GORHAM, Maine -- Veteran University of Southern Maine athletic trainer Matt Gerken will add another distinguished honor to his resume this coming Saturday (January 6) when he is inducted into the Eastern Athletic Trainers Association's (EATA) '49 Club, the organization's Hall of Fame. Gerken will receive the honor at the EATA's annual convention being held in Boston.
The '49 Club was established in 2017 to recognize members of the profession whose contributions to the Association have been significant, substantial and long-standing since the inception of the EATA in 1949. Induction into the '49 Club honors athletic trainers who exemplify the mission of EATA through noteworthy, enduring contributions that enhance the quality of health care provided by athletic trainers and advance the profession.
A past president of the EATA (1993-1995), Gerken served a two-year term as president of the organization (1991-1993) and six years on the EATA Executive Committee. He served as the chair of the EATA 50th Anniversary Committee (1993-1998). For outstanding service in athletic training at the collegiate level, Gerken was honored with the EATA Cramer Award in 1998. More recently he has filled the role of speaker moderator at the annual convention five times, including this year, in the last seven years.
Now in his 40th year in the athletic training profession, Gerken has served as the head athletic trainer at three collegiate institutions. He began his professional career at Bridgewater State College in 1977 and served there for 13 years before moving on to Colby-Sawyer College. After nine years at Colby-Sawyer (1990-1999), Gerken became the head athletic trainer at USM in August 1999.
Presently overseeing the athletic healthcare for 22 intercollegiate sports and approximately 470 athletes at USM, Gerken was inducted into the Maine Athletic Trainers Association (MATA) Hall of Fame in 2014. He served as Vice President of the MATA (2002-2004) and President (2004-2006). He also received the National Athletic Trainers Association's (NATA) Athletic Trainer Service Award in 2006.
Gerken received his undergraduate degree in physical education from Plymouth State College in 1995, and master's of science in physical education (concentration in athletic training) from Indiana University in 1977.