Featured Athletic Trainer
"Trainer of Trainers"
University of Illinois
Education for athletic trainers began a long road to formalization in the years after World War I. Most athletic trainers still learned from older athletic trainers, but some courses in athletic training began to be offered around World War I. Samuel Bilik’s famed Trainers Bible originated as a text for a class he taught at the University of Illinois in 1917.
In 1959, the National Athletic Trainers’ Association adopted a model curriculum. Ten years later the NATA began to approve undergraduate athletic training curriculums. In 1972, the NATA began to approve graduate athletic training curriculums. In 2004, the NATA eliminated the internship route to certification, leaving only approved curriculums as a way to sit for the certification exam.
More Highlights of History can be found on the Athletic Training History Blog.
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!).