Athletic training has been a fixture in Notre Dame athletics since the days of Knute Rockne. Notre Dame’s first-known athletic trainer was Eugene “Scrap Iron” Young, who began providing care to student-athletes in the 1920s. Athletic training continued to evolve and expand along with the University’s athletic growth. From Young’s first days to today, Notre Dame’s athletic training department has developed into a fully-staffed sports medicine team with two state-of-the-art facilities.
Head athletic trainer and physical therapist Jim Russ oversees the athletic training services. The staff includes three associate athletic trainers and seven assistant athletic trainers. The entire staff is certified by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association and has collectively more than 150 years of athletic training experience. Russ and his staff, along with a host of student athletic trainers, are responsible for the health and care of the 26 NCAA Division I sports at the University, which includes more than 750 student-athletes.
Each certified staff member is in charge of the health care of at least two varsity athletic teams. These responsibilities include covering practice and competition as well as traveling with the team as deemed appropriate. Specifically, the athletic trainer is responsible for evaluating and assessing athletic injuries, administering first aid and injury care, making medical referrals, and establishing treatments, rehabilitation and reconditioning of athletic injuries/illness. The athletic trainer also spends a significant amount of time in the education of student-athletes with respect to injury prevention, nutrition and psychological support in dealing with injuries. All staff athletic trainers are certified by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association and licensed by the state of Indiana.
The athletic training department is under the direct supervision of several sports medicine physicians. Two University physicians – Dr. Jim Moriarity and Dr. Becky Moskwinski – serve as primary care physicians for health care needs of the student-athletes. Area orthopaedists – Dr. Williard Yergler, Dr. David Bankoff, Dr. Fred Ferlic, Dr. Robert Clemency, Dr. Mike Yergler, Dr. Christopher Balint and Dr. Brian Ratigan – oversee the orthopaedic needs for Irish athletes. Also available are a host of medical consultants to meet specific needs ranging from cardiology to dermatology. Drs. W. Yergler, Moriarity, Bankoff and Ferlic have earned honorary monograms from the Notre Dame Monogram Club.
The athletic training staff utilizes two state-of-the-art facilities to treat and rehabilitate injured athletes. The original athletic training room is located in the Joyce Center. The newest addition to the department is a 3,000-foot plus training facility in the state-of-the-art Guglielmino Athletics Complex which features new training areas, treatment rooms and office space for the staff.
UNIVERSITY OF NOTRE DAME SPORTS MEDICINE MISSION STATEMENT
In support of the University’s primary goals of spiritual, intellectual and physical development of its students, the mission of the Sports Medicine Department is to fashion a program founded on integrity, accountability and scientific evidence-based doctrine.
The Sports Medicine staff will strive to provide every student-athlete with the most comprehensive, highest quality individual sports medicine health care available in a professional, efficient, compassionate and service-oriented manner.
A diversified program of prevention, evaluation, treatment and rehabilitation will assure a positive healthy recovery experience, an improved quality of life, a safe return to full athletic participation and continued athletic success.