nebraska. Busch has also worked at Indiana, Minnesota and Iowa, sandwiched in between a six-year stay at Colorado State from 2006 to 2012 as an assistant athletic trainer, his first full-time gig in the profession upon completing his education.

“Growing up in the Midwest and on Big Ten sports, I wanted the opportunity to get closer to home and make a positive impact on student-athletes here at Illinois,” Busch said. “I always had a goal of becoming a head football athletic trainer of a Big Ten football program, and when this opportunity arose, it was one which my family and I couldn’t pass on.”

Busch is a key part of the 25-person sports medicine staff Illinois has. Along with his co-workers there, he communicates with Smith and his coaching staff, along with the team’s strength and conditioning staff and nutritionists who work with the team on a daily basis to inform them of any player who is injured or may need to be modified during in the weight room or during practice.

“Medicine is constantly changing,” Busch said. “There is information and research being discovered today which we didn’t know about 15, five or even two years ago. It is important for us to make sure we are staying up-to-date with evidence-based medicine and in how we practice and implement these changes appropriately.”

Given his extensive time spent at Memorial Stadium and traveling during the season with the Illini, Busch said any down time he has from his job is spent with his wife, Peggy, and the couple’s twins, Emma and Landon.

“I couldn’t do this job, nor stay in this profession, without the love and support from my wife,” Busch said. “She wears every hat at home. She is the family CEO who has her own full-time job, mother, taxi driver for our kids, and my biggest supporter. She devotes a lot of time and energy into our family so I can do this job at a high level. We are a tight-knit family who take advantage of every minute away from the office. With our twins in seemingly every event, my wife and I find our enjoyment in watching them participate and succeed in what they love.”

College and University

In retirement from Allegheny College, Plunkett leaves legacy


Article reposted from The Meadville Tribune
Author: The Meadville Tribune

Congratulations to Allegheny College head athletic trainer Jamie Plunkett on his upcoming retirement.

Last week, the school announced Plunkett’s retirement effective July 31. Hired in 1983, he is the longest-tenured employee in the college’s athletic department.

And he will be missed.

Joining him in retirement will be his wife Sue, an Allegheny employee since 1988 and currently the director of the college’s Winslow Health Center.

“Words can’t express what Jamie means to Gator athletics, Allegheny College and the Meadville community,” Athletic Director Portia Hoeg said. “Not only has he provided treatment to thousands of Gator student-athletes, but he has been a pillar of the Meadville community. Jamie and his wife Sue have been the cornerstone of health, wellness and care for Allegheny and our athletic programs for 34 years.”

We couldn’t have said it better.

For 34 years, Plunkett helped care for athletes at Allegheny. Countless assistants who worked under Plunkett have continued to prosper in the athletic training field after leaving Allegheny, while he is also proud to have employed a number of student workers who pursued careers in medicine after graduating.

In addition to his work as the school’s head athletic trainer, Plunkett also serves on the athletic department’s senior administration team and has served on the Allegheny Hall of Fame committee for the entirety of his career.

If you’re wondering about his hockey plans — don’t worry; Plunkett’s duties as hockey coach for the Meadville Bulldogs won’t change.

After 31 years at the helm and more than 1,000 victories, he’ll be back for more.

“We’re not going anywhere,” he said. “This is home for us. We have a daughter working in Pittsburgh (Annie) and a daughter that teaches in Fairview (Joanie). Meadville is our home. We’re very happy here.”

We wish the Plunketts the best of luck in their retirement and continued success for Jamie Plunkett and the Meadville hockey team.

College and University

Plunkett retires from Allegheny; as for hockey, he’s ‘not going anywhere’


Article reposted from The Meadville Tribune
Author: Pete Chiodo

For 34 years, athletes at Allegheny College took their bumps, bruises, sprains and strains to one guy — head athletic trainer and Meadville resident Jamie Plunkett. 

Starting this coming school year, the first set of hands to treat the school’s athletes in need will belong to someone else. 

On Friday, Allegheny announced that Plunkett is retiring from his position, effective July 31. 

Joining him in retirement will be his wife Sue, an Allegheny employee since 1988 and currently the director of the college’s Winslow Health Center.

“It’s something Sue, my wife, and I started planning a couple years ago,” said Plunkett. “We weren’t sure what date it would be. We were just kind of planning for the next phase in our lives, an exit strategy. But I don’t know if there is a right time. I’ve talked to a lot of friends around my age who have recently retired and I asked them, ‘How did you know it was time?’ And they said, ‘I didn’t know.’ Nobody had a good answer.”

According to the college’s press release, Plunkett was hired to his post as head athletic trainer in the summer of 1983, making him the longest tenured employee in the Allegheny College athletic department. 

“I had really given some thought to doing one more year and make it nice round number at 35,” said Plunkett. “Then I thought I’d do one more football season because that was always been my favorite sport to work. But then this spring I felt that it was time. And my wife felt the same way. She’s retiring as well. 

“She’s a nurse practitioner. So she’s going to work as part-time provider. And I’m going to continue coaching and go from there.” 

So, go ahead and exhale now, Meadville hockey fans. Plunkett, who has been the head coach of the Meadville Bulldogs varsity hockey team for the past 31 years, and just celebrated his 1,000th career victory this past season, is staying with the team at least for the time being. 

“We’re not going anywhere,” said Plunkett. “This is home for us. We have a daughter working in Pittsburgh (Annie) and a daughter that teaches in Fairview (Joanie). Meadville is our home. We’ve very happy here.”

Allegheny will now set about finding Plunkett’s replacement. The school announced that a national search is underway. 

“Words can’t express what Jamie means to Gator athletics, Allegheny College and the Meadville community,” Allegheny Athletic Director Portia Hoeg stated in the press release. “Not only has he provided treatment to thousands of Gator student-athletes, but he has been a pillar of the Meadville community. Jamie and his wife Sue have been the cornerstone of health, wellness and care for Allegheny and our athletic programs for 34 years.”

A native of Toronto, Ontario, Plunkett was hired by Norm Sundstrom, the legendary Allegheny athletic director, basketball coach and golf coach. He arrived in Meadville after beginning his athletic training career at Cornell University.

During his 34-year career, the Gators have captured 115 North Coast Athletic Conference team championships, while over 100 student-athletes have been named All-America. Some of his fondest memories include the baseball team’s rise to national prominence throughout the 1990’s, culminating with a trip to the NCAA Division III World Series in 2000, as well as a pair of trips to the NCAA tournament for the men’s basketball team in 1989 and 1997. His fondest memory, however, remains one of the crowning achievements in the athletic department’s nearly 175-year history.

“Number one would have to be the 1990 NCAA football championship,” he said, “and the way it came out of nowhere.  … I don’t know if we were the best team in the country, but were the team playing the best at the right time.”

Countless assistants who worked under Plunkett have continued to prosper in the athletic training field after leaving Allegheny, while he is also proud to have employed a number of student workers who pursued careers in medicine after graduating.

In addition to his tireless work as the school’s head athletic trainer, Plunkett has also been involved in a myriad of roles throughout the athletic department. He serves on the athletic department’s senior administration team, while he is also on the Golden Gator Golf Outing Committee, and has served on the Allegheny Hall of Fame committee for the entirety of his career.

“I value Jamie as a member of our senior leadership team, and for all of his additional work with the golf outing and the Hall of Fame,” said Hoeg. “We are really going to miss his leadership and the influence he has on everyone in the department. In addition to administering care to the numerous student-athletes, Jamie has mentored so many young professionals in the athletic training industry. He is truly an Allegheny treasure, and I know I speak for everyone when I wish him all the best as he goes on to enjoy retirement.”

And what does those retirement plans include? 

Well, maybe taking in an athletic event or two. 

“I was always a little envious of folks that could do stuff in the fall,” he said. “There’s a whole list of things that I want to do, like go to a football game at Penn State, one of those big college football games. With everything I’ve been doing all these years, I’ve never been able to do that.”

And even though he won’t be treating players any longer, don’t expect him to be a stranger around the playing fields at Allegheny. 

“You can’t do what I’ve done at Allegheny for as long as I have without having really deep roots,” he said. “I wish nothing but success for them and I’m still close to a lot of athletes, past and present. I’ve gotten a lot of texts and emails from them today.

“I don’t think those relationships will ever change. So, yeah, you’ll probably still see me at basketball games, football games.”

College and University

Ainsworth Enjoys Beavers’ Run To College World Series


Article reposted from Polk County Itemizer Observer
Author: Lukas Eggen

Oregon State University’s baseball team was in the midst of a historic season.

The Beavers earned a No. 1 national ranking and advanced to the College World Series in Omaha, Neb. Athletic trainer Jeremy Ainsworth couldn’t help but enjoy the ride.

“The season was unbelievable from any perspective,” Ainsworth said. “It was a great staff and a great group of guys to work with all year.”

Ainsworth arrived at Oregon State last fall after serving as athletic trainer at Central High School. Despite being in a new job and the Beavers being in the national spotlight, Ainsworth didn’t feel overwhelmed due to his drive to keep kids safe and healthy, regardless of whether they’re a JV athlete in high school or playing for a national title in college.

“When it comes down to it, working to keep athletes safe on the field and working on preventing, evaluating and treating injuries is the main focus at any level,” he said.

During his time with the Panthers, Ainsworth was well-liked and well-respected by student-athletes and coaches. Ainsworth, a Central High graduate, knew it would take a special opportunity to get him to leave.

That’s what he found at Oregon State.

“It was a great opportunity for sure to return to the collegiate level with a great staff, amazing baseball program and at my alma mater,” Ainsworth said.

Ainsworth became an assistant athletic trainer with Oregon State last fall and began working primarily with the baseball program.

“It’s not that different from a professional standpoint. … Really, with athletic training and injury management aspect, dealing with an ankle sprain with a football player and baseball player isn’t that much different until you get to some more advanced functional progressions.”

The biggest challenge had little to do with resources or scheduling.

“The biggest challenges were probably coming into the position following up after a guy who had been there for a number of years and was beloved by the coaches, staff and players, and getting to know everyone and their routines and becoming part of their family, while making it my own to some extent, too,” Ainsworth said.

It was a challenge he was well-equipped to tackle.

“My time at Central was amazing,” Ainsworth said. “It was great to come back to the community I grew up in and my alma mater and continue to develop as an athletic trainer, grow the services available to the students and work with a great group of coaches, administrators, student-athletes and their families.”

Ainsworth’s new gig with the Beavers didn’t happen overnight and took lots of dedication, studying and a desire to always improve and learn new and better ways to keep athletes safe. His advice to any future athletic trainer? Never be satisfied.

“Work hard, be professional and get involved with your state and national organizations,” Ainsworth said. “Volunteer and give back to your community. Cultivate relationships and always try and better yourself.”

College and University

UNC’s baseball team has a secret weapon


Article reposted from The Washington Post
Author: Marissa Payne

The golden retriever standing with the North Carolina baseball team for the national anthem isn’t a mascot. Remington, or simply “Remi,” as the dog is called by the players, is a teammate — and an important one at that.

Technically known as a “psychiatric medical alert facility rehabilitation service dog,” the 2-year-old pup was brought to the team by athletic trainer Terri Jo Rucinski to assist players recovering from surgery. According to junior outfielder Brian Miller, who had surgery last fall, the canine therapy worked.

“All my rehab was taught and done through Terri Jo and obviously Remi was with her every day,” Miller told UNC’s website in March. “Being injured isn’t really the most fun thing to go through so it was definitely fun to have Remi there with me.”

Remington joined the team in August after going through years of rigorous training where he learned more than 100 commands. Remington can even “read,” according to the university, which reports Remington follows commands written on cue cards.

While Remington’s main duty is to help struggling teammates regain their strength and confidence, the dog helps wherever he can on the field. For instance, according to Rucinski, Remington carries balls in a bucket out to the umpire before games. He also holds a hat or glove in his mouth for the national anthem. And while Remington can’t open a bottle of Gatorade, he can open the fridge allowing players easy access.

“This is the first time I’ve ever had a dog or any sort of assistance dog helping out with any team I’ve been a part of,” Miller added. “It’s like a bond that I have with any of my teammates really.”

Remington, who is the only service dog specifically assigned to an ACC team, helped the Tar Heels go 47-12 in the regular season, which earned them the second-overall seed in this year’s NCAA tournament that begins on Friday. North Carolina will host Davidson, and if it wins, it’ll be one step closer to the College World Series in Omaha, where Remington would likely join the Tar Heels.