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History and Archives



Ken Kladnik
Rusty Baker

The purpose and objectives of the History and Archives Committee shall be:  To gather and preserve, the information, photographs, and artifacts of the significant events and people in the NWATA, and promote the use of this information to honor our past and inspiration for the advancement of athletic training within our district and the NATA at large.

History of the NWATA:

From 1950-1971, District 10 consisted of only the Canadian Providences. Washington, Oregon and Alaska were part of District 8 along with California, Hawaii and Nevada. Idaho and Montana were in District 7 along with Wyoming, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. In 1972, the current Northwest Athletic Trainers’ Association was formed and included the current membership states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Alaska as well as Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan. The Canadian Providences eventually evolved into the Canadian Athletic Trainers' Association and were no longer connected to the NATA.


Key Events and People in our History:

  1. Sherry Kosek-Babagian from the University of Washington became the first female to pass the NATA BOC exam in 1971.

  2. In January of 1972, NATA restructing of Districts lead to the development of the current District 10, which had been just the Canadian Providences. With the change, D-10 included the States of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Alaska.

  3. The first official membership meeting of the newly formed District was held in Eugene, OR on July 26, 1972 with the primary goal of election of officers.

  4. Seattle hosted the NATA Convention in 1980. Jim Whitesel was the host Athletic Trainer and Naseby Rhinehart provided the keynote address.

  5. The first stand-alone District meeting and symposia was held in Moscow, Idaho in 1980. The first Student Forum also took place at this meeting.

  6. Mark Smaha (WSU) served as the NATA President from 1988-1992

  7. Bob Grams (SPU) served as BOC President from 1988-1992

  8. Jim Whitesel (Seahawks) and staff were named NFL Athletic Staff of the year in 1993.

  9. Russ Cagle (Willamette University) served as BOC President from 1998-2000.

  10. Mark Hoffman (Oregon State) served as the NATA Foundation President 2013-2015.

  11. Ken Kladnik (Central Washington) served as the Chair of the NATA Foundation Scholarship committee from 2001-2008 and recognized as the 2008 NATA Foundation Volunteer of the Year.

  12. Ariko Iso (Oregon State) was hired as the first full time female atheltic trainer in the NFL by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2002.

  13. Cari Wood becomes the first female District Director in 2013 and also was the first female inducted into the NWATA Hall of Fame in 2018.

  14. Mark Smaha was awarded the Eve Becker-Doyle Leadership award in for Lifetime Service 2016.

  15. Tony Fitzpatrick was selected as the Vice President of the NATA in 2020.



NWATA Directors

Sayers “Bud” Miller 1972-1973

Dick Melhart  1973-1976

Larry Stanifer  1977-1979

Gary Craner  1979-1982

Mark Smaha  1982-1988

Dennis Sealey 1988-1994

Jim Whitesel  1994-1997

Tom Koto  1997-2003

Barrie Steele  2003-2009

Russ Ricardson 2009-2013

Cari Wood  2013-2017

Tony Fitzpatrick 2017-2022

Kasee Hindenbrand   2022-




Class of 1999

Francis “Packey” Boyle  (Idaho)

Gary Craner (Boise State)

Gary Smith (Central Washington)                                 

James Whitesel (Seattle Seahawks)                              

Mark Smaha (Washington State)                                   

Naseby Rhinehart (Montana)                                        

Bob Peterson (Washington)                                          

Chuck Karnop   (Montana State)                                   

Dean Adams (Oregon)                                                 

Dennis Sealey (Washington)                                         

Phil Luckey (Idaho State)  


Class of 2000                                          

Ken Kladnik (Central Washington)                              

Class of 2002

James “Zeke” Schuldt (Puget Sound)                           

Class of 2004

Dave Kendall (Western Montana)                                 

Tom Koto (St. Lukes/Boise)                                         

Class of 2006

Dale Blair (Wenatchee, WA H.S.)                                 


Class of 2010

Barrie Steele (Idaho)                                                   

Jim Richards (Northwest University)                            

Class of 2014

Tony Fitzpatrick (Timberline H.S)                                

Class of 2015

Russ Richardson (Western Montana)                          

Class of 2016

Marty Matney(Work-Fit/Boeing)                                 

Class of 2018

Cari Wood (Redmond, OR H.S)                                   





                                                                Year Inducted

Naseby Rhinehart (Montana)                             1967

Bill Robertson   (Oregon State)                           1971

Bud Miller (Washington)                                   1980

Bob Peterson (Washington)                               1981

Packey Boyle    (Idaho)                                    1982

Dick Vandervort (Washington State)                    1988

Gary Craner (Boise State)                                 1994

Mark Smaha (Washington State)                        1997

James Whitesel (Seattle Seahawks)                     1998

Ken Kladnik (Central Washington)                       2002

Tom Koto (St. Lukes Ortho/Sports Med)                2010

Barrie Steele (Idaho)                                         2011

Russ Richardson (Western Montana)                    2015

Marty Matney (Work Fit/Boeing)                        2018


Accredited Educational Program

Education has always been a priority in the NWATA. We have one of the longest standing student specific forums at our annual meeting, which began in 1980. Additionally, we offer 7 scholarships to our District’s student membership. We also have multiple accredited programs beginning with the University of Montana in 1971.

1971     Montana (Naseby Rhinehart/Dr. Wally Schwank)

1974     Oregon State University (Dr. Richard Irvin)

1974     Washington State University (Dr. Doug Sebold)

1978     Univ. of Oregon Graduate Program (Dr. Lou Osternig)

1982     Boise State University (Dr. Ron Pfeiffer)

1999     Whitworth University (Dr. Russ Richardson)

2000     Linfield College (Tara Lepp)

2000     George Fox College (Dale Isaak)

2000     Montana State University, Billings (Dr. Mike Diede)

2002     Eastern Wash. Univ. (Dr. G. Babcock/Dr. J. Kawaguchi)

2003     University of Idaho (Dr. A. Nasypany/Dr. J. Seegmiller)

2014     Pacific University (Dr. Jeff Kawaguchi)

2014     Idaho State Universtiy (Dr. Dani Moffitt)




District Meetings/Symposia

Our very first meeting of the newly formed District 10, which included our present states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Alaska was conducted in Eugene OR on July 23, 1972. It was held at the Black Angus Inn in conjunction with the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons Sports Medicine Meeting. During this initial meeting, officers were elected and a By-laws developed.


From 1973-1975, Dr. Keith Peterson of Seattle Sports Medicine hosted a weekend Symposia on the care and treatment of athletic injuries. District 10 held their business meetings during the lunch hour on Saturday. Bud Miller was the District Director and chaired the one hour meeting.  The lunchoen consisted of buckets of Kentucky Fried Chicken. Those known to be in attendance were such notables as Mark Smaha, Jim Whitesel, Chuck Karnop, Gary Craner, Gary Smith, Larry Stanifer, Dick Melhart, Wayne Rasmussen, Ken Kladnik and others.

In 1976-79, our meetings were held at Portland State University during a Sports Medicine Workshop. Leo Marty was the host of the event. It was lead by then District Director, Larry Stanifer from the University of Oregon.

Our first true stand-alone symposia/meeting of the NWATA was held in 1980 at the University Inn in Moscow Idaho. The co-chairs were Mark Smaha from Washington State University and Ken Kladnik from the University of Idaho. The Student Fourm also began this year under the leadership of  Barrie Steele and Tom Koto.

The following are the site/host of all of the meetings to date.


NWATA Meeting/Site/Coordinators


1972                    Eugene, OR                                      Larry Stanifer

1973-74               Sea-Tac, WA                                     Dr. Peterson/Bud Miller

1975-79               Portland State University                       Leo Marty           

1980                    Moscow, ID                                      M. Smaha/K. Kladnik

1981                    Tacoma, WA                                    Zeke Schuldt

1982                    Eugene, OR                                      Dean Adams/K. O’Neill

1983                    Coeur d’ Alene,OR                            Steve DeLong

1984                    Bellevue, WA                                    Jim Richards

1985                    Boise, ID                                          Ron Pfeiffer

1986                    Portland, OR                                     Jim Wallis

1987                    Spokane, WA                                   Steve DeLong

1988                    Eugene, OR                                      D. Adams/K. Kladnik

1989                    Tacoma, WA                                    Gary Nicholson

1990                    Boise, ID                                          Tom Koto

1991                    Bellevue, WA                                    Jim Richards

1992                    Portland, OR                                     Jim Wallis

1993                    Spokane, WA                                   McDonnell/Williams

1994                    Eugene, OR                                      Rod Harter

1995                    Portland, OR                                     Peter Harmer

1996                    Boise, ID                                          Ron Pfeiffer

1997                    Yakima, WA                                     Mike Perala

1998                    Tacoma, WA                                    Gary Nicholson

1999                    Spokane, WA                                   Richardson/J. Durocher

2000                    Portland, OR                                     Jim Wallis

2001                    Boise, ID                                          T. Fitzpatrick/T. Pasco

2002                    Eugene, OR                                      Tom Embree

2003                    Sea-Tac, WA                                     Chris Murphy

2004                    Seaside, OR                                      Erin Cramer

2005                    Spokane, WA                                   Kawaguchi/T. Sandburg

2006                    Boise, ID                                          Tony Fitzpatrick

2007                    Vancouver, WA                                 Chris Murphy

2008                    Bellevue, WA                                    Pat Jenkins

2009                    Seaside, OR                                     Cari Wood/Greg Hill

2010                    Spokane, WA                                   Kasee Hildenbrand

2011                    Eugene, OR                                      Sierra Dawson

2012                    Bellevue, WA                                    Craig Bennett

2013                    Boise, ID                                          Pam Arriola

2014                    Portland, OR                                     Shelly Jones

2015                    Spokane, WA                                   C.Wright/G. Babcock

2016                    Boise, ID                                          Arriola, Clark, Schisel VanAmerongen, Mitchell, Bahnmaier, Moffit

2017                    Tacoma, WA                                    C. & J. Durocher, C.Bennett, C. Lovejoy, Todd Yamaguchi

2018                    Portland, OR                                     Aaron Kilfoyle

2019                    Spokane, WA                                   Stacey Nauman

2020-21               Cancelled due to Covid

2022                    Portland, OR                            

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