USM’s Katie Pierce named NAIA Athletic Trainer of the Year

USM Athletics
Tyler Scott, Sports Information Director 

KANSAS CITY, Mo.— Katie Pierce of the University of Saint Mary was named the 2019-20 NAIA Athletic Trainer of the Year, the organization announced Tuesday. The NAIA Athletic Trainer of the Year award recognizes an athletic trainer at an NAIA institution who has distinguished themselves as a model of the profession in personal conduct and professional service to NAIA student-athletes. Pierce was named the 2019-20 KCAC Athletic Trainer of the Year, previously.

“We are pleased to have the 2020 NAIA Athletic Trainer of the Year Award winner working for our student-athletes here at USM,” Rob Miller, Saint Mary Vice President of Athletics, said. “We are very proud of Katie and her efforts. Congratulations go out to her and the training staff at USM… job well done!

“The University of Saint Mary extends our heartfelt congratulations to Katie,” USM President Sister Diane Steele said. “She is a wonderful representative of Saint Mary, the KCAC, and the NAIA. We are honored to have her in the USM family and are proud of all that she has accomplished during her career.”

“I am so happy for Katie and for what this award means for her personally and for the University of Saint Mary,” indicated Dr. Scott Crawford, KCAC Commissioner.  “This honor is especially meaningful in these challenging times under the COVID-19 pandemic and the importance of athletic training in making sure our student-athletes have the best care possible.  I cannot express enough how proud the KCAC is for Katie.”

In 2019, Pierce came to Saint Mary after serving as an athletic trainer at Kansas Wesleyan University for 10 years. In just one year at Saint Mary, she conducted research on athletic training internships and graduate assistants and was an integral part in USM’s administration, converting one GA position to two full-time athletic training positions.

Since beginning her position as the Secretary of the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference Athletic Training Association in the fall of 2019, Pierce created a survey regarding Junior Varsity teams and athletic trainer coverage. She also created and sent out the first-ever KCAC ATA Newsletter, informing the league’s athletic trainers of the conference’s happenings. Pierce also serves on the NAIA-Athletic Training Association Newsletter Committee.

Pierce is an adjunct faculty member with the Master of Athletic Training program at Saint Mary, teaching Pharmacology and the Organization and Administration of Athletic Training, and serving as a lead preceptor within our clinical site. While at Kansas Wesleyan, Pierce also worked as an adjunct faculty member in the Sport and Exercise Department, overseeing the SPES club for eight years. Pierce has volunteered her time for several events, including Coyotes for the Cure cancer campaign, the American Heart Association Red Out and various events held through the SPES club.

Pierce is always willing to go the extra mile, with anything from her athletic training duties, teaching and volunteering. Pierce is dependable and trustworthy and truly cares about her athletes and their health. In addition to her professionalism, she makes the Saint Mary athletic training room fun with her sense of humor and is a great leader and mentor to the other athletic training staff and students.

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