The National Athletic Trainers' Association announced Westminster's head athletic trainer Josh Thompson, MED, ATC, LAT, CSCS as the 2016 NCAA Division III Head Athletic Trainer of the Year. He will receive the award on June 24 at the National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA) Clinical Symposium in Baltimore, Md.
Thompson is in his 14th year as a head athletic trainer and his 11th year as head of athletic training and performance at his alma mater, Westminster College. He is in charge of coordinating the athletic training needs of the 18-sport athletic program while also creating and monitoring the strength and conditioning programs for the female student-athletes at Westminster.
"I am humbled to receive an honor such as this. I owe the success of our program to the collaboration of my assistant athletic trainers and student-workers, past and present over the last decade. I would like to thank all of them, especially Lora Stelzer, Sabrena Lary, Chelsea Loethen, and Elise Pacholewski, for allowing me to create an environment that other athletic trainers deem worthy of this recognition."
Thompson is a Westminster College graduate, receiving his Bachelor of Arts in 2000 with degrees in sports medicine and education. He completed his Masters of Education in health and wellness promotion at the University of Cincinnati in 2002. He has been a certified athletic trainer since 2000.
In 2015, Thompson received the William T. Griffin Award from the NATA for his outstanding leadership in legislative advocacy. In 2009, he was named the Missouri Athletic Trainers' Association (MoATA) Athletic Trainer of the Year. He was also a prominent contributor in the 2011 Missouri's Interscholastic Youth Sports Brain Injury Act.
Currently, Thompson is serving as the MoATA Governmental Affairs Chair and is on the State and Regional Planning Committee for the Department of Health's Annual Sport Concussion Seminars.
He is a certified instructor for the American Red Cross in both Lay Responder and Professional Rescuer certifications. He is also a certified instructor for Human Trainers and became a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist in 2014.
The NATA, founded in 1950, is the professional membership association for certified athletic trainers and others who support the athletic training profession. It currently has more than 35,000 members worldwide. One athletic trainer from each collegiate level is chosen yearly by the College/University Athletic Trainers' Committee to receive this award. The trainers awarded are actively involved in their community or campus, athletic training associations and promotion of the profession.
Founded in 1851, Westminster College is one of the top liberal arts colleges in America, according to all major educational ranking firms, including U.S. News & World Report, Forbes magazine, The Princeton Review and Washington Monthly. The selective coeducational college is located on an 86-acre residential campus in Fulton, Mo. Westminster offers a challenging academic environment, where students are educated to lead and inspired to achieve. Ninety-six percent of Westminster graduates start their first job or enroll in graduate or professional schools within six months of graduation. For more information, visit westminster-mo.edu.
STORY COURTESY OF WESTMINSTER COLLEGE SPORTS INFORMATION OFFICE