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2012 - 13 Athletic Trainer Honors Announced

June 26, 2013
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics-Athletic Trainers Association (NAIA-ATA) announced that Robin Flowers of Sterling (Kan.) received the 2012 – 13 NAIA-ATA Ortolani Athletic Training Undergraduate Scholarship and Jeff Ward of Cal Maritime was named the 2012 – 13 NAIA-ATA Athletic Trainer of the Year, as selected by the NAIA-ATA Scholarship and Awards Committee. Flowers, a senior-to-be for the 2014-15 academic year, will receive a $500 scholarship. Ward will be honored at the NAIA-ATA Convention in Las Vegas Wednesday at the annual business meeting.

Flowers becomes the first Sterling student to earn the scholarship. The Meade (Kan.) High School graduate worked with the Warrior football, soccer, basketball and volleyball programs. She got involved with athletic training as a football manager for three years in high school. She attended three summer clinics during high school and always had an interest in the medical field.

Flowers plans to pursue her master’s degree after Sterling and has aspirations to work at a larger-sized high school.

Not only has Flowers succeeded in the athletic training field, but her work ethic in the classroom has not gone unnoticed by her mentors.

“In the classroom, Robin is a hard-working student, maybe the hardest worker I have ever had,” commented Ryan “Pete” Manely, Sterling Program Director of Athletic Training Education, in his nomination packet. “She tutors underclassmen within our program and leads her own class study sessions.

“In the clinical setting, she has an exceptional rapport with the athletes and coaches, and is really able to integrate her learning to that setting.”

Since the Athletic Trainer of the Year award began in 2000, Ward becomes the first from Cal Maritime to receive the honor. Ward has been the head athletic trainer for the past eight years and earned his master’s degree from Saint Mary’s College (Calif.). He currently chairs the California Pacific Conference (Cal Pac) Athletic Trainer’s Committee and was bestowed with the honor of 2011 – 12 Cal Pac Athletic Trainer of the Year. In addition to his athletic training, he serves as head coach for the men’s and women’s cross country programs.

The Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) is chaired by Ward, which saw him arrange the Jim Capoot Memorial Games. This was a fundraising event to raise scholarship money for children of a police officer killed in the line of duty. Ward also created an annual scholarship for a selected member of the SAAC.

Ward has been active in the Vallejo (Calif.) community, leading a campus-wide cancer awareness campaign that involved a bone marrow donor drive. He co-sponsored a ‘Biggest Loser’ competition for the campus community. He organized exercise and nutrition plans and implemented discussion groups.

Ward has distinguished himself as a model of the athletic training profession in personal conduct and professional allied health services to student-athletes.

Jeff Ward“Jeff has many qualities that help him excel at his job,” said Marvin Christopher, Cal Maritime Athletic Director, in his nomination packet. “His ability to garner trust and respect from those around him creates an environment in the training room where individuals want to be. His integrity is unquestionable, and he utilizes his experiences with the Champions of Character and Positive Coaching Alliance to promote core values of the Champions of Character.”

Past Award Winners
Athletic Trainer of the Year
2013 Jeff Ward, California Maritime Academy
2012 Jill Pratte, Central Methodist University, (Mo.)
2011 Ryan "Pete" Manely, Sterling College, (Kan.) 
2010 Justin White, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, (Fla.) 
2009 Lynn Bott, Baker University (Kan.)
2008 Michael Livergood, Bellevue University (Neb.)
2007 Adam Thompson, Indiana Wesleyan University 
2006 Jason Durocher, Hastings College (Neb.)
2005 Jim Richards, Northwest College (Wash.)
2004 Diane Lloyd, College of the Southwest (N.M.)
2003 No candidate named
2002 No candidate named
2001 Vince Diller, Sterling College (Kan.)
2000  Daniel Dodson, Langston University (Okla.)

Al Ortolani Undergraduate Scholarship
2013 Robin Flowers, Sterling College (Kan.)
2012 Ben Snyder, Missouri Valley College
2011 Grace Savage, Texas Wesleyan University  
2010 Jennifer Asberry, Missouri Valley College (Mo.)
2009 Devin M. Jagow, Concordia University (Calif.) 
2008 Abigail Lillich, Azusa Pacific University (Calif.) 
2007 Lacey Troth, Point Loma Nazarene University (Calif.)
2006 Chris Loubier, Urbana University (Ohio) 
2005 Jennifer Rambur, University of Mary (N.D.)
2004 Justin Gray, MidAmerica Nazarene University (Kan.)
2003 Jane Tschetter, Si Tanka University (S.D.)
2002 Teresa Kircher, Central Methodist University (Mo.)
2001 Jeff Fluty, Southwestern College (Kan.)
2000  Marie Monical, Southwestern College (Kan.)
1999 Janelle Grow, University of Western Montana 
1998 Jenny Atkins, MidAmerica Nazarene University (Kan.)
1997 Jennifer Amborn, MidAmerica Nazarene University (Kan.)

The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), Kansas City, Mo., is a governing body of small athletics programs that are dedicated to character-driven intercollegiate athletics. NAIA members provide more than 60,000 student-athletes with opportunities to play college sports, earn $500 million in scholarships and compete in 23 national championships.