HALL OF FAME
Hall of Fame inductees are recognized at the NCATA Annual Meeting and honored in the permanent Hall of Fame display located in the George M. Holmes Convocation Center at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. No more than TWO inductions will be made in any single year.
For nomination information please click HERE.
Congratulations to all the Hall of Fame recipients!
Class of 2023
Kevin King, MA, LAT, ATC Read Bio
William Prentice, PhD, ATC, PT, FNATA
Class of 2022
Meredith Petschauer Read Bio
James M. Rehbock Read Bio
Class of 2021
Randy Pridgen Read Bio
Bill Griffin Read Bio
Class of 2020
Dan Duffy Read Bio
Class of 2016
Brett Wood Read Bio
Class of 2015
Class of 2014
Jim Bazluki Read Bio
Class of 2013
Mike Guerrero Read Bio
Bob Casmus Read Bio
Class of 2012
Katie Walsh Read Bio
Ken Brown Read Bio
Class of 2011
Dwayne Durham Read Bio
Class of 2010
Marty Baker Read Bio
Jim Strickland Read Bio
Class of 2009
Dan Hooker Read Bio
Class of 2008
Robbie Lester Read Bio
Class of 2005
Gail McMurray Read Bio
Class of 2003
Stephen Womack Read Bio
Bernie Capps Read Bio
Zachariah McNeill Read Bio
Kirby Patterson Read Bio
Class of 2002
John Burney Read Bio
Class of 2001
Mary Broos Read Bio
Scott Barringer Read Bio
Class of 2000
Elton Hawley Read Bio
Dr. William Prentice
Dr. William (Bill) Prentice has spent the majority of his career at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill where he currently serves as the Program Director of the CAATE Accredited Post-Professional Graduate Athletic Training Education Program. Prior to his time at UNC, he supervised the practicum experience for graduate students majoring in sports medicine at the University of Virginia and he served two years as an assistant athletic trainer at Temple University. Prentice’s impact on the athletic training profession, specifically the education of athletic trainers world-wide, is profound. He is a distinguished author and collaborator of numerous textbooks (64) related to athletic training, sports medicine, and fitness which has been used to educate the vast majority of the profession. He has been published in over 100 journal publications and articles. Prentice is a renowned speaker presenting at a variety of conferences and meetings nationwide sharing his scholarly work primarily in rehabilitation and therapeutic modalities. He has been recognized for excellence in teaching, including the 1997 Sayers “Bud” Miller Distinguished Athletic Training Educator Award, the 1997 Educational Multimedia Committee Videotape Production Award presented annually by the National Athletic Trainers Association, and the 2014 Dr. Ernst Jokl Sports Medicine Award presented annually by the United States Sports Academy. Prentice’s lifetime of work has been honored by the naming of two prestigious scholarships in his name - the William E. Prentice Post-Graduate Scholarship established by the Mid-Atlantic Athletic Trainers Association that is presented annually to a graduate student studying athletic training and the William E. Prentice Scholarship established by the National Athletic Trainers Association Research and Education Foundation and sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Athletic Trainers Association that is presented annually. Professionally, Prentice has been very active on the national, regional and state levels. He has served on the editorial boards for the Journal of Rehabilitation published by Human Kinetics and Sports Medicine Update published by the Healthsouth Sports Medicine Network and the American Sports Medicine Institute. He has served as a manuscript reviewer for the Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy and the American Journal of Sports Medicine. He has served on numerous NATA committees all related to education and research. He also serves on the Mid-Atlantic Athletic Trainer’s Association (MAATA) Honors and Awards Committee. Prentice has previously been honored by the NCATA naming him a North Carolina Pioneer in Sports Medicine in 2004. He was the recipient of the 1999 Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award by the NATA. Prentice was inducted into the NATA Hall of Fame in 2004 and the MAATA Hall of Fame in 2011. Prentice has dedicated his life and service to the education of
athletic trainers’ world-wide. He continues to have an immeasurable impact on the growth and development of the athletic training profession through his leadership and service. Prentice graduated from the University of Delaware with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education (1974). He received his Masters of Science degree in Physical Education with an emphasis in athletic training (1976), also from the University of Delaware. Prentice received his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Sports Medicine and Applied Physiology (1980) from the University of Virginia and his Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy (1984) from UNC. Prentice resides in Chapel-Hill with his wife Tina. He has two sons, Zach and Brian.
Kevin King’s interest in athletic training started at an early age – even before high school. King served as the bat boy for the Carolina Mudcats growing up and watching the athletic trainer for the Mudcats peaked King’s interest in the profession. After high school, King attended East Carolina University and received his Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training (2000). He left North Carolina and moved north and became a graduate assistant athletic trainer at the University of Connecticut, where he received his Master of Arts degree in athletic training (2003). From there, King got his first opportunity to work in the NFL as an intern for the Cleveland Browns. After a year with the Browns, King moved back to North Carolina to become an assistant athletic trainer at NC State University where his primary responsibility was football. King left NC State University after three years for their neighboring school and rival, UNC-Chapel Hill, where he was a staff athletic trainer with the primary responsibility of football for the next six years. All of these opportunities provided King the skills necessary to take his career to the next level, where he was named assistant athletic trainer for his home state team, the Carolina Panthers in 2013. After a staffing change, King was named head athletic trainer for the Panthers in 2020. When King’s professional career brought him back to North Carolina, he began to get more involved in the NCATA. His biggest contributions have been with the Public Relations committee (co-chair) and serving on the Board of Directors as the Professional Sports liaison. Through his efforts, alongside of co-chair Nina Walker, the NCATA was awarded the NATA’s Public Relations Contest “Best State Association Effort” four consecutive years during National Athletic Training Month (March) from 2016-2019. Other efforts spearheaded by King includes a Memorial Tree Dedication, Art Gallery Exhibition/Reception, and the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Charlotte. King has been honored by the NCATA as the College/University Athletic Trainer of the Year in 2011 and the Bill Griffin Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award in 2019. King continues to promote and educate our profession by regularly presenting on a variety of topics at our state and national education meetings. King served on the Omar Carter Foundation Board, which is committed to helping young athletes and adults alike become better prepared in the case of a cardiac emergency, and the Korey Stringer Institute Board, a leader in heat and hydration research and policy and experience with preventing heat illness in high school, college and professional athletes. King stated, “I have attempted to use the platform of Division I Athletics and the National Football League as an opportunity to bring awareness to athletic training and player, health and safety. Relationship have been forged over the years with a variety of groups in the community in this the effort, North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame, Pulse Point, Miss North Carolina USA, Clearwater Artist Studio, North Carolina Area Health Education Centers, the Office of the Governor of North Carolina, local and statewide lawmakers and university officials.” His drive to promote the athletic training profession in state of NC and beyond is unmatched. He uses his influence in a quiet and self-effacing manner and leads by example, encouraging everyone around him. King resides in Charlotte with his wife Nicole.
Meredith was the athletic training undergraduate program director for twelve years educating athletic training students through the accredited curriculum program. Over 200 student athletic trainers have been taught in some capacity by Meredith since her teaching tenure began in 1996 and all of them who took the Board of Certification exam have passed. In addition to educating, Meredith has served the profession at several levels. At the state level, she was North Carolina Athletic Trainers’ Association Annual Meeting Student Program director, she has served as the Chair for the professional development committee and currently is the NCATA Vice President. Regionally Meredith was a member of the Mid Atlantic Athletic Trainers’ Association Annual Symposium and Business Meeting Planning Committee for eight years and worked on the District 3 Leadership Task Force Committee. Nationally Meredith has provided leadership for the Professional Education Committee for the NATA including being the program planner for iLead in 2018. Meredith has done all of this while continuing to bridge academic and clinical education while providing an extremely high level of care to her student-athletes. She has been an incredible mentor, teacher and role model for almost twenty-five years and is so deserving of this honor.
James M. Rehbock
Throughout his career Jim has touched the lives of many, but what sticks out to the most about him is his tireless dedication to the profession of athletic training, and unyielding concern for others. To most Jim has spent his career flying below the radar, he is not one that would seek office in our professional organizations, but rather he provided leadership by doing his job and guiding others in our profession. If you ever need a job to be completed Jim is the one to call, no job is too large or small. Jim has always been dedicated to the Athletic Training profession. He demonstrates tremendous awareness about the athletes he cares for. Jim has contributed to the profession as an examiner for the BOC Certification Exam,
as a teacher to athletic training students and a mentor for young Athletic Trainers. Jim has helped pave the way for other athletic trainers through his
tireless actions in building this profession.
Randy Pridgen started his athletic training career as a graduate assistant at Guilford College from 1983-85 working with NCATA Hall of Fame member Broos. In 1985, he landed his first job as a teacher and athletic trainer at Enloe High School in Raleigh. After a three-year stint at Enloe, he transitioned to the college level and started a 22-year career at Barton College, where he was inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame in October of 2012. He currently serves as a teacher and athletic trainer at East Wake High School in Wendell. Pridgen received his B.S. degree in Physical Education from Atlantic Christian College (now Barton College) in 1983 and completed his M.S. degree in Health and Physical Education from NC A&T State University in 1986. Pridgen was first certified as an athletic trainer in 1988 and licensed in NC in 1997. Pridgen has been involved in the NCATA in many ways over his career. His most prominent contribution to the association has been his involvement with the student symposium. Pridgen first became involved with the NC Coaches Association Student Trainer Clinic in 1979 when he attended as a student. Over the years, he served as a counselor, instructor and director while seeing many changes over the years including three name changes and ownership of the clinic. In 1995, the NC Athletic Trainers' Association took over the operation of the symposium and Pridgen was named co-director of the NCATA Sports Medicine Symposium for Students with Mary Broos from 1995-97. In 1998 Pridgen became director and lead the clinic for the NCATA until 2007. In 2008, the NCATA dissolved its association with the symposium and Pridgen became sole proprietor and has served as Director of the NC Sports Medicine Symposium since 2008. Although there have been many changes, one thing has remained consistent; the goal and mission of the symposium is to educate high school students about the profession of athletic training. His passion for teaching future athletic trainers was evident as he served as an educator and preceptor during his time at Barton College and serving as a preceptor for Western Carolina University. Pridgen has served on the NCATA Board of Directors (199-2001), chaired the Public Relations Committee (2001-200) and been a regular on the PR Committee (2001-2006; 2012-2015, 2019-present). He also serves as the District 3 representative to the MAATA Memorials and Resolution and Historical Committee (2019-present). He resides in Wilson, NC. He has two sons, Bryan and wife Amy, (Raleigh, NC) and Wesley (Savannah, GA).
William T “Bill” Griffin
Bill Griffin attended Benedictine High School, Cleveland State University and Kent State University, where he obtained his MA in Exercise Physiology in 1993. A concussion in middle school ended his career in contact sports, so the sidelines became his new home. He worked in the clinic for Ohio Physical Therapy and at Lutheran Hospital, covered events at local area high schools and also worked with the Cleveland Indians. In 1996, Bill served as a volunteer athletic trainer at the summer olympic games in Atlanta, GA. Shortly after, he moved to Greensboro, NC to work for Healthsouth, which became known as Greensboro Orthopedics and now Emergeortho. As a leader in the athletic training community, Bill's knowledge, persistence and vibrant personality made him a natural for numerous positions and committees. He passionately advocated for student safety and for recognition and reimbursement of the athletic training profession. Bill served on the NCATA Political Action Committee and the NATA Governmental Affairs Committee and led "Hit the Hill" days in Raleigh and Washington, DC to lobby legislators. Bill worked tirelessly to help draft, sponsor, pass and sign into law what would become the Gfeller-Waller Concussion Act. This Act ensured that all middle school and high school student-athletes in the state of North Carolina are provided concussion awareness, emergency action, safety protocols and clearance/return to play or practice following concussion.
Dan Duffy is by far one of the most dedicated athletic trainers of our profession. He has dedicated most of his career in the NCATA working to implement and improve legislative issues facing our athletic training profession in NC. Dan’s work in the legislative arena began when he started working with Bill Griffin in 2004 with the governmental affairs committee. Dan absorbed as much information and guidance from Bill as possible because Bill was one of the best in the USA. Dan was offered the opportunity to be Chair of reimbursement and governmental affairs in 2014; and he jumped at the opportunity. Three committees were combined; Reimbursement, Clinical & Emerging Practice and Governmental Affairs and Dan was excited to lead the way. He has not stopped or looked back since taking over that day. He spends countless hours during the week working and advocating for our legislative future of the NCATA. Dan was instrumental in securing a new lobbyist that saved the NCATA $36,000 per year in lobbying fees. He has built numerous relationships across the state with the NC Medical Society, NCHSAA, NCBATE and numerous state legislators. He knows who to contact at the drop of a hat to get things moving when legislative issues affect the athletic training profession. Dan has continued to tirelessly work to protect our state license and start educational campaigns to educate legislators and other stakeholders regarding the qualifications of athletic trainers. He continues to lead the charge for third party reimbursement for athletic trainers in NC. He works to meet these goals both legislatively and by meeting with and educating insurance companies regarding our profession and our role in healthcare for now and in the future. His goal is to ensure that every citizen in NC will have the right to choose an athletic trainer as their healthcare provider with care provided under our scope of practice. Dan is most deserving of being inducted into the NCATA Hall of Fame.
Over nearly three decades at UNC Charlotte, Wood has served in a variety of leadership positions in athletic training. He was the University’s head athletic trainer from 1988-2000, served as interim director of athletic training education on three separate occasions, and has been clinical coordinator since 2002. “Bret Wood is that rare and valuable type of faculty member that brings extensive professional experience to his students in the classroom,” said Scott Gordon, Chair of the Department of Kinesiology, noting that Wood’s background colors his teaching style and enriches the student experience. Integrating technology into the classroom has been a consistent goal for Wood, who presented on the topic at an international conference in Spain last July. Over the past year he has also helped design an online educational portal for NCATA that allows athletic trainers worldwide to get quality continuing education at a reasonable price. In his Hall of Fame induction announcement, NCATA noted Wood’s willingness to support his fellow athletic trainers and sports medicine professionals. Wood’s commitment to helping others was also recognized nationwide in 2016 with his receiving a National Athletic Trainers’ Association Service Award. “His passionate promotion of student success and the athletic training profession within the State of North Carolina is just one reason that he deserves this great honor, and we are very proud to call him a member of the Department of Kinesiology at UNC Charlotte,” said Gordon, the department chair. Bret Wood received his Bachelor’s degree from West Virginia University and his Master’s in Health Promotion from UNC Charlotte.
Ray Davis has been an active contributor to the field of athletic training for more than 20 years. Ray received his Bachelor of Science in Health Education from Western Carolina University and his Master’s degree in Sports Medicine from the United States Sports Academy. Following his graduation, Ray has provided professional and teaching experience in athletic training. Ray served as the Assistant Athletic Trainer and Educator at University of North Carolina at Charlotte (1984-1986). He then worked as an Assistant Athletic Trainer/CPR Instructor at Washington & Lee University (1986), Harlem Globetrotters (1986-1988), IBM Fitness Center & Marriott Corporation (1988-1990). Ray has provided athletic training services/teaching at Apex High School (1990-1995), West Lake Year Round Middle School (1995-2008), John A. Holmes High School (2008-2013), and currently serves as Athletic Trainer/Educator at Southeast Guilford High School and serves as the Athletic Trainer for East/West All-Star games. Ray has served in a variety of roles within the NCATA and MAATA. Over the course of his career, he has served as the MAATA Evaluator of the Student Research Committee (2004), MAATA Treasurer (2014) and NCATA Treasurer (1998-2014). Ray was named Outstanding Teacher of the Year in 1999 and received countless awards such as: NATA Twenty-five Year Service Award (2006), NCATA Twenty-five Year Service Award (2008), NATA Service Award (2013), Secondary School Athletic Trainer of the Year Award (2014). As a professional, Ray has always been willing to help and offer support for fellow athletic trainers and sports medicine professionals as seen in his many years of involvement. Ray’s induction into NCATA Hall of Fame is a testament to his numerous contributions to students, young professionals, and the profession of athletic training.
Mark has been employed as a Teacher and Athletic Trainer in the Guilford County School System since 1985. Mark is now retired but working as an outreach Athletic Trainer to Southeast Guilford High School for Murphy-Wainer Orthopedics. Mark served the North Carolina Athletic Trainers Association for 30 years as the District 5 Representative, Vice President and as the NCATA State President from 2001-2007. From 2013-2018 he was the Executive Director of the ATNCPAC. He is the curator of the NCATA Hall of Fame and currently serves as the District 3 NATAPAC Representative. He received the MAATA MDAT award in 2011.
Jim Bazluki has been an active contributor to the field of athletic training for more than 20 years. He received his Bachelor of Science in Physical Education and Health from East Carolina University and his Master of Arts degree in Health Education and Promotion from East Carolina University, where he also was a graduate assistant athletic trainer. Following his graduation, Bazluki remained at East Carolina University as an assistant athletic trainer from 1993-2001. He then worked as an intern with the Carolina Panthers (2001), Southern Durham High School (2002-2003) and Cary High School (2003-2006). He currently works with Carolinas Medical Center – Northeast in the sports medicine/special events department where he is assigned to Northwest Cabarrus High School. Bazluki has served in a variety of roles within the NCATA. Over the course of his career, he has served as chair of the Governmental Affairs, Scholarship, Bylaws and Public Relations committees. He has also served as a Licensure task force member. He has served on the NCATA Board of Directors in several capacities including Secretary/Treasurer (1996-1998), Secretary (1998-2000 and (2002-2005) and Vice-President (2005-2007 and 2013-present). As an educator, Bazluki has a passion for teaching athletic training. He has presented at numerous conferences locally, regionally and nationally. He has also been published in a variety of educational newsletters and referenced journals. He was an instructor at the annual NCATA Sports Medicine Symposium for Students for 11 years. While at ECU, he was instrumental in molding young minds as a supervising athletic trainer for students in their undergraduate athletic training education program. He also served as a lecturer in the Department of Health Education and Promotions primarily teaching health classes. Eric Hall, athletic trainer at Cary High School, who introduced Bazluki for induction into the Hall of Fame stated, “Jim is well known by his peers as an individual who will assist anyone in any way he can to better that individual or the profession as a whole.” Bazluki is the only NCATA member who has been honored as the Athletic Trainer of the Year on two different levels. He was named College/University Athletic Trainer of the Year in 1997 and Secondary Schools Athletic Trainer of the Year in 2005. Bazluki was also inducted into the Charlotte Catholic High School Sports Hall of Fame in 2010 for outstanding achievement as the first student athletic trainer in school history and his accomplishments as professional athletic trainer. As a professional, Bazluki has always been willing to help and offer support from fellow athletic trainers and sports medicine professionals as seen in his many areas of involvement. Mike Guerrero, athletic trainer at Garner High School noted, “Throughout his career, Jim has been credited with many presentations, received many awards and served in a variety of leadership positions, but what sticks out to me most about him is his tenacity, love for the profession of athletic training and unyielding concern for the student athlete.” His induction into the NCATA Hall of Fame is a testament to his numerous contributions to students, young professionals and the profession of athletic training. In his spare time, Bazluki holds a license as a health and life insurance agent, working with the Modern Woodmen of America. He is also involved with JMK Hospitality Inc. of Cary as President of a start-up hotel ownership group.
Mike Guerrero has been an active contributor to the field of athletic training for more than 25 years. Mike received his bachelor’s degree in physical education and health from East Carolina University and his Master’s degree in Education from North Carolina State University, where he also was a graduate assistant athletic trainer. Following his graduation, Mike returned to his alma mater, Garner High School where he has served as a teacher and head athletic trainer for the past 23 years. He has served as an approved clinical instructor for UNC-Chapel Hill’s athletic training program since 2000. In addition, Mike has served as the Shrine Bowl of the Carolina’s Athletic Training Chairperson since 2005, where he has been responsible for organizing the healthcare of the Shrine Bowl Participants. Mike has been also been an active member within our state promoting the profession. He has served as the State Database Chair (1999-2002) and currently serves as the Vendor Chair on the Finance Committee and the Registration Chair on the State Meeting Committee for the NCATA. He also serves on the NCHSAA Sports Medicine Advisory Board. Mike was named the NCATA High School Athletic Trainer of the Year in 2000 and 2006 and recognized nationally with the NATA Service Award in 2008. As a professional, Mike has always been willing to help and offer support for fellow athletic trainers and sports medicine professionals as seen in his many areas of involvement, mostly ones that keep him behind the scenes, but vital to the success of the activity.
Bob Casmus has served the Athletic Training profession admirably for over 25 years. Bob graduated with his bachelor’s degree in Health Education from Temple University and completed his Master’s degree in Exercise and Sports Science with a concentration in athletic training from the University of Arizona. Following his graduation, he worked as the head athletic trainer at Palo Verde High School (1984-1985) before moving to North Carolina to serve as the Head Athletic Trainer and Instructor at Chowan College (1985-1990). He now serves as the Head Athletic Trainer and Instructor at Catawba College, where he has worked since 1990. Bob has served the profession of athletic training at all levels. He has served on the NCATA public relations committee (2000-2005) and the college/university athletic trainers’ committee (2009-2012), which he now chairs. He also served as the VP for the NCBATE (2006-2012). At the district level, he currently serves on the MAATA Honors and Awards Committee (2010-present). Nationally, Bob served on the NATA Foundation Board of Directors (2005-2011) and has served on the BOC Examination and Development Committee since 1996. He has also been a committee member with NATA Public Relations (200-2005), College/University Athletic Trainers (2007-2011), and the Hall of Fame (2011-Present). Bob was named the NCATA College/University Athletic Trainer of the Year in 2003 and 2008. He has been recognized nationally with the NATA Service Award (2005), NCAA Division 2 Athletic Trainer of the Year (2007), and Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer (2010). He also received the BOC Dan Libera Service Award (2005). Bob’s induction into the NCATA Hall of Fame is a testament to his numerous contributions to students, young professionals, and the profession of athletic training.
Katie Walsh’s contributions to the profession of athletic training began long prior to her arrival in North Carolina. After obtaining her bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral degrees at Oregon State, Illinois State, and the University of Southern California, respectively, Katie served as an assistant athletic trainer at Western Illinois University, head athletic trainer for the Chicago Power Men’s Professional Soccer Team, and as an assistant professor at Cal State Fresno. Since taking her current position as program director for ECU’s undergraduate athletic training program in 1995, Katie has presented and published at the local, regional, national and international level on a variety of sports medicine topics. Most recently, she was a key contributor to the NATA’s newest position statement on preventing sudden death in sport and physical activity. Katie’s contributions to the state organization include service as the Vice-President from 2002-05. Katie has been recognized nationally with the NATA’s Service Award (2006) and Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award (2010).
Ken Brown’s tenure as educator and head athletic trainer at three local high schools has allowed him to care for hundreds of student-athletes and mentor numerous athletic training students. A graduate of Durham’s Northern High School, Ken pursued his bachelor’s degree in Health & Physical Education from Liberty University and his master’s degree in Education from UNC-Charlotte. Following stints at Pfeiffer & Liberty Universities, Ken has spent the last 21 years serving Durham’s Southern High School (1991-2000), Durham’s Northern High School (2000-06, 2008-present), and Wake County’s Panther Creek High School (2006-08). Since 1997, Ken has served as an approved clinical instructor for UNC-Chapel Hill’s distinguished undergraduate athletic training program. As chair of the NCATA Secondary School Committee, Ken has worked tirelessly to engage other young professionals and to represent his colleagues in the high school teacher/athletic trainer setting. In addition to his service to the NCATA, Ken has contributed countless hours volunteering in his community in many capacities.
Dwayne Durham received his undergraduate education from Appalachian State and his Master of Education from Western Carolina University. Durham has served the NCATA at multiple levels including service as a district director, Vice President, and President. During his tenure as NCATA president, the organization achieved several major goals highlighted by the passing of the NC licensure bill, initiation of the annual spring business meeting and symposium, as well as the establishment of the NCATA Hall of Fame. Durham has dedicated his career to serving the student-athletes of Hendersonville. From starting a student athletic training program at East Henderson to educate high school students about the field of athletic training to providing athletic training services to all four high schools in the county, Durham has exemplified the meaning of service throughout his community.
As the current director of Hendersonville Sports Medicine, Durham continues to devote his time and energy into athletic training, his passion for the profession evident to all those who he encounters.
Marty Baker received his Bachelor of Science from SUNY @ Brockport (New York) and his Master of Science from Indiana State University. Upon completion of his Master’s Degree, Baker went to work as an assistant athletic trainer at Elon University and has been at the same institution since 1980. In 1986, he was elevated to Head Athletic Trainer and also held the post of Program Director from 1998-2007. His current position is that of Associate Athletic Trainer, still with Elon University. Mr. Baker has been involved at the District level, serving as district’s representative to the History & Archives Committee and as the District’s secretary and treasurer from 2003-2009. He currently sits on the NATA BOD as the District III Director. In addition to his contributions to the sports medicine community, Baker has served as both a den leader and assistant scout leader with the Cub and Boy Scouts of America, respectively.
Prior to his current position as an athletic trainer for the New Hanover County Schools, Jim Strickland received his Bachelor of Science degree from Wake Forest University and his Master of Science Degree from Indiana State University. In addition to his athletic training responsibilities, Mr. Strickland also serves as the Safety Training Instructor for the New Hanover County Schools. Strickland has volunteered his time and expertise with many local organizations including the New Hanover/Pender Medical Society, Craven Community College, and Ogden Rescue Squad educating his peers about CPR, first aid, and athletic training. A regular attendee of the NCATA state meeting, Strickland served as the exhibits coordinator for several years. Strickland served as the NC Shrine Bowl athletic trainer in 1997 and was recently awarded with the 2008 NCATA Secondary School Athletic Trainer of the Year.
Dan Hooker has served the University of North Carolina as an athletic trainer and physical therapist since 1972. He is presently the Associate Director of Sports Medicine. He has provided athletic training coverage for most of the Tar Heel sports teams and was the program director for the Graduate Athletic Training Curriculum from 1975-1979. Hooker earned his Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy from Medical College of Virginia, 1967, Master of Science in Education from the University of Southern California, 1971, and his PhD in Education from Carolina in 1981. He has been an American Board of Physical Therapy Certified Sports Physical Therapy Specialist since 1987 and has served the Atlantic Coast Conference Sports Medicine Association as President and as Secretary. He has contributed to several textbooks providing chapters on the rehabilitation of the spine, electrical modalities, compression devices, and traction. Hooker is involved in the research activities of the Exercise and Sports Science department providing consultation and data collection on a study of back pain in retired NFL players and consultation on several studies on concussions in football athletes. He received the NATA Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer award in 2002.
Robbie Lester started working in North Carolina in 1977 at what is now the State Department of Public Instruction. Prior to his position in SDPI he was at West Virginia University and James Madison. During his years at SDPI he was a strong advocate for Athletic Trainers in the Secondary School setting and worked hard to place and keep Athletic Trainers in that work setting. He also helped to place teachers in High School Athletic Training positions through a program called the Teacher-Athletic Trainer Instructional Program (TATIP). This program allowed teachers to take courses in the summers at Bowman Gray School of Medicine and then serve as Athletic Trainers at their high schools. Teachers eventually earned enough credits and contact hours to sit for what was then the NATABOC Certification Exam. A majority of current Hall of Famers went through that program. He also tried to establish licensure in this state in the early 80’s but with only 77 Athletic Trainers practicing it was not deemed necessary at that time.
Gail McMurray studied Athletic Training at Alfred University and the University of Virginia. She was the Head Athletic Trainer at C.E. Jordan High School in Durham, NC for the majority of her career, from 1980 to 2019. Gail is now retired and remains in the Durham area.
Stephen Womack- Stephen Womack graduated from Sanford Central High School (now Lee County High School) in June 1969. He then attended and graduated from Hampden-Sydney College in 1973 with a BA in English along with attending Longwood (VA) College one year and taking teacher education classes. He began working as an English teacher in August 1974 at Lee Senior High School. He was also part of the Teacher Athletic Trainer instructional Program sponsored by the State Department of Public Instruction and NC State University from the summer of 1978- 1980. In August 1980 he became a nationally certified athletic trainer and has filled that role at Lee County High School for the last 30 years. Stephen is married to Kathie Thomas Womack and has two children: Brian, who graduated from UNC-Pembroke and works at Tobacco Road Golf Course in Sanford and Maggie, who graduated from Lenoir-Rhyne College and is now a third year student at NC State College of Veterinary Medicine. In June 2005, he became the athletic director at Lee County High School and in December 2009 received a Masters of Health Education and Promotion from East Carolina University. He currently teaches English, Sports Medicine, serve as the head athletic trainer and athletic director at Lee County High School.
Bernie Capps Jr.
Bernie was a longtime athletic trainer for Rocky Mount High School, Capps and was an advocate for all things Gryphon. Affectionately known as “Bumble Bee,” Bernie was a 1963 graduate of Rocky Mount Senior High who began honing his craft as a student manager for the late Coach Dudley Whitley at R.M. Wilson Junior High in 1958. He received a B.S. from Atlantic Christian in 1968 and began his teaching career in elementary physical education in Key West, Fl. However, Rocky Mount was always home and he returned in 1972 as an athletic trainer for Rocky Mount City Schools where he also taught driver’s education and physical education. Capps held his position as trainer at Rocky Mount High for 42 years, retiring at the age of 66, in 2011, and spent time afterwards helping in various capacities at Rocky Mount Academy. In his time care-taking for RMHS athletics, he played a role in 11 state championships. A charter member of the N.C. Athletic Trainers Association, who was inducted into the NCATA Hall of Fame in 2003. He was also honored by the association with a 25 year service award and lifetime membership. In 2006 he received the Dedicated Service Award at the SEAM Night of Champions. Other honors include induction into the George Whitfield Baseball Clinic Hall of Fame and the Unsung Hero Award from the N.C. Athletic Association for Region 3 in 1998.
Zachariah McNeill, a lifetime resident of North Carolina and founding member of the NCATA, has witnessed and participated in the transformation of athletic training in the state.Born and raised in Laurinburg, NC, Zach went on to earn his bachelor’s degree in 1976 from St. Augustine’s College in Raleigh, NC.Upon graduation, Mr. McNeill returned home to his alma mater of Scotland High School to serve as the athletic trainer for the entirety of his professional career. Mr. McNeill served as the athletic trainer for multiple NCHSAA East-West games and North-South games.In addition to these volunteer positions, Zach assisted with many NCHSAA summer student clinics for high school students interested in pursuing athletic training as a career.Mr. McNeill retired from Scotland H.S. in 2009 but is still employed in a part-time capacity to assist with the care of student-athletes at the school.Mr. McNeil credits the support of his long time wife, children and grandchildren for allowing him his storied career.
Graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Health and Physical Education from East Carolina University, 1977. Earned a Masters Degree in Health and Physical Education from East Carolina, 1978. Awarded NATA certification in 1977. Kirby’s athletic training career began in 1970 as a student athletic trainer at Northwest Cabarrus High School. He was a student athletic trainer at East Carolina University from 1973-78. His professional career began in 1979 with the Kinston Eagles, a minor league baseball team affiliated with the Toronto Blue Jays. From 1979 through 2011, Kirby served as head athletic trainer for four high schools, Richmond Senior, West Charlotte, Central Cabarrus and Northwest Cabarrus. Throughout his career, Kirby has been active within the athletic training profession. He held the office of President of the NCATA (1981-1983), served on the NCATA Board of Directors (1983-1994) and the NATA Student Athletic Trainer Committee (1987-1994). He has also spoken on both the NATA’s district and national meetings. The NCDPI had Kirby serve as an instructor for their Sports Medicine Division from 1980-1994. Kirby has received several awards during his athletic training career. In 1975, he was awarded the William E. Newell Scholarship Award by the NATA. The NCATA awarded him the NCATA Trainer of The Year Award in 1987. In 1988, The NATA honored him with the NATA High School Athletic Trainer of The Year.
John Burney- John Burney was born in Raleigh, NC, but has lived just about everywhere except Raleigh. His high school years were spent in El Paso, TX and he graduated from Kwajalein Senior High School in the Marshall Islands. He returned to North Carolina in 1970 to attend Lees-McRae College where he graduated with an AS degree in Biology. He continued his education at Appalachian State University and graduated in 1975 with a BS in Biology and Science. Mr. Burney was hired that same year to teach and coach in the Guilford County School System. During this time he entered the Teacher Athletic Trainer Program (TATIP) at Wake Forest University offered through the NC Department of Education. He became nationally certified (ATC) through the National Athletic Trainers Association in 1983. Mr. Burney has spent all 33 years at Southern Guilford High School in Greensboro, NC. He has been an active member of the NCATA since 1976. During his time with the NCATA he has held the offices of President, Secretary-Treasurer, and District 5 Representative. In 1990, he was named the NCATA Athletic Trainer of the Year. Mr. Burney has also been involved with the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas since 1989. He has also enjoyed a close relationship with the NCHSSA in wrestling since the late 70’s. John is married to Jackie Gerringer from McLeansville, NC. He says “He owes all of his accolades to the support of his loving wife Jackie, he couldn’t have done it without her”.
Mary Broos- Mary Broos’ education started with a B.S. degree in Health/Physical Education from East Carolina University in 1967. She then graduated from NCSU in 1980 from the Teacher-Athletic Trainer Instructional Program. In 1983, she received her Master of Science in Education from North Carolina A&T University. Her thesis topic was “The Epidemiology of Menstrual Functions in Female Athletics.” Mary has been heavily involved with various organizations throughout her professional career. She has served on the NCHSAA Sports Medicine Committee from 2001- Present. She has also served as the NCATA Secretary from 1978 – 1987, NCATA President from 1987 – 1989, and on the NCATA Board of Directors from 1990 – 1992. She has also been a part of the North Carolina Medical Society Sports Medicine Committee from 1986-Present and on the Davidson County Board Of Education from 1988 – 2000 where she was the chairperson of the Board from 1996 – 2000. She has been most visibly noted for her hard work and dedication to the profession via her position as the Head Athletic Trainer and Clinical Director at Guilford College from August 1978 – 2008. Mary was also an athletic director and physical education teacher at Church Street School in Thomasville, NC from August 1977 – 1981 and prior to that a physical education teacher and basketball coach at Thomasville Middle School in Thomasville, NC from August 1967 – 1977.
Graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Science from Appalachian State University, 1974. Earned a Masters in Education - Administration from the University of North Carolina Charlotte in 1977. Completed the TATIP Sports Medicine Program at Bowman Gray School of Medicine in 1988 and earned a Masters in Biology. Scott has been involved in athletic training since 1975 and currently serves as the Manager-Athletic Training for Carolinas HealthCare System in Concord, NC. Prior to this current position, he served as Sports Medicine/Athletic Director for Cabarrus County Schools from July 1996–May 2011. His athletic training experiences range from the middle school, high school, and indoor arena football professional level sports. In addition, Scott serves as a member of the faculty of the Cabarrus Family Medicine Residency Program and Cabarrus Family Medicine Sports Medicine Fellowship in Concord, NC. Scott has been a member of the NCATA since 1975. He has been involved in the NCATA in various capacities serving as Chairman of the Secondary Schools committee as well as the Site Selection Committee; District 6 Director for many years and Vice President of the NCATA 1989-1993 and 2008 to 2012. He was also chosen as the NCATA Athletic Trainer of the Year in 1992 and was inducted into the NCATA Hall of Fame in 2001, NATA Athletic Training Service Award – 2014, Mid-Atlantic Athletic Trainers Association Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award – 2015, NCHSAA “100 TO REMEMBER” Honor/Award – 2014, NCHSAA “Special Person” Award – 2013. Scott has been heavily involved with various organizations throughout his professional career. He currently serves on the North Carolina Board of Athletic Trainers Examiners- Vice Chair, NC Medical Society Sports Medicine Advisory Committee, the NCHSAA Sports Medicine Advisory Committee-Chair, Cabarrus County Special Olympics Medical Team and is an Instructor tor for the American Heart Association. Working very closely with North Carolina Dept. of Public Instruction and NC legislators to improve the quality of athletic training and the health and safety of the student athletes in North Carolina has been an ongoing passion throughout the years.
Elton Hawley is a native of Dunn, NC. He is a graduate of Midway high School and received his BS degree from Appalachian State University. Mr. Hawley completed his athletic training education through the Teacher/Athletic Training Instructional Program at Wake Forest University. He was the first athletic trainer employed in the Charlotte/Meckenburg School System in 1972. He was also the inaugural recipient of the NCATA Athletic Trainer of the Year Award in 1984. He has served on the NCATA Board of Directors as a District Director, Vice-President and a two-term President. His association with the NC/SC Shrine Bowl game has spanned 21 years, currently serving as athletic training coordinator. Hawley has been an athletic trainer at Olympic High School and West Mecklenburg High School in Charlotte, NC and has served as Athletic Training Coordinator for the Charlotte/Mecklenburg Schools. He is currently employed with the Carolinas Healthcare System in Charlotte developing and implementing sports medicine programs in the Charlotte area.