KANSAS CITY, Mo. – For the second time in her exceptional career, Lewis-Clark State College’s Tracy Collins was named the NAIA Athletic Trainer of the Year. The NAIA Athletics Trainer of the Year recognizes an athletic trainer in the NAIA who had distinguished themselves as a model of the profession in personal conduct and professional service to NAIA student-athletes.
“To be chosen among this group of excellent healthcare professionals is a surprise and is humbling,” Collins said. “Thank you to the NAIA, the Cascade Conference and to LC State. I really need to thank the people in these places that make it special, most specifically at LC State. Thank you to our President, Cynthia Pemberton, our Director of Athletics, Brooke Henze, our tireless admin staff and our dedicated coaches. Finally, thank you to those closest to me; my fabulous assistant Taryn Cadez-Schmidt, my wonderful daughters Kassie and Emily, and my devoted husband Mike Collin. You make it all worth it. Go Warriors!”
As the head athletic trainer for Warrior athletics teams, Collins provides oversite to the healthcare delivery for over 200 student-athletes. She has served LC State for over 20 years and over the course of the past three years, she has been at the forefront of the institution’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Tracy demonstrates all of the NAIA core values, so it is not a surprise that she was chosen for this award,” LC State Athletic Director Brooke Henze said. “We are so thankful and grateful for her time and dedication. Our athletic trainers were pushed were pushed to the limits the last two years, and she was a rock for us. We are extremely proud of Tracy and our athletic training staff.”
In addition to her regular work duties, Collins has been a part of the LC State institutional team that determined protocols for athletics, students, faculty, and staff. She helps coordinate with local health facilities and professionals with hands-on, in-person response to all individuals in need of direction and advice relating to the pandemic response.
“Tracy is an exceptional healthcare professional, and we are incredibly proud and pleased that her excellence is being recognized at the national level,” LC State President Cynthia Pemberton said. “This is a well-deserved award.”
Collins is responsible for all medical coverage at the Avista NAIA World Series, which also included hosting additional tournaments during the season. This speaks volumes on her ability to handle the ever-changing demands of the profession. Collins is often the first person that people come to with their injuries and illnesses for advice and referrals. This says a lot about the respect and high regard people have for her and her commitment to her profession and helping others.
Earlier this year, Collins and her assistant Taryn Cadez-Schmidt were selected by the CCC SAAC representatives as the CCC Athletic Training Staff of the Year.
Collins is a board-certified athletic trainer and has been with the Warriors for over 20 years. She is a member of the NATA and the Idaho Athletic Trainers Association, where she also serves on the board. Collins ran track at Boise State and graduated in 1993 with a degree in athletic training. She completed her master’s degree from the University of Idaho in 2013.
Collins will be formally presented the award at an awards luncheon and ceremony during the 2023 NAIA National Convention in New Orleans, which takes place March 30-April 3, 2023.
Stay up to date on all things Warrior Athletics at lcwarriors.com and on social media @LCWarriors.