Skip to Content
Apply Request

About Sports Medicine

Our Mission

Azusa Pacific Sports Medicine seeks to be a community of disciples and scholars who serve the athletic department and its student athletes by providing the highest quality of organization and administration, prevention, evaluation, treatment, and rehabilitation and management of athletic injuries, as well as by being good stewards of the supplies and facilities that the university has provided.

Our Purpose

The sports medicine staff in the Athletics Department at Azusa Pacific University (APU) are responsible for the coordination of health care to the student-athletes within the intercollegiate athletic program. Included in this responsibility are various administrative and clinical duties carried out by the sports medicine staff.

The administrative duties include determination of athletic medical clearance, development and implementation of an emergency medical plan, medical record maintenance, compiling injury statistics, instituting medical coverage and staffing policy as it relates to practices and events, and budget management for the Sports Medicine Clinic (SMC). Clinically, the staff is responsible for the prevention, evaluation, management, treatment, and rehabilitation of athletic injuries. This also includes coordination of physician referrals, determination of participation status, and the counseling and education of student-athletes. Additionally, the sports medicine staff coordinates health care of student-athletes relating to general medical illnesses and conditions as they may affect athletic participation; this involves referrals to the Student Health Center, Counseling Center, or other off-campus health care providers.

What is an ATC?

Health Care for the Physically Active
Certified athletic trainers (ATCs) are health care professionals who specialize in the prevention, recognition, evaluation, assessment, immediate care, treatment, rehabilitation, and reconditioning of injuries to athletes and those engaged in physical activity. ATCs are also responsible for the organization and administration of the above mentioned care as well as professional development and responsibility.

Certified athletic trainers contribute to a cost-effective health care system by emphasizing injury prevention and injury evaluations that prevent unnecessary trips to emergency rooms and unnecessary X-rays. Through aggressive rehabilitation, they focus on restoring patients’ good health and ability to participate.

Certified athletic trainers work with secondary school interscholastic athletic programs, intercollegiate athletic programs, professional athletic teams, corporate heath programs, sports medicine clinics, physicians’ offices, health clubs, and industrial health programs.

The National Athletic Trainers’ Association, Inc. (NATA) is the largest organization representing athletic trainers. NATA Board of Certification certified athletic trainers have met educational and experiential requirements and have passed a competency examination. Certified athletic trainers use the abbreviation ATC.

Athletic training is an allied health care profession recognized by the American Medical Association. Certified athletic trainers have, at minimum, a bachelor’s degree, usually in athletic training, health, physical education, sports medicine, or exercise science. In addition, athletic trainers study human anatomy, human physiology, biomechanics, exercise physiology, sports medicine, nutrition and psychology/counseling, orthopedic evaluation, immediate care, therapeutic exercise, injury prevention and risk management, and therapeutic modalities. Certified athletic trainers also participate in extensive clinical affiliations with athletic teams under appropriate supervision.

Certified athletic trainers practice the art and science of sports medicine under the direction of a licensed physician.

Sports Medicine Program History

The sports medicine program was developed and designed by Susan L. Hebel, Ph.D., in 1983 as an internship program through the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, Inc. The first graduating class in 1986 had six students, including Cindy Tanis, who remained with the program after graduation as a graduate assistant. Cindy worked as the head athletic trainer for two years, and in 1988, became the program director. In 1991, Azusa Pacific University hired an additional certified athletic trainer, Sue Sutherland, who became the assistant athletic trainer. In 1994, Sue Sutherland was promoted to head athletic trainer, and Cindy Tanis continued on as the program director. Liana Musso graduated in 1995 and stayed on as a graduate assistant from 1995-97. In 1997, Cindy Tanis resigned from the program after having her third child, and APU hired Cindy McKnight, Ph.D., as the program director. At this point, the athletic training education program (ATEP) was developed and the current curriculum was instituted. The athletic training education program became a part of the physical education program, and the sports medicine staff worked in conjunction with the Athletics Department.

In August 1997, Craig Faith was hired as the head athletic trainer. He resigned after the 1998–99 school year and April Reed ’95, M.S., was hired as the head athletic trainer in August 1999. Additionally in August, a new full-time assistant athletic trainer position was created and filled by Kalan Cavasoz, M.A. In August 2003, another assistant athletic trainer position was created and Sean Gateley, M.S., was hired. During summer 2005, Cavasoz resigned after accepting a position in his native state, Hawaii, and Kimberly Duskin, M.S., was hired in his place. During summer 2007, Gateley resigned and Glory Fung ’03 was hired as the associate athletic trainer. In the summer of 2008, the addition of 3 women's athletic teams generated the need for another assistant athletic trainer, and Benjamin Fuller, M.S. was hired to fill the new position. The summer of 2012 brought additional changes as Glory Fung resigned to accept a head athletic trainer position at Concordia University, Irvine, while Kimberly Duskin resigned to accept a position closer to home at the University of Memphis. Curtis Zeilenga ’03, M.A., was hired as the associate athletic trainer, and Hollie Tirrell ’01, M.S., was hired to fill the assistant athletic trainer position. In 2013, a fourth graduate assistant position was created, allowing the staff to adjust sport assignments and increase coverage to provide better care for the department. In 2014, Curtis Zeilenga left the university and Jesse Cops ’03, M.S., was hired to fill the position.