Most Valuable Athletic Trainer Award Honorees

 Dan Newman

For over 20 years, Dan has served as the Head Athletic Trainer at Union High School, where he has dedicated himself to providing outstanding athletic care to high school student-athletes. As a certified athletic trainer, Dan sets the standard for excellence in athletic care at the secondary school level.

Active in his state association, the OATA, Dan is always on the forefront of best practices and new legislation that may affect how student-athletes should be evaluated and treated. He currently oversees the operation of an athletic training clinic that employs two staff Athletic Trainers and 15 student athletic training aides, providing service to over 1500 student-athletes and 25 sports. In addition, Dan coordinates a sports medicine team including the team physician, orthopedist, physical therapists, neurologists, and several other area specialists.

Dan’s outstanding service and leadership to the profession have earned him numerous accolades, including his involvement on the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) Secondary Schools Athletic Trainer Committee and the NATA-State Association Advisory Committee. He has also served on the OSSAA Sports Medicine Advisory Committee and was the Oklahoma Athletic Trainer’s Association President for two years. Dan’s commitment to the field of athletic training has also extended to his involvement with the Mid-America Athletic Trainers’ Association (MAATA) D-5 Board of Directors and Finance Committee.

Dan’s dedication to serving the student-athletes of Union High School is evident in the quality of care that he and his team provide. His leadership in the field of athletic training has set the standard for excellence and has contributed significantly to the advancement of the profession

Heather Arabitg

Heather Arabitg is an accomplished athletic trainer with ten years of experience serving the student-athletes of Caldwell University. Over the course of her tenure, Heather has held several key leadership positions, including five years as head athletic trainer and two years as the athletic department’s Senior Woman Administrator. She was recently promoted to Assistant Director of Athletics, a testament to her exceptional leadership and dedication to the department.

Under Heather’s guidance, the Caldwell University athletic department has grown significantly, with the addition of seven new sports and over 130 student-athletes. Her leadership has also been instrumental in the development of additional athletic training space and organizational structure, ensuring that student-athletes receive the best possible care.

As head athletic trainer, Heather is responsible for the health and well-being of over 370 NCAA Division II student-athletes. Her expertise and dedication to her craft have earned her numerous accolades, including the 2021 Mission in Action Award. This prestigious award recognizes the extraordinary contributions and quality service of a University staff member and acknowledges their role in advancing the mission of Caldwell University.

Heather’s commitment to the success and well-being of Caldwell University’s student-athletes is unmatched, and her impact on the department is immeasurable.


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