MAATA Announces Hall of Fame Class of 2013
The MAATA Hall of Fame Class of 2013 will include Dr. Greg Gardner, Dwight Eric McDonnell and Gary Ward. These individuals are being honored for their service and dedication to the profession of athletic training. All three have distinguished themselves and brought honor and dignity to their families, their institutions of higher learning, their respective states and the Mid-America Athletic Trainers’ Association. These gentlemen will be inducted during ceremonies to be held Friday, March 14, 2013 at the MAATA Annual Meeting and Symposium held in Tulsa, OK.
Dr. Greg Gardner is currently the Associate Professor of Athletic Training and Associate Director of the School of Nursing at the University of Tulsa. He has spent much of his career in the area of education of athletic training students. His service to the profession also reflects his passion for education as he has been involved with several NATA committees that regulate various aspects of accreditation of athletic training education programs. Most recently he has served as President of the Commission on Accreditation for Athletic Training Education. He has also recently served as U.S. Vice President of the World Federation of Athletic Training and Therapy. Greg has a Bachelors’ degree from the University of Wyoming, his Masters’ degree from the University of Arizona and a Doctorate from the University of Southern Mississippi. He has been recognized as an Outstanding Faculty Member by The University of Tulsa, an Outstanding Alumni by The University of Southern Mississippi and by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association as a Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer. Greg is married to Christi and their family includes Staff Sergeant Michael W. Gardner, his wife Amanda and their children Jack and Emma; Corporal James H. Gardner, his wife Melissa and their son Jake; and Thomas G. Gardner.
Dwight Eric McDonnell has been an athletic trainer at the University of Missouri since 1982. Known by all as Eric, he has spent his career as a leader in the profession of athletic training. Eric has served as his beloved Missouri Athletic Trainers’ Association as well as the MAATA and the NATA on a variety of committees and offices since 1993. He has been a leader for all three organizations and has had a passion for Governmental Affairs. Eric currently serves as District Director for the MAATA and sits on the NATA Board of Directors. He has received from the University of Missouri the Dr. James M. Baker Award as the Outstanding Athletic Training Student and the MU Employee of the Month Award. The Missouri Athletic Trainers’ Association awarded him the Glenn L. McElroy M.D. Distinguished Service Award, named him the Athletic Trainer of the Year in 2007 and inducted him into their Sports Medicine Hall of Fame in 2003. He has received the NATA Division I Assistant Athletic Trainer of the Year, the NATA Service Award and the NATA Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award. Eric and his wife Sabrina have 2 children, Madison (16) and Grant (12).
Gary Ward has been a member of the faculty of Missouri State University since 1978. He is a founding member of the Missouri Athletic Trainers’ Association and played a key role in legislative efforts to enact the Athletic Trainer Practice Act in 1981. As a leader in the Missouri Physical Therapy Association, Gary has worked hard to promote collaboration and collegiality between athletic training and physical therapy faculty and clinicians. He has been Co-director of the ATEP at MSU as well as Director of the Midwest Sports Medicine Center and has made it his mission in life to help students enter the profession of athletic training with the best possible education and experience possible. He has been a fixture at Greenwood Laboratory School athletic events, volunteering his time to care for high school and junior high school student-athletes. Gary has also served the Missouri State High School Activities Association as a member of their Sports Medicine Advisory Board since 1986, making him the longest serving member of that board and providing invaluable advice to MSHSAA. Gary has been a member of the NATA since 1972 and was inducted into the Missouri Sports Medicine Hall of Fame by the Missouri Athletic Trainers’ Association in 1996. He and his wife Joy have 2 children, Jeffery and Karen.