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Bill Griffin Most Distinguished AT Award

The Bill Griffin Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer award recognizes NCATA members who have demonstrated outstanding commitment to leadership, service, advocacy and professional activities as an athletic trainer. The DAT recognizes NCATA members who are involved in service and leadership activities at the state, district and national level.


  1. Must be a regular member of the NCATA for a minimum of 10 years.

  2. Must be NCBATE licensed.

  3. May be nominated by any member of the Board

  4. Candidate must have performed exemplary service to the association, advancing the cause and mission of the NCATA.

  5. No self-nominations.


  1. Will be made by the Honors & Awards Committee

  2. Award winners will be announced at the Annual Meeting.


Bill Grifin MDAT


Jolene Henning - Quoted by Nancy Groh, “Jolene is a collaborative and inspiring leader who is passionate about the profession of  athletic training and the education of students. While at High Point University, she has  challenged her faculty to think “outside of the box” during the development, implementation,  and assessment of the MS in Athletic Training Program.”

Dr. Henning’s leadership and dedication to Athletic Training and its various associated  organizations is exemplary. Early in her career, she became actively involved in scholarly  research, presentations, and as a volunteer on impactful committees, that soon led to multiple  leadership positions within athletic training professional organizations and administrative  roles in Athletic Training Professional programs. Dr. Henning has been first author on six  peer-reviewed articles and five book chapters; she has published 13 additional peer-reviewed  articles and presented 34 times at both regional and national levels, with an additional 13  invited presentations. 

Jolene has mirrored the spirit of this award throughout her career in giving back to the profession at the state and national arenas  demonstrating a passion and commitment to leadership, service, advocacy, and professional  activities and is well deserving of this honor.  



Ashley Long - Quoted by Dan Duffy, “Ashley advocates for athletic training in her daily job duties, as a professor, an adjunct professor, research consultant, mentor, as the Governmental Affairs Co-Chair, and in her personal life.”

Ashley leads the charge in athletic training advocacy as a strategist for governmental affairs and has presented before our general assembly, mentored others and organized multiple presentations before our state legislators and other stakeholders for years. 

For years Ashley has been involved in service and leadership activities at the state and national level. Ashley founded and continues to direct the NCATA Leadership Institute which she established to engage professionally motivated and enthusiastic certified athletic trainers, with a desire to become more engaged in service to the athletic training profession. 

Ashley is the founder and coordinator of the concussion clinic at Mt. Olive Family Medicine Center, a state-designated Rural Health Center and has presented to medical administrators, physicians, health care providers, and legislators on the value of athletic trainers in rural health care. She is the founder and owner of NeuroActive, a concussion education and assessment company as well as a research consultant. She has demonstrated the title “Bill Griffin Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer in all the behind the scenes work she does to help pave the way in the athletic training profession. 


Nina Walker

Some are lucky to have known the late Bill Griffin; a happy, tireless servant to our profession and to North Carolina. His excitement and optimism were infectious. One his greatest assets was that he always made one feel that no one was more important than themselves. Nina Walker is an exceptional recipient of the Bill Griffin Award. She is a leader at her institution (UNC), contributing to the profession at the national level and at the highest levels of the sport of lacrosse-all while breaking barriers and inspiring young professionals.  Nina draws on her strong sports medicine pedigree and her vast experiences to invest in our state association by creating high quality education programs, collaborating in projects that are making a difference and serving the state’s ATs as opportunities become available.  As Bill Griffin did, Nina will continue to protect the reputation of trust and credibility of athletic training.

2021      No Recipient

2020      No Recipient


2019 & 2018

Kevin King- Quote from President Nina Walker, “I’m not sure there are any words that I can use to describe the profound impact he has had on the NCATA organization. Every event, meeting, mentorship, and interaction had a little bit of Kevin King in it. As someone who had the honor of working with him on several projects, I know that his dedication and love of the profession are unprecedented. There are not many people that not only have the creativity he has but the courage to step out and make the impossible possible. He has personally reached out to Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles and convinced her to speak to our NCATALI, as well as Gov. Roy Cooper, and Wilmington Mayor Saffo.  All of this happened because Kevin was willing to pick up the phone and call. He has a major hand in EVERY PR project and is the reason that we have won national recognition 3 years in a row for our NATM PR efforts. He has served as a mentor to me and has made a huge impact in helping me attain the position of VP. Not only does he do a great job himself, but he inspires others to be great as well. I wish I could list all of his accomplishments but I will just leave you with this last statement: Kevin King is the most humble servant of our profession and is deserving of this award.


2017      Dan Duffy
2016      Jay Scifers

2012      Bill Griffin


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