May 1, 2014
Anyone associated with the Vanderbilt women's basketball program appreciates the tireless work ethic and unwavering dedication that is displayed by athletic trainer Michele Loftis.
Obviously, those outside the program have noticed, too.
Loftis, who has been with the WBB program for 10 seasons, was recently named the winner of the inaugural Chris Patrick SEC Athletic Trainer of the Year Award.
The honor is voted on by the Sports Medicine staffs of the 14 SEC schools and is named in honor of the recently retired NATA Hall of Fame athletic trainer Chris Patrick from the University of Florida.
Patrick presented the award to Loftis at the SEC Sports Medicine Annual Symposium last weekend.
Loftis said she was extremely honored to have her name linked to Patrick's in this capacity.
"Patrick is a legend in this profession," said Loftis, "and everyone in the country (in the field of athletic training) knows his name. So for me to be the first representative to win an award in his name is an outstanding honor."
Loftis, who said she was "flabbergasted" when she heard her name called, was selected for the award based on the following criteria:
· Going above and beyond for the institution and his/her team
· Exhibiting a tireless work ethic
· Is loyal to the institution's athletic department and athletic training mission
· Has a passion for the profession of athletic training and the service of the student-athlete
· Expresses a caring personality in the health-care he/she delivers
· Demonstrates examples of being a strong advocate for the student-athlete
· Plays an active role in one or more of the professional associations he/she is a member of (NATA, District, SEC, CATS, etc.)
Loftis earned her bachelors degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in exercise science with minors in athletic training as well as psychology. She received her masters of science in sports and recreation management from the University of Idaho in 2000.
Loftis worked with the Vandals until 2004, serving as the primary athletic trainer for numerous sports.
A certified athletic trainer licensed in the state of Tennessee, Loftis is an examiner for the NATA's Board of Certification and serves as the treasurer of the SEC Athletic Trainers Committee.