UCA's Strickland to be inducted

University of Central Arkansas head athletic trainer David Strickland will be inducted into the Arkansas Athletic Trainers Hall of Fame in the Class of 2014.

Strickland, UCA’s head athletic trainer since 1998, will join the Hall of Fame in a ceremony on Saturday, April 12, at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Little Rock during the Arkansas Athletic Trainer’s Association annual meeting and symposium.

“I am greatly honored by this induction into the Arkansas Athletic Trainers Hall of Fame,’ said Strickland. “This honor is very special to me. The Arkansas Athletic Trainer’s Association has done so very much for me, but I would not be able to put in the time and effort to the profession of athletic training if not for the support of the University of Central Arkansas and the kinesiology and physical education department, athletics department and especially the faculty athletic trainers in the athletic training program.

“They have provided a combined effort to allow me to pursue and achieve my goals in athletic training leadership for the state of Arkansas as well as our district (Arkansas and Texas).”

Strickland was also recently invited to the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif., by the United States Olympic Committee Sports Medicine Program to attend a two-week rotation with the Olympic athletes. While there, Strickland assisted the full-time staff with medical care and sports coverage of the men’s and women’s rugby, track and field, rowing and BMX sports, as well as the U.S. Paralympic athletes.

Strickland had previously been invited to the Olympic Training Center in 2001 in Colorado Springs, Colo., and worked with Taekwondo, judo and wrestling. In 2003, he was invited to work the “Titan Games,” an international event in San Jose, Calif., working with Taekwondo, wrestling and shot put.

“I definitely have no intentions of stopping now,” said Strickland. “I have several goals still unachieved and it is comforting to know I will always have the support I need at UCA. Accepting the head athletic trainer position back in 1998 was one of the best decisions of my life. UCA is such a wonderful institution and even better people. I only hope I have given back as much as they have given me.”

Strickland graduated from New Mexico State in 1994 with a degree in athletic training, and received his master’s in human performance from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in 1996. He has been the head athletic trainer and clinical instructor at UCA since 1998. Under his direction, the UCA athletic training program has grown from two certified athletic trainers to eight full-time certified athletic trainers.  

The athletic training education program at UCA has achieved CAATE accreditation and is a highly respected athletic training education program and continues to produce excellent athletic trainers. The Athletic Training Program at UCA is the first AT program to offer Athletic Training as a major in the state of Arkansas.

Strickland is a past president of the AATA and held a position on the executive board from 2001-2007. As member of the AATA Governmental Affairs Committee Strickland was instrumental in several legislative efforts such as passing HB 1084, Act 1124 – Establishment of the Arkansas State Board of Athletic Training and HB 1743, Act 1214 – a bill to promote the health and safety of students in the public schools through the use of athletic trainers and professional development for coaches.        

Strickland has been selected as an athletic trainer for several United States Olympic Committee programs. He has been a Test Site Administrator for the Board of Certification for athletic trainer certification.  He has been the chair of the AATA annual meeting and symposium and was editor and publisher of the AATA Newsletter for several years. Strickland was appointed to the Governor’s Council on Fitness by Gov. Mike Beebe and was also awarded the Athletic Trainer Service Award in 2012 by the National Athletic Trainer’s Association.