Gordy Graham

MANKATO — Thanks to Gordy Graham, Minnesota State University’s athletic training program is one of the oldest and most well-respected programs of its kind in the United States.

His role in securing accreditation by expanding the program’s academic curriculum, starting with a minor in 1969, and later a major in the 1980s, was instrumental in combining science and health care into a field that was virtually nonexistent before. It also paved the way for the creation of MSU’s athletic training master’s degree program.

“So many people think of athletic trainers as somebody there to ice and tape ankles,” said Pat Sexton, a former student and colleague of Graham. “Gordy taught us that it’s far more than that. It’s a health profession and you need to hold yourself to those standards.”

Graham, who retired as MSU’s athletic training director in 1994, died Aug. 7 at Ecumen Pathstone Living in Mankato. He was 85.

“If it wasn’t for Gordy, this program wouldn’t be here,” Sexton said.  Read More