Jeff Stone, the University’s head athletic trainer, was in the middle of taping up the women’s basketball team before practice when the phone call came in.
“I couldn’t believe what I was hearing,” said Stone. “After hanging up, I had to sit in the chair for a few minutes to calm down. Then I told the team and everyone started going crazy.”
The news that caused the commotion: Stone has been selected for induction into the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Hall of Fame. The award is the association’s and the profession’s highest honor for athletic trainers who exemplify the mission of NATA through significant, lasting contributions that enhance the quality of health care provided by athletic trainers.
“This is the Cooperstown for athletic trainers,” said Stone. “To be put in the same class and among the forefathers of our association is mind blowing to me. A lot of people get considered for this, but very few people get picked.”
Stone is not one to get emotional, but he readily admits that he was touched when he learned of this latest honor.
“All I can say is that deep inside this is very satisfying,” he said.
The NATA Hall of Fame was established in 1962. This year’s 50th Anniversary Class numbers 17 athletic trainers. Stone is one of only 32 New England athletic trainers to ever be inducted, and the 16th from Massachusetts to be so honored.
The induction ceremony will be held on Thursday, June 28, 2012, in conjunction with the 63rd Annual NATA Meeting and Clinical Symposium, to be held in St. Louis.
Stone has been with Suffolk University Athletics since 2004. In 36 years as an athletic trainer he has compiled a long list of awards and recognition, including:
•Cramer Award for outstanding service and dedication to the Eastern Athletic Trainers Association, 2012
•Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer award recipient, National Athletic Trainers’ Association, 2011
•Athletic Trainers of Massachusetts Hall of Fame, 2011
•Athletic Trainers of Massachusetts Athletic Trainer, 1992
•Kerkor “Koko” Kassabian Service Award for meritorious service to the Athletic Training profession in Massachusetts, 2009
•Great Northeast Athletic Conference Athletic Trainer of the Year, 2008 and 2011
Stone recently completed a six-year tenure as Director of District One – New England, representing more than 2,000 athletic trainers and athletic training students in New England. He also served as the region’s representative to the Board of Directors of the National Athletic Trainers Association from 2004-2010.