Jun 16, 2016
Seven To Be Inducted into NATA Hall

The National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA), a nonprofit organization representing and supporting members of the athletic training profession, will induct seven individuals into its prestigious Hall of Fame at the NATA 67th Clinical Symposia and AT Expo in Baltimore on Friday, June 24. The Hall of Fame is the highest honor an athletic trainer can receive. Honorees will be recognized for their significant, lasting contributions that enhance the quality of health care provided by athletic trainers and advance the profession. They have shaped the profession through their noteworthy accomplishments and dedication to service, leadership and professionalism. Since inducting its first class in 1962, the Hall of Fame now has 303 members.

The 2016 Hall of Fame inductees include David Craig, LAT, ATC, Michael Goldenberg, MS, ATC, Bob Gray, MS, ATC, Scott Linaker, MS, AT, ATC, Eric McDonnell, MEd, LAT, ATC, Patrick Sexton, EdD, ATR, ATC, and Gary Wilkerson, EdD, ATC, FNATA.

David Craig, LAT, ATC, owner of Craig Consulting in Indianapolis, spent 35 years as the Indiana Pacers’ head athletic trainer, working with the 1970 and 1971 ABA championship teams and the 2000 NBA Eastern Conference champions. In 1984, he was elected as the first president of the Indiana Athletic Trainers’ Association and contributed to the licensure and reimbursement of athletic trainers in his state. Craig served as an athletic trainer for the 2003 Pan American Games in Santo Domingo and the 2004 USA Olympic men’s basketball team in Greece. Craig has held countless leadership positions at the state, district and national levels and received numerous awards including the Joe O’Toole NBA Athletic Trainer of the Year Award and the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award.

Michael Goldenberg, MS, ATC, is the athletic trainer at the Lawrenceville School in New Jersey where he has served since 1989. He has impacted the athletic training profession through his efforts to integrate technology to improve and promote the profession. The webmaster for District Two of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association since 1998, Goldenberg introduced listservs, text and voicemail campaigns, online voting and various online tools, and established many state and district websites. As district director, he launched the Communicate, Activate, Serve program to increase communication, as well as membership involvement in district programs. In 2000, he founded and chaired the NATA Webmaster’s Advisory Group. As a member of the NATA board of directors, he was heavily involved in major decisions that positively impacted the association and profession.

Bob Gray, MS, ATC is the coordinator of athletic training community affairs at the Cleveland Clinic Sports Health, his employer since 1991. He is known for his passion for athletic training and his devotion to the growth of his colleagues and the profession as a whole. He was named the head athletic trainer for the NCAA Division I basketball regional finals in 2015, and is an ATC spotter for the NFL. Recognized at the local, district and national levels, he was awarded the NATA Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award in 1998, he was inducted into the Ohio Athletic Trainers’ Association Hall of Fame in 1999, and in 2010 he received the Golden Pinnacle Award from the Great Lakes Athletic Trainers’ Association. Gray currently serves on the NATA Research and Education Foundation board of directors.

Scott Linaker, MS, AT, ATC, is currently an athletic trainer and partner at Arizona Sports Care. An advocate for athletic trainers in the secondary school setting, he previously spent more than 20 years as head athletic trainer at Canyon del Oro High School. He has dedicated his career to advancing the profession of athletic training through his leadership and service. Linaker was elected president of the Arizona Athletic Trainers’ Association in 1990, and the Rocky Mountain Athletic Trainers’ Association in 1998. During his presidency, the RMATA Leadership Development Program was created to foster leaders within his district and the entire profession of athletic training. Linaker has held numerous positions at the national level, including on the National Athletic Trainers’ Association board of directors, Hall of Fame Committee and the Board of Certification.

Eric McDonnell, MEd, LAT, ATC, is an athletic trainer at the University of Missouri, where he has served athletes for more than 30 years. A leader at the local and national levels, he has committed his career to the advancement of the athletic training profession. McDonnell has served as a member of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association board of directors and has chaired the organization’s Governmental Affairs Committee, Annual Meeting Host Committee and NATAPAC board of directors. In addition, he has served on various task forces and workgroups. Through his governmental affairs efforts, states under regulatory control increased from 28 to 49, and funding for state legislative activities increased. An activist for the association’s federal legislative agenda, McDonnell regularly advocates on behalf of the profession.

Patrick Sexton, EdD, ATR, ATC, is the director and professor of athletic training at Minnesota State University, Mankato, and is a current athletic trainer director of the Board of Certification. He has served in numerous volunteer roles, including as a member of the Joint Review Committee on Athletic Training Education, a member of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Executive Committee for Education’s Professional Education Committee and vice-chair of the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education. Sexton was elected vice president of the Wyoming Athletic Trainers’ Association and president of the Wisconsin Athletic Trainers’ Association. He has also held several leadership positions with the Minnesota Athletic Trainers’ Association. He has received numerous awards including the Great Lakes Athletic Trainers’ Association Outstanding Educator Award,  Minnesota Athletic Trainers’ Association Hall of Fame, and the NATA Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award and Sayers “Bud” Miller Distinguished Educator Award.

Gary Wilkerson, EdD, ATC, FNATA, is a professor at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga where he has taught since 2000. He is a renowned educator, researcher, clinician and respected expert in his field. Wilkerson is a leader in clinical effectiveness studies and predictive modeling for injury prevention. In 1990, he led a research study conducted at the United States Air Force Academy, and in 1996, he served as a member of the polyclinic medical staff for the Olympic Games in Atlanta. Wilkerson is celebrated by his peers and has received numerous awards and accolades. He was named a Fellow of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association in 2008, and was inducted into the Southeast Athletic Trainers’ Association Hall of Fame in 2010.

“We champion the outstanding contributions of these seven Hall of Fame recipients and their constant commitment and passion for the athletic training profession, says Chuck Kimmel, ATC, NATA Honors & Awards Committee chair. “We recognize and celebrate this tremendous class of 2016 and all they do to support NATA, its wide reaching programs and the members it represents.” 

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