Jan 29, 2015
Athletic Trainers in the News
Patrick Bohn

As summer heats up, we take a look at some of the recent noteworthy accomplishments by athletic trainers, including one working on the international stage and others who have received national awards.

As the United States women’s soccer team continues its magical run to the World Cup game, one member of the squad might owe her presence to Head Athletic Trainer Greg Banks. Banks helped Heather Mitts get back on the pitch after she suffered multiple hamstring injuries. Banks, who has been working with the U.S. national team since the conclusion of the 2007 World Cup, says his role with the team is similar to that of an older brother.

“It’s like having 21 little sisters,” he told The Post-Courier. “And it’s my responsibility to make sure that they stay healthy.”

In the college ranks, the NATA named Iowa State University Associate Athletic Director for Athletic Training Mark Coberley the National Athletic Trainer of the Year at its recent annual meeting in New Orleans. Coberley, an Iowa native and Cyclone alum, has been at ISU since 1993, and before returning to his alma mater, spent three year at Wichita State University, providing coverage for the baseball team.

“Mark is a very dedicated, passionate and highly skilled sports medicine provider who is an invaluable member of our administrative team,” Iowa State Athletic Director of Athletics Jamie Pollard told the university Web site. “This honor is well deserved and we are proud to have Mark as a member of our Cyclone family.”

At the University of Texas, Tina Bonci, Co-Director of Athletic Training/Sports Medicine at the school, is being inducted into the Southwest Athletic Trainers Association Hall of Fame on July 15. Bonci, who is the chair of the clinical program for the Southwest Athletic Trainers’ Association and has been at Texas for 26 years, created the school’s training manual, which outlines the policies and procedures for all Longhorn student-athletes.

“We all know that Tina is a true professional and an expert clinician,” Allen Hardin, the school’s other Co-Director of Athletic Training/Sports Medicine said in a press release on the university athletics page. “She has touched the lives of countless student-athletes, athletic trainers, athletic training students, coaches, and parents.”

The University of Texas-Arlington offered a three-day Athletic Training Student Workshop for 19 high school students in June. The camp taught students the basics of some of the most pressing issues in athletic training today, such as concussions, heat-related illnesses, and nutrition.

Florida State is going to be looking for a new director of sports medicine. Athletic Trainer Randy Oravetz, who held that position for 25 years, and has worked at Florida State since 1976, is stepping down. Oravetz, who was named a Distinguished Athletic Trainer by the NATA in 2000 and given their service award in 1988, was responsible for overseeing over 500 student-athletes.

At the high school level, student-athletes at several Pittsburgh-area schools will receive coverage from athletic trainers this year, after the Armstrong school district voted not to furlough them. The positions were restored by a 5-4 vote, which pleased administrators who were worried about the lack of coverage for their athletic teams.

“I really think it would’ve been devastating to start a football season or a soccer season without someone there who was qualified to take care of (athletes’) medical needs,” Ray Blystone, Elderton High School Athletic Director told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Mary Paige Johnson was recently named the Earl J. “Bubba” Porche High School Student Trainer of the Year, the top award given to high school student trainers in Louisiana. Johnson, who will be an athletic training student at Northwestern State University this fall, not only worked at her high school, but was a volunteer at Northwestern State football games this past year as well.

Patrick Bohn is an Assistant Editor at Training & Conditioning.

Patrick Bohn is an Assistant Editor at Training & Conditioning.

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