Fort Lewis College 2011
Wayne Barger, born in New Mexico and raised in southern Colorado, began his athletic training career as a undergraduate student at the University of New Mexico. He grew under the tutelage of Hall of Fame members, L.F. "Tow" Diehm (1994) and Larry Willock (2000), becoming a student member of the NATA in 1978. Upon graduation and certification (1982), Barger was employed at Albuquerque Academy as the athletic trainer for the middle and high school student athletes. While here he was able to continue to pursue his MS degree in Physical Education Administration from University of New Mexico.
With the completion of the advanced degree, Wayne Barger was invited back to join the University of New Mexico staff. Here he enjoyed his work with 24 NCAA Division I competitive sports and was intricately involved in the progressive development of the UNM athletic training education program. In 1995, Barger relocated to Durango, Colorado and Fort Lewis College. At Fort Lewis, Wayne initiated the transition of the FLC internship program into the accreditation process. Fort Lewis College became the second accredited program in Colorado. He spends his time educating future athletic trainers, developing community relations through external operations, and serving as a mentor for the Fort Lewis students.
Wayne Barger was invited to become an inaugural board member of the Rocky Mountain Sports Medicine Foundation, a group that has cultivated relationships with local hospitals and physician practices, enhanced athlete care in the region by establishing positions for certified athletic trainers, fostered monthly educational literature review sessions for allied health professionals, and developed scholarships for prospective students. Wayne has also served as NMATA Secretary/Treasurer and Vice President, RMATA Exhibit Coordinator, Convention Committee Member, RMATA University/College Athletic Training Committee Chairman, RMATA President, NATABOC exam administrator and Impaired Practitioners Task Force member. Fort Lewis College recognized Wayne in 1999 with the FLC Director of Athletics Appreciation Award. In addition to his Hall of Fame honors, Wayne previously received the NMATA Outstanding Service Award (1996) and the RMATA Distiguished Athletic Trainer (2003).
When asked to share a story about his athletic training career, his response was: “Athletic Training has been about the relationships and friendships that have developed over the years with a common theme. Athletic Training has been the vehicle that has granted a wide diverse number of opportunities and experiences to travel, learn from knowledgeable mentors, work with numerous professionals in a variety of settings, and interact with a population that is motivated to be successful.”