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.
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.
Athletic Training Services
Head athletic trainer and physical therapist Jim Russ oversees the athletic training services. The staff includes a football athlete trainer, five associate athletic trainers and nine 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 observation 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. Learn More about our offered Services and Testing
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. University physicians – Dr. Jim Moriarity, Dr. Becky Moskwinski , Dr. Kevin McAward, Dr. Matt Leiszler, and Dr. Kathy Cahoon- serve as primary care physicians for health care needs of the student-athletes. Area orthopaedists – Dr. Christopher Balint, Dr. Bob Clemency, Dr. Brian Ratigan, Dr. James Sieradski, and Dr. Mike Yergler – oversee the orthopaedic needs for Irish athletes. Dr. Steve Simons oversees care of the track and field and cross country teams. The sports medicine department also utilizes the services of Dr. Jerry Hofferth as team chiropractor. Also available are a host of medical consultants to meet specific needs ranging from cardiology to dermatology. Dr. Moriarity, has 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 9,000-foot plus training facility in the state-of-the-art Loftus Athletics Training Facility which features new rehabilitation and treatment areas in addition to office space for staff.
Stop Sports Injuries website
There are alarming trends in “professional-level” injuries among youth sports participants. Orthopaedic surgeons see two trends: the number of youth injuries is reaching epidemic proportions and youth are experiencing overuse injuries at a younger and younger age. The high rate of youth sports injuries is fueled by an increase in overuse and trauma injuries and a lack of attention paid to proper injury prevention.
To address these issues, the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM) and its collaborators created the STOP Sports Injuries Campaign. Learn more at StopSportsInjuries.org