Ken Smith Named Assistant Athletic Trainer for Bearcats

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

SALEM, ORE. -- Ken Smith, ATC, who has been an athletic trainer with PT Northwest since August of 2006, has been hired as an assistant athletic trainer at Willamette University. Smith will work with Shane Wibel, head athletic trainer, and Erin Scharer, assistant athletic trainer, in providing support to all 20 of Willamette’s athletic teams.

“We’re fortunate to hire someone with Ken’s extensive experience,” said Mark Majeski, director of athletics at Willamette. “He is a highly regarded professional, works well with our sports medicine staff and has been well-received by our scholar-athletes.”

Although Smith is just starting his new position as a full-time member of the Willamette Athletics staff, he is already known by WU’s coaches and athletes. As an employee of PT Northwest, he was assigned to provide athletic training support at Willamette during the 2006-07 academic year. He will continue to work with a variety of teams at WU in 2007-08.

He has significant experience in sports rehabilitation. During his career, he has helped many athletes return to a high level of competition following injuries and/or surgery

Smith graduated magna cum laude from Southern Oregon University in 1984 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education. He was the Outstanding Male Graduate in Physical Education that year. He received a Master of Science degree in Exercise and Sports Sciences with an Athletic Training Concentration from the University of Arizona in 1985.

He was an assistant athletic trainer at Northeastern University in Boston, Mass., in 1985-86 and was employed as an assistant athletic trainer at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces from 1986-89. He returned to Oregon in 1989 as the head football athletic trainer and an assistant athletic trainer at the University of Oregon.

Smith worked with the Ducks until 1998, when he became an assistant athletic trainer with the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League. He was part of the Seahawks’ organization for about seven years, until May of 2005. While with the Seahawks, he also managed the workman’s compensation claims for all employees. After working with Dynasplint Systems, Inc., in La Jolla, Calif., for one year, he joined PT Northwest in Salem, Ore.

"After working part-time for the Athletic Department as a contracted employee of PT Northwest, I am excited at becoming a full-time athletic trainer for Willamette University," Smith said.

Smith, originally from St. Helens, Ore., and his wife, Karla, have two children. Their son, Kaarsten, is eight years old and their daughter, Kallan, is five years old. The Smiths live in Keizer, Ore.