Stewart honored as Trainer of the Year

Head football athletic trainer presented award Saturday in Nashville

January 16, 2012 · Athletic Communications
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Middle Tennessee head football athletic trainer Robbie Stewart was recently presented the Eugene Smith/Mickey O’Brien College Athletic Trainer of the Year Award during the 20th annual Tennessee Athletic Trainers’ Society Conference on January 14. The event was held at the Gladys Stringfield Owen Conference Center at Baptist Hospital in Nashville.

Stewart, who is in his fourth year at Middle Tennessee, was nominated for his role in identifying the splenic rupture of Blue Raider senior wide receiver Shane Blissard during a spring football scrimmage in March 2011. In addition to identifying the injury, Stewart assisted in promptly getting Blissard to the hospital where doctors performed emergency surgery to take out the injured spleen. Stewart’s awareness and quick thinking led Blissard to a full recovery as he competed in all 12 Blue Raider games in 2012. Blissard finished with 16 catches and a touchdown.

“It is an honor to be nominated by my respective peers for this award and knowing that I have made an impact on other athletic trainers,” said Stewart. “To look at the list of past recipients, it is a privilege to be associated with the names on that list that have been influential in my career.

“I will always replay that day with Shane (Blissard) over in my mind and use it as a learning experience for me and for other athletic trainers. Shane is the true winner of this award for his toughness throughout the whole process. Praise God that he is still with us today! I am humbly honored to receive this award on behalf of my Middle Tennessee State University family.”

The Eugene Smith/Mickey O’Brien College Athletic Trainer of the Year Award is named for former head athletic trainers Eugene Smith (Memphis) and Mickey O’Brien (Tennessee). Smith and O’Brien were some of the most talented athletic trainers in sports and helped set the model that others have followed in providing care at the collegiate level. The award honors those whose work epitomizes that legacy.

Past winners include:
1990 Jerry Robertson - East Tennessee State University
1991 Chuck Kimmel - Austin Peay State University
1992 Eddie Cantler - University Of Memphis
1993 Tim Kerin - University Of Tennessee
1994 David T. Green, Tennessee Tech
1995 Paul Federici - Vanderbilt University
1996 Mollie Malone - Vanderbilt University
1997 Steve Corey - Cumberland University
1998 George Camp - Middle Tennessee State University
1999 Sharon Wood - Maryville College
2000 Linda Barker - University Of Tennessee at Martin
2001 Glenn Schwab - Rhodes College
2002 Mike Rollo - University Of Tennessee
2003 Michael Weller – Bryan College
2004 Monroe Abram – Tennessee State University
2005 No Award Given
2006 No Award Given
2007 Micheal Myer – Vanderbilt University
2008 Ray Knight – Sewanne University of The South
2009 Mike Van Bruggen - Carson Newman College
2010 Chad Newman - University Of Tennessee
2011 Tom Bossung - Vanderblt University
2012 Robbie Stewart – Middle Tennessee

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