Featured Athletic Trainer
University of Montana
Participation in early athletic training by racial minorities is first found in the 1890's. It is difficult to say who was first because the records of the day, and the role of the athletic trainer, are foggy at best. Many times people helping with the team would begin treating wounds or helping with rubdowns and they would "morph" into being the athletic trainer over time.
Gus Guerrero was the first Hispanic athletic trainer found. He began working for the baseball New York Giants in the early 1890's. Ed LaForce was a black athletic trainer working in Major League Baseball, starting in 1895.
In the colleges, the first black athletic trainer found was Henry Reeves of the University of Texas, who started working as an athletic trainer in the late 1890's. There certainly could have been others before, but much information on the traditionally black college athletic trainers is probably only held on those campuses, as they did not get much publicity in those days. (That is a hint to the students of those schools to do some research. I will post what you find on this website).
As time would move on, more racial minorities found their way into athletic training, including this month's Featured Athletic Trainer: Naseby Rhinehart.
Welcome to the website for athletic training history. Whether you have a general interest or need to find specific information this website is here to help.
Athletic training in the United States began in 1881. Much of the early history of athletic training is from stories that have been passed down over the generations. What one finds is mostly folklore, not history. There exists, for one who wishes to find it, a wealth on information on athletic training prior to the formation of the National Athletic Trainers' Association in 1950.
Unfortunately, much of this information is in newspapers, magazine articles and books long out of print. The research provided on this website and in Dropping the Bucket and Sponge is meant to compile those sources into a history of early athletic training.
Reasearch into athletic training after 1950 is underway and new items will be placed on this website over time.
The material in this website is broken up into three major categories:
PHOTOS - Historic photographs of athletic training from various sources. Some are from the public domain and can be freely used while others cannot be used unless permission from the copyright holder is granted.
ATHLETIC TRAINERS - Biographical sketches of athletic trainers from the past. As time goes on more athletic trainers will be added to the list, about two per month. Each month, starting in June, a different athletic trainer will be featured.
RESOURCES - Links to various materials and websites that may be of assistance for the conduct of research into the history of athletic training and athletic trainers. This includes items from the archives of Cramer Products and the NATA.
You are encouraged to browse the site. Please use the contact page if you have any concerns, specific or general athletic training history questions or contributions (historical that is, as cash sent will not be returned!).