Reaching the Pinnacle

January 26, 2018
By Maria Hutsick

Maria Hutsick, MS, LAT, ATC, CSCS, is Head Athletic Trainer at Medfield (Mass.) High School and former Director of Sports Medicine at Boston University. She is a past president of the College Athletic Trainers' Society and was honored with an NATA Athletic Trainer Service Award in 2010. She can be reached at: mhutsick@email.medfield.net.

Recently, I had the honor of being inducted into the Ithaca College Athletics Hall of Fame. It was quite a surprise and a thrill to be inducted. It was also a great recognition for my career as an athletic trainer over the past 40 years.

I first came to Ithaca as a student not knowing that I was going to become involved with athletic training. I took a class from Chuck Kerr, who was the Athletic Director at the time but had been an athletic trainer at the University of Oregon before coming to Ithaca. He inspired me to become an athletic trainer. 

Kent Scriber, EdD, ATC, PT, FNATA, was the Head Athletic Trainer when I was a student. Kent played a major role in my career, as he allowed me to work football with him to finish my clinical rotation. At the time, women were not allowed to work with men’s sports and were not welcome in the predominately male profession.

My connection to Ithaca continued even after I left campus. While I was the Director of Sports Medicine at Boston University, I hired an Ithaca alum. The football coach at my current school played at Ithaca, and we talk about our experiences quite a bit.

Going back to Ithaca after so many years was a treat. The Hall of Fame weekend included a career panel discussion with all the athletes, of which I was a part. Many of the other inductees are in business, so after the program, several students came up to me and told me how excited they were that I was there, as they were majoring in athletic training.

The Hall of Fame ceremony was a very classy event. I met the new president who was impressed by the support of the school's alumni. I was able to have two of my former professors sit with me at my table along with my family for the dinner and ceremony. The presenters were Director of Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreational Sports Susan Bassett, who was one of my classmates, as well as Kevin O’Connor from ESPN, who is also an alum.

I hope that all of you cherish the time you spent at your college or university and stay in touch with the program. If you are in the field of athletic training, you will need the support and continued mentorship of the program you came from as a new professional. Many questions and situations will present themselves, and you will depend on their advice.

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