National Athletic Trainers' Association Celebrates the 2020 Hall of Fame Class of Inductees
DALLAS, TX – The National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) celebrates the induction of six athletic trainers into its prestigious Hall of Fame, the highest honor an athletic trainer can receive. Commemoration of the 2020 NATA Hall of Fame class, traditionally held during the annual NATA Clinical Symposia & AT Expo, was postponed until today due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Honorees exemplify the mission of NATA through significant and lasting contributions that enhance the quality of health care provided by athletic trainers and advance the profession. The 2020 NATA Hall of Fame inductees are: Glen “Larry” L. Cooper, MS, LAT, ATC, Denise Fandel, MBA, CAE, AT Ret., Greg A. Gardner, EdD, LAT, ATC, Kevin M. Guskieiwcz, PhD, ATC, FNATA, Jeff G. Konin, PhD, ATC, PT, FACSM, FNATA, and Mark A. Letendre, ATC.
Glen “Larry” L. Cooper, MS, LAT, ATC
Larry Cooper, MS, LAT, ATC, earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 1983 before earning his master’s equivalency at Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 1995. For the majority of his career, Cooper worked as a teacher and athletic trainer in various schools, both collegiate and secondary, spending from 1991 to 2018 at Penn-Trafford High School in Harrison City, Pennsylvania. Cooper also has a long list of volunteer service to the athletic training profession, including the NATA Appropriate Medical Care for Secondary School Aged Athletes Task Force (2017-19), ATLAS (Athletic Training Location and Services) project co-founder (2016-present), NATA Secondary School Athletic Trainers’ Committee chair (2012-16), NATA Collaborative Solutions for Safety in Sport Founding Member/Planning Committee (2015-18) and Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (2002-present). He currently sits on the Rocky Mountain University Athletic Training Advisory Board, Eastern Athletic Trainers’ Association Executive Council, Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League Sports Medicine Advisory Committee and various other groups.
Denise Fandel, MBA, CAE, AT Ret.
In 1982, Denise Fandel, MBA, CAE, AT Ret., earned her bachelor’s degree from St. Cloud State University. She then went on to earn her master’s degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. In 2011, Fandel earned her Master of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. In 1983, Fandel was hired as an assistant athletic trainer at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and became the head athletic trainer in 1985. Fandel stayed until 1997. Following her collegiate career, Fandel went on to become the first CEO of the Board of Certification, Inc. She retired from the BOC in 2019. Now, Fandel is the president of Breakthrough Growth LLC. Some of Fandel’s volunteer service includes District Five representative for the NATA Placement Committee (1986-88), Nebraska State Department of Health’s Bureau of Examining Boards (1988-99) and Nebraska State Athletic Trainers’ Association president (1988-90).
Greg A. Gardner, EdD, LAT, ATC
Greg Gardner, EdD, LAT, ATC, earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Wyoming in 1984 and his master’s degree from the University of Arizona just a year later. In 1995, Gardner went to the University of Southern Mississippi to earn his Doctor of Education. His first job was as an athletic trainer and teacher at Rockport-Fulton High School. He was there from 1985 to 1988, at which time he shifted into collegiate settings as an athletic trainer and assistant professor at Howard Payne University. Gardner is now clinical professor of athletic training at the University of Tulsa. Some of his volunteer service includes Oklahoma Athletic Trainers’ Association Student Session chair (1996-99), CAATE president (2008-01) and World Federation of Athletic Training and Therapy U.S. vice president (2011-18). He presently serves as a member of the Athletic Rehabilitators and Therapists of Ireland accreditation panel, Oklahoma Athletic Trainers’ Association vice president and Oklahoma Athletic Trainers’ Association government affairs chair.
Kevin M. Guskieiwcz, PhD, ATC, FNATA
In 1989, Kevin Guskiewicz, PhD, ATC, FNATA, earned his bachelor’s degree from West Chester University. In 1992, he earned his master’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh. He went on to earn his Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Virginia in 1995. He began his academic career as an assistant professor and athletic trainer at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1995. Over a 25 year career at UNC, he has served in a variety of roles, including director of the accredited undergraduate athletic training education program, founding director of the Matthew Gfeller Sport-Related Traumatic Brain Injury Research Center, department chair, senior associate dean, dean and interim chancellor. He was named UNC-Chapel Hill’s 12th chancellor Dec. 13, 2019. Guskiewicz’s volunteer service includes NATA Pronouncement Committee on Mild Head Injury (1997-2004), NATA Convention Committee (1998-2001), NATA Education Council’s Graduate Program Review Committee (1999-2005), NATA Convention Committee program chair (2000), Journal of Athletic Training associate editor (2001-13), NATA Position Statement on Management of Sport Concussion lead author (2004) and NATA Position Statement on Management of Sport Concussion co-author (2014).
Jeff G. Konin, PhD, ATC, PT, FACSM, FNATA
Jeff Konin, PhD, ATC, PT, FACSM, FNATA, earned his bachelor’s degree from Eastern Connecticut State University in 1988 and his master’s degree from the University of Virginia in 1989. He continued his education to earn a master’s degree in physical therapy from the University of Delaware in 1994 and his Doctor of Philosophy from Nova Southeastern University in 2004. Konin started his career as an athletic trainer with HealthSouth Sports Medicine in 1989 and is now the director of the Doctor of Athletic Training Program at Florida International University. Some of Konin’s volunteer service includes Clinical/Corporate/Industrial Athletic Training Committee (1992-97), Position Statement PPPE writing member (2008-14), Outcomes Advisory Panel SSISOS chair (2009-10), Best Practice for AT Documentation Task Force (2015-17), Sexual Abuse Education Task Force (2018) and Transitional Employment Work Group (2019-2021). He is also a representative of the NATA International Committee.
Mark A. Letendre, ATC
In 1978, Mark Letendre, ATC, earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maine at Orono. Letendre started his career as an athletic trainer for the New York Yankees in 1978, and continued his career in Major League Baseball. He is now the advisor to the director of sports medicine and performance-umpire administration for the MLB. Letendre’s list of volunteer service includes inventor-founding member of the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers’ Society Product Review Symposium (1999-2000), founding chairperson-alumni liaison of the PBATS Alumni Program (2006-16), NATA Political Action Committee chair charter board member (2007-10), PBATS 25th Year Anniversary Celebration chair (2007), NATA Clinical/Industrial/Corporate Committee/CEPAT (2008-11), Arizona Athletic Trainers’ Association Public Relations Committee chair (2008-12), Rocky Mountain Athletic Trainers’ Association Public Relations Committee chair (2009-11), NATA Public Relations Committee, (2009-12), MLB Medical Advisory Committee charter athletic trainer (2013), PBATS MLB & MiLB Service Ring co-chair (2015-16) and NATA Athletic Trainer Service Award Committee (2021).
Since inducting its first class in 1962, more than 250 athletic trainers have been inducted into the NATA Hall of Fame. The next NATA Hall of Fame class will be the class of 2022.
About NATA: National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) – Health Care for Life & Sport
Athletic trainers are health care professionals who specialize in the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of injuries and sport-related illnesses. They prevent and treat chronic musculoskeletal injuries from sports, physical and occupational activity, and provide immediate care for acute injuries. Athletic trainers offer a continuum of care that is unparalleled in health care. The National Athletic Trainers' Association represents and supports more than 40,000 members of the athletic training profession. Visit nata.org for more information.
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