Jan 29, 2015
Mount Union Mourns Athletic Trainer

By Patrick Bohn

The University of Mount Union was rocked by tragedy Tuesday night when the school’s Director of Athletic Training, Dan Gorman, MS, LAT, ATC was killed in a bus crash.
Gorman had been with Mount Union since 1985, serving as both the Director of Athletic Training and Associate Professor of Human Performance and Sport Business. Recently, he helped the school receive 10-year accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE).

According to CNN, at approximately 11 p.m. last Tuesday, the wrestling team was on a bus returning from a match at Ohio Northern University. The bus attempted to pass a snow plow and the two vehicles collided.

The bus was carrying 28 people including team members, coaches, and athletic training students. Four individuals were treated for injuries.

During his tenure at Mount Union, Gorman helped numerous other schools in their attempts to get accreditation, including Augustana College, Rowan University, Heidelberg University, and the University of Toledo. According to Mount Union’s Web site, Gorman had also served as assistant director of sports medicine and research at the King Abdul Azizz Air Base in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, through work with the United States Sports Academy. Gorman also spent time as Head Athletic Trainer for the Gary Golden Bears semi-pro football team in Indiana and Coordinator of Sports Medicine for the Michigan City, Indiana, public school system while on staff at Michigan City Memorial Hospital.

Gorman, who was 52, received a physical education degree with an emphasis in athletic training from SUNY Cortland in 1981, and a master’s degree in physical education with an emphasis in adult fitness and cardiac rehabilitation from Eastern Illinois University in 1983. He received his certification from the NATA in 1981.

Gorman started at Mount Union in 1985, and one of the first students he connected with was Jennifer Hardy Parke.

When he took over the Sports Medicine program, he dove in head first,” she told the Record Pub. “He had a big heart. It was obvious that besides his family, athletic training was his passion.”

University spokesperson Melissa Gardner told Cleveland’s Fox News 8 she believed the school was operating “in a state of shock.”

“We didn’t institutionally cancel classes today, but we did cancel our athletic training classes so that those students could use that time to take advantage of those services, to talk with counselors, to talk with our university chaplain and to also interact with the other faculty members that are in the athletic training program,” Gardner said.

Mount Union Wrestling Coach Mark Hawald recently penned a heartfelt letter about Gorman, and how the loss has shaken him. Hawald also passes on lessons he’s learned from the tragedy. It’s a read well worth your time.

Hawald opens the letter with:

“This has been a difficult and confusing time for both my team and me. Dan was more than a trainer to us. He was like our fifth coach. He attended all of our practices and home meets, and some of our away meets. Dan was a mentor to me and my wrestlers and always had advice on how to be a better person, so I want to use this experience as Dan would, as a way to help others grow and improve their own lives. I hope I can pass on what I have learned to others and that they will not have to experience anything like this to learn such valuable lessons.”

In the wake of the accident, the issue of bus safety has once again come to the forefront. Senator Sherrod Brown has said he will reintroduce his Mortorcoach Enhanced Safety Act. The bill would require safety belts and stronger seating systems, improved commercial driver training as well as crush-resistant roofs and improved fire protection.

Patrick Bohn is an Assistant Editor at Training and Conditioning.


Dan Gorman was a wonderful mentor. As a 2006 graduate, I can tell you that he was an excellent teacher and an even better athletic trainer. He ran a great program at Mount Union and I can’t imagine it will be the same without him. He will be missed by many athletic trainers and students.

– Caroline Trier, MS, ATC
Head Athletic Trainer/Fitness Center Coordinator
Columbia College

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