SEATA HALL OF FAME
DONNA WESLEY - 2018
Donna Wesley, MS, LAT, ATC, is a native of Birmingham, AL; she is the only child of Don and Alice Wesley. Her first experience with athletic training and sports medicine came as a high school athlete when she injured her knee. Donna is a 1989 graduate of Briarwood Christian High School where she played volleyball and soccer and was manager/statistician for the basketball teams.
After graduation, she enrolled at The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa and started the Athletic Training Program. During her time at The Capstone, she was able to work with volleyball, gymnastics, and had the honor and privilege to be one of the first female athletic training students to work with Alabama Football. She was part of the student athletic training staff for the 1992 National Championship team. Donna credits her educators and mentors during this time for preparing her and instilling the value of professional service; those mentors associated with The University of Alabama include NATA Hall of Famers William “Bill” McDonald, Kenneth Wright, Ron Courson, and R.T. Floyd, and ALATA Hall of Famers Sherry Kimbro and Henry “Sang” Lyda.
After passing her Board of Certification Exam and graduating in May 1993, Donna joined the staff of The University of Mississippi as a Graduate Assistant Athletic Trainer and completed her Master of Science degree in Wellness in 1995. During her time in Oxford, she worked with legendary Head Athletic Trainer Leroy Mullins and assistants Spence Fletcher, Lynette (Schwartz) Johnson and Jeff Moore.
Ms. Wesley has worked as an outreach Athletic Trainer for North Mississippi Medical Center since August 1996. During her employment, she has provided athletic training services for several area schools and presently serves as the Head Athletic Trainer for Itawamba Community College where she also serves as an adjunct instructor.
Donna’s professional service began serving as Secretary for the Mississippi Athletic Trainers’ Association (MATA) in 2000. In 2004, she was elected MATA president, a role she served until 2012. In 2009, she helped oversee the update to the Mississippi Athletic Training Practice Act. She served as the first committee chair of the NATA’s State Association Advisory Committee; currently, Donna serves as SEATA Secretary, a role she has held since 2015.
In June 2017, Donna was inducted into the MATA Hall of Fame. She is the 2014 recipient of the SEATA Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award and the Chuck Kimmel Award of Merit, 2011 NATA Athletic Trainer Service Award, 2010 SEATA District Award, and the 2008 recipient of the Jack Davis Professional Achievement Award in Athletic Training from the University of Alabama, College of Human
In her spare time she enjoys spending time with family and friends, fishing and cooking.
MIKE WILKINSON - 2017
Mike was born in Hawaii but raised entirely in the South. He went to high school on the Mississippi coast and attended and graduated Tulane University in 1978 under HOF Athletic trainer Bubba Porche. He began his “certified” career in Texas as a High School athletic trainer the following year. While there, he received his Masters degree at Lamar University in Health Education. After seven years in the high school setting, he accepted the challenge to start a high school athletic trainer outreach program under Dr. David Drez in Lake Charles, LA. He was later promoted to Research Director for Dr. Drez’s educational residency and fellowship programs in his Clinic.
In 1989, he returned to Mississippi as Outreach Director at Mississippi Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Center. He
worked tirelessly in 1991 to help lobby the State AT Law which passed on the first attempt with only three “nay” votes
out of both houses. He has served the MATA on the Executive Board for three terms in two different positions. Additionally, he served on several State and SEATA Committees.
On the national level, he served on the NATA Foundation Board of Directors and on the NATA Political Action Committee Board of Directors, both for two terms each. While on the Foundation Board, District Nine led all districts in financial collections four out of six years and on the PAC Board, SEATA led all districts for every year of his four year representation.
After many years of volunteer service to the USOC, Mike was selected as part of the United States Medical team for the 2000 Summer Olympic Games. That followed his two week evaluation at the USOC Training Center. He was then selected for assignments for the Summer World University games in Fukuoka, Japan, Summer Goodwill Games in NYC, Pan American Games in Winnipeg, Canada and finally the Summer Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia.
He has been selected as the National Federation of High Schools (NFHS) National Distinguished Contributor Award (only one given annually), he was inducted into the MATA Hall of Fame and selected for the Mississippi Association of Coaches Hall of Fame. He has received the NATA Athletic Trainer Service Award, NATA Foundations’ Lifetime Contribution Award, SEATA R.T. Floyd District Award, SEATA Chuck Kimmel Award of Merit, and the SEATA Most Distinguished Athletic
Mike has been married for 38 years to his wife Barbara, and has three girls; Maury Hallman, Amy Larson and Megan Wilkinson.
TOM SIMMONS - 2017
Tom Simmons began his athletic training career in 1957 as a student athletic trainer at the University of Detroit. In 1961 he became an assistant athletic trainer at the United State Military Academy at West Point. In 1962 he returned to the University of Detroit as an assistant athletic trainer and during that time was Assistant Athletic Trainer with the Detroit Lions. In 1963 he became Head Athletic Trainer at the University of Detroit and also worked with the Detroit Pistons of the NBA. In 1964 he accepted the head athletic trainer position at Murray State University and remained in that position until his retirement from the athletic training room in 1993. He taught for two more years until his retirement.
Tom was a charter member of the Southeast Athletic Trainer Association, the Kentucky Athletic Trainer’s Society and the Ohio Valley Conference Athletic Trainers Association.
In 1990 he was accorded the highest honor Murray State Athletics can bestow when he was inducted into the MSU Athletic Hall of Fame. In 1993, he was awarded the SEATA District Award and in 1997 he received the NATA Athletic Trainer Service Award. He was a member of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association since 1993.
In October 1994, Murray State dedicated the Tom Simmons Athletic Training Room to honor the man who brought athletic training to Murray State.
Tom was always an active teacher and proponent of athletic training and was instrumental, along with other athletic trainers in the state at that time, in the development and passage of Kentucky’s athletic training legislation in the early 1970’s. This leadership has been valued by athletic trainers from the local to the national level.
NICK PAPPAS - 2017
Nick Pappas has enjoyed the experience of forty-six years in athletic training. Currently, in addition to his duties on the athletic training staff at Florida State University, he is an adjunct instructor in the athletic training curriculum.
He has been active with state and national associations working to improve the athletic training profession. Nick was the first president of the Georgia Athletic Trainers Association after serving as chair of the Executive Committee, authoring the organization’s charter constitution and bylaws. Serving as Chair of Governmental Affairs and Strategic Planning for the Tennessee Athletic Trainers Society, he represented their professional interests in the Legislature, and had a major role in the revision of the state practice act. Nick made significant contributions in the reimbursement setting in Tennessee, crafting the strategy to lobby Blue Cross/Blue Shield, which resulted in the insurance giant changing its policy and procedures to recognize certified athletic trainers as allied healthcare providers in Tennessee.
During two terms as President of the Tennessee Athletic Trainers Society, he sat on the SEATA Executive Board, working on and chairing several committees which oversaw a major revision of the SEATA Constitution and By-Laws as well as the development of the SEATA Mission and Vision Statements. In September, 2005, he was elected to the Executive Board of the Athletic Trainers Association of Florida, serving as Panhandle Area representative. In addition, he served as SEATA Parliamentarian in 2006 -2007. Appointed in 2013 by the Governor to the Florida Board of Athletic Training and serving as its chair, Nick continues meet with state officials, legislators and others to educate, promote and to protect the athletic training profession. Recognized for his dedication and efforts numerous times, in January, 1992 he was named as the Clinical/Professional Athletic Trainer of the Year by TATS. In 1996, he was one of fifteen individuals chosen as the first recipients of the NATA’s Athletic Trainer Service Award. In March, 2000, SEATA bestowed the District Award for outstanding contributions and service with distinction to the profession. In January, 2006 Nick was inducted into the TATS Hall of Fame. He was honored as the 2007 recipient of the Presidents’ Award of Merit given by the TATS. Nick received the ATAF President’s Award in July, 2015 for his work on their legislative taskforce as chair and principal author of legislation that revised the Florida athletic training practice act. He was inducted into the NATA Hall of Fame in June, 2012. And, in 2016, he was the recipient of the NATA’s William T. Griffin Award for Outstanding Leadership in Legislative Advocacy.
STEPHANIE LENNON - 2015
Stephanie A. Lennon, MS, ATC, LAT is currently working as the Head Athletic Trainer and health/physical education teacher at Oak Ridge High School in Orlando, where she has been employed for the past 26 years. Stephanie is also an adjunct instructor for the Athletic Training Program at the University of Central Florida. She received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida and her Masters’ degree from Troy State University. Though the high school setting is where most of Stephanie’s employment history lies, she has experience in the collegiate, clinical and professional settings, as well.
Stephanie began her volunteerism for the profession with the BOC as a Host Athletic Trainer, Test Materials Coordinator and Test Site Administrator. She was also part of the Certification Exam Writing Committee and became an Examiner Qualification Facilitator. Stephanie was appointed as the SEATA Representative to the NATA Secondary School Committee on which she served for six years. She was also a member of the NATA Inter-Association Task Force for Pre-Season Heat Acclimatization Guidelines for Secondary School Athletics. Stephanie was appointed by Governor Jeb Bush to the Florida Board of Athletic Training in 2000, and served as the co-chair from 2004 until her election as ATAF President in 2006. Stephanie began her involvement in ATAF as the Century Club Chair. She also served on the Governmental Affairs Committee in the early years when the association was pursuing licensure. Stephanie served as the High School Committee Chair for nine years and was a member of the Education Committee. She served as the ATAF President from 2006-2012. Stephanie was an Executive Board Member for SEATA and was assigned to several SEATA committees during her tenure. She currently serves on the SEATA Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award Committee and is the SEATA representative to the NATA’s Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award Committee.
In addition, Stephanie has been a preceptor for student athletic trainers with Valdosta State University and the University of Central Florida. She served on the Concussion Task Force for the state of Florida which was instrumental in drafting concussion legislation for high school and adolescent athletics. Stephanie accomplished the distinction of National Board Teaching Certification in 2003.
Stephanie has received several awards throughout her career including the NATA Service Award and Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award, ATAF High School Athletic Trainer of the Year Award, ATAF Athletic Trainer Award, and is an ATAF Hall of Fame Inductee. She is also a University of Florida College of Health and Human Performance Hall of Fame Member.
LEROY MULLINS - 2014
Leroy Mullins retired from the Athletic Department of The University of Mississippi in January of 2004 after serving 29 years in positions of Athletic Trainer, Director of Insurance and Wellness, and Director of Sports Medicine. He served 50 plus years in the Athletic Training Field with stints at Southwest (MS) Community College, Eastern Kentucky University, Mississippi State University, The University of Tennessee and Ole Miss. Leroy, a native of Natchez, Miss., began his career at Southwest Community College, before spending the next three years at Eastern Kentucky while earning his BS degree. He left Eastern Kentucky in 1965 for Mississippi State, where he spent the next eight years, including one year as a graduate assistant while earning his Master’s degree, two years as Assistant Athletic Trainer and five years as Head Athletic Trainer. Leroy left Mississippi State for Tennessee where he served as Associate Head Athletic Trainer in1973 and 1974. In January of 1975 Leroy joined the staff at The University of Mississippi. A retired certified member of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association and a former member of the Professional Education Committee of the NATA, Leroy is a frequent lecturer on Athletic Injuries at seminars, meetings, and workshops held throughout the United States. He is also a member of the Southeast Athletic Trainers’ Association and Mississippi Athletic Trainers’ Association. He taught in the University’s Health Science Department on the main campus of Ole Miss and the University Medical Center in Jackson, MS. In 1993, Leroy was inducted into the Eastern Kentucky University Hall of Distinguished Alumni. In 1994, he received the first Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award given by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association. In 1996 he received the Tim Kerin Award which is probably the most prestigious Award given by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association. In 2001, Leroy received the Contribution to Amateur Football Award from the Ole Miss Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame, while also receiving the Award of Merit from the Southeast Athletic Trainers’ Association. In 2004 he was inducted into the Mississippi Athletic Trainers’ Hall of Fame after serving several positions in this association. In 2007 Leroy was inducted into the Southwest Community College Athletic Hall of Fame. He and his wife, Barbara are parents of two children, Tim and Renee. Tim retired as Athletic Trainer at Ole Miss and he and his wife, Stephanie, are the parents of three sons. Renee and her husband Will, reside in Columbus, MS and the parents of one son. Leroy’s hobbies include camping, watching NASCAR auto racing and spending time with his four grandsons, Jonathan, Micah, Hayden and Garrison.
RAY CASTLE - 2014
Ray Castle, a native of St. Joseph, LA, received his Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from LSU in 1990, and master and doctoral degrees from the University of Southern Mississippi (1993; 2000). He completed his education/training in athletic training at LSU and received his athletic training certification in 1991. Dr. Castle is the Athletic Training Program Director and Associate Professor of Professional Practice in the School of Kinesiology at Louisiana State University, a position he has held since 2002. He has been a BOC Certified Athletic Trainer since 1991, LSBME credentialed athletic trainer (LAT) since 1994, and is an American Red Cross Instructor since 2005. Castle has an extensive background in education, clinical practice, and professional service. In athletic training education, he led LSU's efforts in obtaining its first ever CAAHEP-accredited athletic training program in April 2004. Dr. Castle's clinical practice background has included experiences at the clinic (Baton Rouge Physical Therapy; Lake Charles Memorial Sports Medicine), high school (Catholic High School in Baton Rouge), college (University of Southern Mississippi; University of Louisiana-Lafayette), and international (1996 Atlanta Olympic Games; USOC Sports Medicine Staff for 2003 Pan American Games; and 2004 US Women's Bobsled) levels. Dr. Castle has been a highly active member of the athletic training profession, having made numerous presentations and authored publications at the local, state, national and international levels, as well as served on various organization committees at state, district, and national levels. Dr. Castle has served on a number of committees over the years for the LATA, including vice president. On the district level, Castle served SEATA in various capacities including Co-Chair of the Southeast Athletic Trainers' Association Annual Athletic Training Student Symposium, as well as serving on the SEATA Corporate Partnership Committee and SEATA Athletic Training Educators Conference Planning Committee. At the national level, he has served as chair of the NATA Educational Multimedia Committee, NATA Education Council Executive Committee, NATA Research and Education Foundation Board of Directors as the District IX Board Member, and as Commissioner on the Commission on Accreditation for Athletic Training Education (CAATE). He is the recipient of several awards including SEATA Chuck Kimmel Award of Merit (2011), SEATA Education/Administration Award (2009), NATA Athletic Trainer Service Award (2007), SEATA District Award (2005), LATA Charlie Martin Ten-Year Service Award (2003) and Twenty-Year Service Award (2013), and the Athletic Trainers' Association of Florida (ATAF) College/University Athletic Trainer of the Year Award (2001). Outside of the profession, Castle’s service includes the Capital Area Chapter of the American Heart Association and various departmental, college, and university-wide committees/councils. He and his wife, Katherine, live in Baton Rouge with their son, William.
CRANDALL WOODSON - 2013
Crandall Woodson served as the first student athletic trainer at Sturgis High School in 1973. He was first exposed to sports medicine by legendary Hall of Fame Athletic Trainers Jim Goostree, Bubba Porche, Doc Harrington, and Jim Gallaspy at the Cramer Athletic Training Course at the University of Southern Mississippi in 1974. He earned an athletic training scholarship at Mississippi State University in 1975 under Hall of Fame Athletic Trainer Doug May. Crandall completed Emergency Medical Technician training in 1977 and then completed and was certified as one of the first paramedics in the State of Mississippi. Crandall was certified in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) in 1978 and later served as an ACLS Instructor at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. He also served as Head Athletic Trainer for the prestigious B/C All Star Basketball Camps in Georgia, Indiana, and Maryland until 1985. Upon earning his BS degree from Mississippi State, he completed Masters work at Murray State University under the direction of Tom Simmons in 1983. Crandall was named as the first Assistant Athletic Trainer at Murray State. In 1985, he was hired at Georgia Tech working under Hall of Fame Athletic Trainers Bill McDonald and Jay Shoop. In 1992 he received the SEATA Backbone Award. Crandall also served as an athletic trainer for the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.
In 2000, he entered the medical sales field and became Distributor for Breg and later Bledsoe products. His athletic training background has helped drive his company to Distributor of the Year honors. Crandall also served as the athletic trainer for the movie “Remember the Titans” and enjoyed a working relationship with Ryan Gosling and Denzel Washington.
Crandall has served on the Honors & Awards Committee at SEATA since being selected by Tim Kerin in 1987 and succeeded Doug May as Chairman of the Committee in 1992. He has also been active on the national level serving on the Hall of Fame subcommittee and Specialty Awards subcommittee.
TIM McLANE - 2012
Lloyd Timothy (Tim) McLane, MBA, ATC, LAT is currently the Manager of Athletic Training for the Georgia Health Sciences University Sports Medicine Center in Augusta, GA. He oversees the outreach program including its marketing, contracting, and integration with the Sports Medicine Center Rehabilitation and Physicians Clinic where they educate residents, Sports Medicine Fellows, and other health care graduate students. Born and raised the son of a Navy family, Tim spent most of his time in the Jacksonville, FL area. He began his road to Athletic Training while a freshman at Case Western Reserve University but transferred back home to the University of Florida. While there he helped establish the Student Injury Care Center to offer Athletic Training Services to the school’s intramural athletes. After graduation he worked for The Physical Therapy Center in Gainesville and Lake City, FL. He then took a position at the University of Pittsburgh where he was involved in research and consulting with some of the staff in Moscow for medical care of marathon competitors.
Tim then began the Sports Medicine Program at St. Vincent’s Medical Center back in Jacksonville. Building an outreach program and the business side of Athletic Training became his passion. While there, he was asked to be a part of the process to form legislation for the practice of Athletic Training in Florida. Along with Ross Davis, he helped bring about the passage of a bill for just that. During the time he was asked to begin his involvement with SEATA on the Governmental Affairs Committee. This led Tim to his involvement on the NATA Governmental Affairs Committee and the Chair of the NATA Reimbursement Advisory Group. Tim has also lectured at the annual SEATA meeting on the Business of Athletic Training to introduce the concept in a series of workshops. He participated in assisting the host Committee at the 1996 NATA annual meeting in Orlando. With the passage of the practice act in Florida, McLane was the Chair of the task force appointed by the state, and then became the First Chair of the Board of Athletic Trainers appointed by Governor Jeb Bush. He has been involved with the 1996 Olympics as part of the ACOG organization. Tim also has been involved with gymnastics at all levels in Florida, the Southeast, and a member of the USA Gymnastics Medical Staff since 1996 as well. That involvement resulted in him accompanying the World University Games staff to Thailand.
Tim’s dedication and service to the profession have been recognized by his being inducted to the ATAF Hall of Fame in 2004, 2000 – NATA Athletic Trainer Service Award, 1996 – Recognition from ATAF for Legislative efforts and success, 1995 – ATAF Athletic Trainer of the Year, 1993 – ATAF Clinical/Industrial Athletic Trainer of the Year.
MIKE FERRARA- 2012
Dr. Michael Ferrara is Associate Dean of Research in the College of Education and Professor in Kinesiology at University of Georgia. He received his doctorate degree from Penn State University, Masters degree from Michigan State University and undergraduate degree from Ithaca College.
Mike has been very active in research and has published in leading sports medicine journals. He is active in research and has published extensively in leading journals regarding sport-related concussion and exertional heat illness. He has received grants to support his research, the most recent to study environmental factors and the risk of exertional heat illness in interscholastic football players in Georgia. He has given numerous lectures around the world to include Japan, China, and Europe. Ferrara has been active professionally at the state, regional, national and international levels most recently serving as President of the World Federation of Athletic Training and Therapy and he is on the Board of Certification.
Mike has been involved in international sports as both a leader and clinician. He was director of medical operations for the Atlanta Paralympic Games (1995-96) and director of medical services for the 1992 Barcelona Paralympic Games and United States Disabled Sports Team at the World Athletics Championships (1994). He also was the athletic trainer for the 1990 World Games, 1987 Pan American Games, 1985 Olympic Festival, 1983 World University Games an the 1982 National Sports Festival.
Ferrara has been recognized for his leadership and scholarship throughout his three-decade career. He was inducted into the NATA Hall of Fame, Class of 2009, and he was named a Fellow in the National Athletic Trainers’ Association in 2008 and in the National Academy of Kinesiology in 2003. Recently, Ferrara was named a 2010 Fulbright Scholar to Ireland where he taught in the athletic training program and to research sport-related concussion at Dublin City University, Ireland. Previously, Mike received the NATA Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award in 2003, the NATA Educational Council Sayers "Bud" Miller Distinguished Educator Award in 2001, and the 2006 SEATA Education Administration Award.
Mike and Linda have been married for 30 years and they have 2 children, Megan and Nick.
KEN WRIGHT - 2011
Dr. Kenneth E. Wright is a professor in the Program in Sport Management at The University of Alabama. Dr. Wright received the Sayers "Bud" Miller Distinguished Educator of the Year Award (2000), Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award (2006), and Athletic Trainer Service Award (1996) from the National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA) along with Outstanding Alumnus from the College of Health Sciences at Eastern Kentucky University (2001), and Academic Excellence Award from The University of Alabama College of Education (1996-97).
Dr. Wright has numerous publications to his credit including a series of seven videos titled Sports Medicine Evaluation Series, a series of six videos titled Sports Medicine Taping, a computer assisted instructional program titled Sports Injuries and two textbooks, Basic Athletic Training, 5th edition and Preventive Techniques: Taping/Wrapping Techniques and Protective Devices, 3rd edition. Since 1990, Dr. Wright has presented at sixteen different NATA Annual Meeting & Clinical Symposiums and has been invited to present to sport medicine professionals in the countries of China, Japan, Canada and the United Kingdom. Additionally, Ken has served on the editorial board of the Journal of Athletic Training,Physical Therapy in Sport, and Sports Medicine Update.
Having served as Head Athletic Trainer at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (1981-1988) and Morehead State University (1978-1981), Dr. Wright has been highly active in the National Athletic Trainers' Association (i.e. Educational Multimedia Committee, Journal of Athletic Training, JRC-AT Site Visitor, Education Council, and conference coordinator for SEATA and Mid-Atlanta athletic trainer meetings) and the United States Olympic Committee. Also, he has collaborated with United States Anti-Doping Agency (Doping Control Officer and Chair of DCO Advisory Committee) and worked at the 2010 Olympic and Paralympics Winter Games in Vancouver, Canada and the 2002 Olympic and Paralympics Winter Games in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Dr. Wright received his Doctor of Arts from Middle Tennessee State University (1984), Masters of Science from Syracuse University (1976), and a Bachelor of Science degree from Eastern Kentucky University (1974). Ken is married to Dr. Vivian Wright, Associate Professor in Instructional at The University of Alabama, and has three daughters, Kate (3rd year physical therapy student at UAB), Kelly (elementary school teacher in West Nairobi School, Nairobi, Kenya) and Kendra (freshman at The University of Mississippi).
RON COURSON - 2011
Ron Courson has served as Director of Sports Medicine with the University of Georgia Athletic Association since May of 1995, after serving four years as Director of Rehabilitation at the University of Alabama. Prior to joining the Alabama staff in 1991, he served as an athletic trainer/physical therapist with Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. He received his undergraduate degree in education/physical education from Samford University, where he played soccer and ran track and field. Courson performed two years of graduate work at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, and graduated with honors from the Medical College of Georgia with a degree in physical therapy. A native of Birmingham, Alabama, Courson is additionally a national registered emergency medical technician-intermediate as well as a certified strength and conditioning specialist by the National Strength and Conditioning Association.
Courson has been involved in many athletic training activities including work as an athletic trainer with the U.S. Olympic Team at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea; 1990 Goodwill Games in Seattle; 1987 World University Games in Zagreb, Yugoslavia, 1987 Pan American Games in Indianapolis and the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain. He served as the chief athletic trainer for the 1996 U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials as well as the chief athletic trainer for track and field for the Atlanta Committee for the 1996 Olympic Games (ACOG).
Active in his profession, Ron has served as a member of the NCAA Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports Committee. He is a past president of the Southeastern Conference Sports Medicine Committee as well as chairman of the College and University Athletic Trainers' Committee of the National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA) and NATA liaison to the American Football Coaches Association. During his tenure at Alabama, he served as president of the Alabama Athletic Trainers’ Association and as chair of the Alabama Board of Athletic Trainers. He currently serves as a member of the D1A Athletic Directors Task Force on Student-Athlete Development.
Ron serves as an adjunct instructor in the department of kinesiology at the University of Georgia, teaching in the athletic training education program. He also serves as a clinical instructor teaching student physical therapists from various schools throughout the country. He is active in research and education in the field of sports medicine, having authored a number of professional papers and text chapters. He served as a co-author with the NATA on position papers for emergency preparation, exertional heat illness, management of sudden cardiac arrest and management of head and cervical spine injuries. Ron presents frequently at regional and national sports medicine meetings.
Ron is married to the former Eileen O'Connell of Waycross, Georgia. Eileen is a physical therapist who attended the University of Georgia and the Medical College of Georgia. Ron and Eileen have four children, John, Anna, Luke and Will.
MARISA BRUNETT - 2011
Marisa Brunett, MS, ATC, LAT, is the Director of Sports Medicine for CORA Rehabilitation & Sports Medicine Clinics- Florida where she is responsible for developing, implementing, managing operations and marketing of sports medicine programs for outpatient rehabilitation clinics and outreach athletic training programs throughout the state. She also continues to work in the field as an athletic trainer at the collegiate, clinical/industrial and high school settings. Marisa has been actively involved in SEATA, NATA, BOC, & ATAF for 25 years.
She has been an active member of SEATA, currently serving as the Chair of the SEATA Public Relations Committee. Marisa served as an officer on the SEATA Executive Board as Vice-President from 2005-2010, as well as an Executive Board member from 2001-2005. She has served as Chair of the SEATA Annual Symposium Oversight Committee and the Symposium Site Selection Committee. Marisa has also served as a member of the SEATA Meeting Review Committee, Policy & Procedures Committee, Annual Symposium Fiscal Accountability Committee, the Mission & Vision Statement Task Force and the By-Laws Revision Task Force. She has presented at the SEATA Annual Clinical Symposium & Members Meeting. Marisa currently serves the NATA as the District IX member on the Public Relations Council, a member of the Honors and Awards Hall of Fame Subcommittee and is the incoming NATA Public Relations Council Leader beginning her term in June 2011. Marisa has also served the NATA as a member of the Convention Program Committee Project Team, Governance Task Force, member of the Convention Committee Registration Team, District IX Host Committee Chair for the 47th Annual Clinical Symposium in Orlando, FL in 1996 and has served as Moderator at several NATA Annual Clinical Symposiums. Marisa’s involvement with the BOC includes serving as an examiner, Test Site Administrator, member of the Test Development Group, Qualified Examiner’s Facilitator, and District IX’s representative on the BOC Exam Administration Committee. She has served ATAF as Past-President, President, Vice-President, Executive Board member, Education Committee Chair and various committee member positions. She has also presented at several ATAF Annual Clinical Symposiums on licensure in the state and PR. She is currently on an ATAF project team working with Florida’s Division of Worker’s Compensation to have licensed athletic trainers recognized as Health Care Providers within their reimbursement manual. Marisa also served as a member of the Gatorade High School Athletic Trainer Advisory Board.
Marisa has been actively involved in the licensure process in Florida since the passing of the initial licensure act in October 1995. She served as an initial member of the Florida Department of Health’s Council of Athletic Training from 1996-2000. In 2000, the Council moved to a Board, and she was appointed by Governor Jeb Bush to the Department of Health’s Board of Athletic Training where she served as Vice-Chair until 2002. Marisa was re-appointed to the Board of Athletic Training by Governor Charlie Christ as a member in 2006 until 2009.
For over 25 years, Marisa has served her communities in various roles such as public speaker, Medical Coordinator, Host Site Athletic Trainer, Team Leader and Athletic Trainer for state, district, national and international sporting events. Most recently Marisa served as the Local Medical Coordinator and the East Team Head Athletic Trainer for the 2011 Annual East West Shrine Game in Orlando, FL. She also served as the Local Medical Coordinator and the West Team Head Athletic Trainer for the 2010 Annual East West Shrine Game in Orlando, FL. She has been an Approved Clinical Instructor with the University of Central Florida Athletic Training Education program since 1998 and currently sits as a member of the Orange County Public Schools Athletic Trainer Advisory Committee.
Marisa earned a BS in Physical Education/Athletic Training from West Virginia University. She completed her MS in Administration at Florida State University while also working as an athletic trainer for their Athletic Department.
Marisa has been recognized by her peers for her service and contributions. In April 2008, Marisa was inducted into ATAF “Hall of Fame”. She is the recipient of the 2008 SEATA District Award, 2007 BOC “Dan Liberia Service Award”, 2002 NATA “Athletic Trainer Service Award”, the 2002 & 1997 ATAF “Athletic Trainer of the Year” Award, the1998 ATAF “Presidential Backbone Award”, and the1992 ATAF “Clinical/Industrial Athletic Trainer of the Year”.
GARY WILKERSON - 2010
Gary Wilkerson is a tenured professor at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, where he has served as a member of the Graduate Athletic Training Education Program faculty since 2000. He earned degrees from Eastern Kentucky University, the University of Arizona, and the University of Kentucky. Upon SEATA Hall of Fame induction in 2010, has been a member of SEATA for 31 years; the past 11 years as a member of the Tennessee Athletic Trainers’ Society and for 20 years as a member of the Kentucky Athletic Trainers’ Society. Over the past 32 years he has had a wide variety of professional experiences, which have included prevention and treatment of sports injuries among high school, college, and Olympic athletes, functioning as a physician extender in a multi-specialty medical practice, teaching family practice residents, co-founding and managing a sports rehabilitation clinic, consulting with manufacturers of sports medicine equipment, and providing corporate health management services.
Previous professional affiliations have included full-time positions atAmphitheater High School (Tucson, AZ), Centre College (Danville, KY), Trover Clinic (Madisonville, KY), and BioKinetics Therapy & Training (Paducah, KY). Service to SEATA has included 10 years as a member of the Research & Education Committee, six of which he served as chair, eight years as the Tennessee representative on the Clinical & Emerging Practices Committee, 10 consecutive years as a faculty member for the SEATA Athletic Training Student Symposium, and chair of the Poster Abstract Review Subcommittee for the past two SEATA Athletic Training Educators’ Conferences. Service to NATA has included six years as a member of the Post-Professional Education Committee and 10 years as a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Athletic Training, Recently he has been appointed to the NATA Fellows Selection Council and the Healthcare Reform Think Tank, and reappointed for another term on the JAT Editorial Board. Other service to the athletic training profession has included participation as a member of the medical staff for the Bluegrass State Games, coordination of Kentucky High School Athletic Association regional sports medicine conferences for coaches, serving as an examiner for the Board of Certification examination, making numerous presentations at state meetings, serving as a post-professional education program accreditation reviewer, and making three international trips to conduct workshops at sports medicine conferences sponsored by Athletes in Action in Mexico and Guatemala.
Dr. Wilkerson’s primary expertise relates to ankle biomechanics,neuromuscular control of the lower extremity, and rehabilitation outcomes. He has made numerous presentations at national and international professional conferences, and he has served as Editor-in-Chief of Athletic Therapy Today for the past eight years. His research has been published in Journal of Athletic Training, American Journal of Sports Medicine, Foot & Ankle International, Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, The Physician and Sportsmedicine, Journal of Sport Rehabilitation, andJournal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy.
He has received the SEATA District Award, the NATA Athletic Training Service Award, and the NATA Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award, and was among the first group of athletic training scholars selected to receive the designation of Fellow of the NATA in 2008.
LORI GROOVER - 2010
Lori M. Groover was actively involved in the athletic training profession since 1992. She began her career as Chair of the Georgia Athletic Trainers’ Association High School Committee, followed by Vice President of the GATA for two years. She then served as GATA president before being elected SEATA Secretary. During her involvement, Lori helped foster the GATA Annual High School Student Athletic Trainer Meeting, GATA membership growth, and provided state practice act improvements. Lori worked closely with WAGA Fox 5 television on the story portraying the need for licensed athletic trainers.
Lori was elected interim SEATA Secretary in the Spring of 2006 and subsequently elected to a regular term in the fall of 2006. During her time on the SEATA Executive Board, Lori served as Elections Committee Chair and served as liaison to the SEATA Website and Newsletter Committee. She also served as the GATA representative to the SEATA Public Relations Committee and was very active in getting members to write Congress regarding athletic training legislation.
Lori served as a BOC test examiner for seven years and served on the Sports Medicine Advisory Committee for the Georgia High School Association. She was an inaugural member of the Gatorade High School Athletic Trainer Board and was an instructor for the Georgia High School Association Coaches’ First Aid Course. Lori also served as NATA Volunteer Team Leader for the 2006 NATA Annual Meeting and Symposium held in Atlanta.
Lori worked as an athletic trainer since receiving her undergraduate degree in Sports Medicine from Valdosta State (College) University. She worked as a Staff Athletic Trainer with Candler Sports Medicine and Memorial Sports Medicine and South Effingham High School in Savannah, as the inaugural full time Athletic Trainer at Woodward Academy, as a Physician Extender Fellow at University Orthopaedics in Decatur, Georgia and most recently Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Health Sciences at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, LA.
Lori passed away on August 6, 2009 after being diagnosed with cancer in June. In 2009 Nicholls State University named a Student Leadership and Professionalism Award in her honor and in 2010 the Georgia Athletic Trainers’ Association named their scholarship program in memory of her and the leadership she provided.
ROY DON WILSON - 2009
Roy Don Wilson or “R.D.” as many of his colleagues knew him, graduated from Texas A & M University in 1964. Upon graduation he accepted a high school job as Head Athletic Trainer at Ector High School in Odessa, Texas (1964-66). Since then R.D. served at many levels in different capacities: Assistant Athletic Trainer at Florida State University (1966-68); Head Athletic Trainer at The Citadel (1968-70); Head Athletic Trainer at the University of Kentucky (1970-78); Head Athletic Trainer at the University of Southwestern Louisiana (1978-82); Director of the Sport Medicine Clinic of Lexington, Kentucky (1982-83); Head Athletic Trainer of the Houston Gamblers of the United States Football League (1984-85); Director of the Houston Clinic for Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation (1985-88) and Director and partner of the Sports Rehab Clinic of Houston (1988-92).
R.D. was an active participant in the profession at all levels. He served as the SEATA Annual Meeting Program Co-Chair in 1975-1976 and as Chair from 1979-1981. He also represented Kentucky on the SEATA Executive Committee in 1975 and later as Louisiana’s representative in 1979. He was elected as the Vice-Director of SEATA in 1977 and served in that capacity until 1979 when the position was changed to President which he continued in until 1982. In 1982 he became District IX Director and represented SEATA on the NATA Board of Directors until 1984. He was elected Secretary and Chairman of the Joint Commission of Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports. Furthermore, R.D. served as Chairman of the Legislative Committee for both the Kentucky and Louisiana Athletic Trainer Association. R.D. also served as a NATA Certification examiner and a State of Texas Licensure examiner as well as the first Vice-President for the Southwest Athletic Trainers’ Association (SWATA) before serving as President from 1988 to 1989. He was appointed as the first chairman of the NATA Clinical Athletic Trainers Committee in 1987. He served as Interim President of the Greater Houston Athletic Trainers’ Society in 1988 during its initial year.
Roy Don was inducted into the SWATA Hall of Fame in 1996. SWATA further honored him with the establishment of the Roy Don Wilson Memorial Scholarship. He was inducted into the Louisiana Athletic Trainers’ Association Hall of Fame in 1999 and into the Kentucky Athletic Trainers’ Society Hall of Fame in 2006.
Roy Don was a real contributor whose life was taken in 1992 at age 50 after a long battle with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and resultant heart disease. He was survived by his former wife, Pat, their son, Blaine, and their daughter, Christi.
KEITH WEBSTER - 2009
Keith Webster graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1978. Following graduation, he became the first Head Athletic Trainer at Centre College in Danville, KY from 1978-1980. From 1980-1982 he served as Assistant Athletic Trainer for Football and was in charge of Men’s Basketball at the University of Florida. Keith was then Head Athletic Trainer at Morehead State University from 1982-1992 where he earned a Masters Degree in 1985. He left MSU to join Kenny Howard and Dr. Jack Hughston at The Hughston Sports Medicine Foundation as the Director of Sports Relations until 1997. He returned to UK in 1997 as the Head Athletic Trainer and later became Assistant Professor, Adjunct Faculty in the College of Health Sciences.
During more than 30 years as a certified member of the NATA, Keith has served the profession in many ways. He has been Vice President and President of both the Kentucky Athletic Trainers’ Society and Georgia Athletic Trainers’ Association. He has served as Chair and as a member of various committees for KATS and GATA including: Legislative, Reimbursement, Scholarship, and Student Membership. While at the Hughston Sports Medicine Foundation, Keith initiated the cadaver lab mini course for the SEATA annual meeting. He was host and Program Director for the SEATA Annual Student Symposium in 1995 and 1997. He was a Collegiate Sports Medicine Foundation Advisory Board member (2005-2008) and presented at several of their meetings.
Keith represented District IX on the NATA Governmental Affairs Committee from 1987 to 1997 before becoming chair from 1997-2006. During his GAC service, the remainder of SEATA states passed legislation and several successfully updated their laws and he became a Charter Member of the NATA Leadership Information Management Education (LIME) Team which provided support and testimony for state associations pursuing legislation from 2004-2007. He was instrumental in gaining the Athletic Training Revenue Code (#951) assigned by the American Hospital Association in 1999. Keith represented NATA during numerous National Conference of State Legislatures annual meetings. He also led a task force to meet with HHS officials in Washington, D.C. to discuss HIPAA Privacy implications for athletic trainers. Keith was a Charter Member of the NATA Reimbursement Advisory Group (now the Committee on Revenue) from 1994-2000. He served on the NATA Educational Multimedia Committee from 1994-1997 and served as BOC examiner throughout his career including being a BOC Test Site Administrator from 1994-1997. As President of KATS and GATA, he also served on the SEATA Executive Board. While in Columbus, Keith was a member of the Editorial Board for the Hughston Health Alert from 1992-1997 and in 1999 successfully proposed the relocation of the Journal of Athletic Training (JAT) Managing Editor’s office to The Hughston Sports Medicine Foundation. He was a SEATA Research and Education Committee member from 1993-2001 and a SEATA Convention Site Committee member from 1988-1992. Keith currently chairs the District IX NATAPAC Committee and serves on the NATA Political Action Committee (PAC) Board of Directors.
Keith has been a frequent NATA Annual Convention speaker and has also presented to the NAIA Athletic Directors Convention, the BOC Athletic Trainer Regulatory Conference, the NSCA Executive Council, the AOSSM and Major League Baseball. He presented at the SEATA Annual Meeting many times and has also presented to Districts I & II (EATA), III, IV, and VIII.
Keith served as athletic trainer with the 1978 World Invitational Tournament (Men’s Basketball). He was Head Athletic Trainer for the 1995 World Team Cup Table Tennis Tournament and worked the 1996 IAAF Atlanta Grand Prix Track & Field event. He was named Chief Athletic Trainer for Table Tennis during the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta. In 1997 Keith travelled to Japan to present athletic training topics during the Kobe Athlete Town Project. Keith was the host athletic trainer for the 1996 NCAA Division I Softball World Series and the 1996 National Softball Coaches’ Association Tournament. He also covered basketball during the 1979 National Sports Festival II in Colorado Springs.
Keith has received numerous awards including: NATA 25 Year Award (2000), NATA Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award (2004), SEATA District Award (1996), SEATA Award of Merit (2007), BOC Inaugural Public Advocacy Award (2007), and KATS Education/ Administration Award (2003).
Keith is married to the former Denise Lafferty. They have two children, Megan and Kevin.
EUGENE SMITH - 2009
Eugene “Doc” Smith served as Head Athletic Trainer at Memphis State University for 19 years before his death. A native of Kingman, Kansas, he attended Sterling College where he received his B.S. degree in 1949. While an undergraduate at Sterling College he lettered in football, basketball, and track. From there he obtained his Master’s degree in athletic training from the Indiana University in 1954. However, following graduation from Sterling, Smith taught and was assistant coach at Bazine, Kansas High School for 4 years.
In 1954 he returned to the coaching profession serving one year as assistant coach at Great Bend, Kansas High School. His first full-time job as an athletic trainer was at Palo Duro High School in Amarillo, Texas, where he stayed five years before coming to Memphis State in 1960, as Head Athletic Trainer and Professor in the physical education department.
On the regional and national level, “Doc” Smith was an active member of SEATA and the NATA. He was elected Vice-Director of SEATA in 1971 and served in that capacity until becoming District Director in 1973 where he represented District IX on the NATA Board of Directors until 1976. He chaired the NATA national convention in St. Louis. In addition, he was selected as the athletic trainer for the American All-Stars, and toured China in the summer of 1974. He was also a major force for legislation of athletic training certification in Tennessee during the late 1970's.
Longtime MSU football coach and athletic director Billy “Spook” Murphy remembered that “If Doc said they couldn’t play, they didn’t play. But he could get players well and ready to go better than anybody I ever saw. He made you want to get well and play. He was the finest athletic trainer I’ve ever run into …one of the most thorough people I’ve ever dealt with.”
Gene was only 52 when he died November 21, 1979 after a long and valiant battle with pancreatic cancer. Not long before that he had been inducted into the Memphis State University Athletic Hall of Fame, and at his death the Doc Smith Scholarship Fund for Student Athletic Trainers was established in his memory.
Eddie Cantler was Gene’s assistant and succeeded him as Memphis State’s head athletic trainer. As Eddie remembers him today “Gene was hardnosed and of the old school. He was very deliberated in action, but one of the most caring people I’ve ever known. As I sit and notice some of his mannerisms that I picked up, I realize how much of an effect he had on me. In this day and age of technology, when I run into roadblocks I go back to his way of doing things and get results.”
He was inducted into the Tennessee Athletic Trainers’ Society Hall of Fame (TATS) in 1995. TATS named their College Athletic Trainer Award the Eugene Smith/Mickey O’Brien College Athletic Trainer of the Year in honor of him and University of Tennessee Athletic Trainer Mickey O’Brien.
DAVE PURSLEY - 2009
David Pursley has been involved in athletic training from student athletic trainer in high school to reaching head athletic trainer status with major league baseball. His minor league years allowed time to be athletic trainer at Evansville and Clemson colleges, during the off-season. After 10 years in the minor leagues he spent 42 years (1961-2002) in the major league with the Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves were highlighted by 5 World Series appearances, 1 World Series Championship, 4 All Star games (1972, 1983, 1991, and 2000) and 1 All Star Tour in Japan. He also provided expertise to the Summer Olympic games in 1996. In August 2002, the athletic training room inside Turner Field was renamed as "Pursley's Place."
Dave is a charter member of Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society (PBATS) and was one of the founding fathers of the Georgia Athletic Trainers’ Association (GATA). He played a pivotal role in getting athletic trainer licensing requirements enacted into law in Georgia and subsequently served on the Georgia Board of Athletic Trainers for several years. He was an inaugural inductee into the GATA Hall of Fame in 2004. He received the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) 25 Year Award in 1995. In 2004 he was recognized by the NATA as a Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer and was inducted into the NATA Hall of Fame in 2008. He later received the PBATS Presidents Award in 2008.
Dave and his wife, Ruth, have two sons, Neil and Gary.
STEVE MOORE - 2009
Steve Moore was the Head Athletics Trainer at Tennessee Tech from 1968 through 1985, building the TTU sports medicine program from the ground up and caring for Golden Eagle student-athletes for 17 years. His commitment and professional contributions have earned him induction into the Tennessee Tech University Sports Hall of Fame. A native of Manchester, N.H., Moore earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Vermont in 1962 and added his master’s degree two years later from Indiana University. During the summer of 1964, he was athletic trainer for the Miami Marlins minor league baseball team, and in August 1964 he took a post as assistant athletics trainer at IU.
Moore arrived at Tennessee Tech in 1968 to become the university’s first fill-time athletics trainer and established the sports medicine program. He developed an athletic training room in the lower level of Tucker Stadium, enlarging a program that had previously consisted of just a couple of tables for taping and other treatments. Throughout his career as Tech’s athletics trainer, Moore was a member of state, regional and national organizations and gained recognition from each. He served as Secretary/Treasurer of the Southeast Athletic Trainers’ Association (SEATA) from 1968 to 1980 and also earned a SEATA Service Award. He received the NATA 25 Year Award in 1989 and was inducted into the Tennessee Athletic Trainers’ Society (TATS) Hall of Fame in 2000. In 2003, he was inducted into the Tennessee Tech Athletic Hall of Fame. Moore has had numerous articles published in a variety of professional publications, including the Journal of Athletic Training.
In 1985, he left his position at Tech and worked for the next 13 years as an athletic trainer on the clinic level for Cookeville Sportsmedicine & Therapy Center, and Columbia Sports Medicine in Nashville where he was Outreach Athletic Trainer, serving 14 high schools in the Cookeville and upper Cumberland area. In addition to his professional career, Moore had also lent his care and expertise on the community level. He was a part-time EMT for the Putnam County EMS from 1979 through 1994 and worked as a volunteer fireman and Putnam County Rescue Squad.
He suffered a stroke in 1998, but refused to let that stop his contributions, organizing the Upper Cumberland Stroke Support Group. Among their works, the group provides workshops and clinics on stroke education. Within the community, he spearheaded the 9-11 “Light Up The Night” memorial in September, 2002, (a 9-11 reflect and remember memorial each September) and works with “Project Unlimited Support” to collect and send supplies to U.S. troops overseas. Hundreds of former Golden Eagle student-athletes can attest to Moore’s dedication and commitment in tirelessly providing them with the best possible care, including the famed “24-Hour Club” whenever needed to rehab players overnight.
Steve and his wife, Diane, have three grown children – Christi, Cindy and Michael, an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps, and six grandchildren.