Release Date: 3/14/2006
Clarksville, Ark. --- San Diego State University head athletic trainer Don Kessler will be the featured speaker during the University of the Ozarks' 2006 Alumni Lecture Series, scheduled for 11 a.m., Friday, April 7, in Walker Hall.
The event is part of the university’s 2006 Alumni Weekend. Kessler will be presented with the university’s Alumni Achievement Award during the Awards Luncheon on April 8.
The public is invited to attend Kessler’s presentation on April 7 and there is no cost for admission.
A 1970s Ozarks alumnus, Kessler has more than 30 years of experience in college athletics. He served as the head athletic trainer at Rutgers University in Piscataway, N.J., for 18 years before joining SDSU in 2005. He is in charge of the Aztecs’ athletic training and strength and conditioning departments.
He began his professional career in collegiate athletics at the U.S. Naval Academy in 1972, while serving as a hospital corpsman during the Vietnam War from 1971-75. After two years as head athletic trainer and a teacher at Delran High School in New Jersey, Kessler spent a decade at Princeton University where he was involved with 13 different sports, including football. At Rutgers, Kessler oversaw 11 full-time trainers, 30 NCAA Division I sports programs and more than 1,000 athletes.
In addition to his experience in college athletics, Kessler has worked with the U.S. Olympic Committee, U.S. Rowing and the United States Soccer Federation. Most recently, he was the athletic trainer for the rowing team at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece.
A certified member of the National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA) since 1976, Kessler was part of NATA's board of directors for research and education from 1996-2001. He has also served as president of both the Eastern Athletic Trainers Association and Athletic Trainers Society of New Jersey.
Kessler, who attended Rutgers from 1965-67, graduated from University of the Ozarks with a degree in physical education. He played soccer and competed in cross country and track for the Eagles, garnering eight varsity letters in all, while earning the school's outstanding athlete award as a senior. Kessler also has a master's degree in physical education, graduating with a 4.0 GPA from the University of Arkansas in 1971.
A native of Riverside, N.J., his wife, Maggie, was an All-American soccer player at Rutgers. His son, Gregg, is a 1995 Rutgers graduate and is a middle school science teacher in Woodland Hills, Calif.