In July 2001, Michael “Spanky” Stephens became the Executive Director for the Texas State Athletic Trainers Association after working 33 years at the University of Texas and the last 22 as the Head Athletic Trainer. Spanky served 22 years on the Governor appointed Advisory Board of Athletic Trainers and has severed on numerous committee’s and focus groups within the NATA and State Government. He also served as the Head Athletic Trainer for the TV show “Friday Night Lights” for 5 years and had several appearances on the show itself. Spanky put together a task force of physicians, licensed athletic trainers, and brain trauma researchers and specialist to write HB 2038 which is now known as “Natasha’s Law” which set up and define concussion protocols and return to play protocols for any high school student athlete in the state of Texas. This bill was passed in 2011. For the past 12 years and counting, Spanky has represented the Licensed Athletic Trainers in Texas to make sure Texas has a voice in protecting the Texas Licensure act of 1971 and that each and every LAT in Texas is respected for the job that is given to them concerning the health and safety of the student athletes and athletes in our great state of Texas. Spanky is in several Hall of Fames, University of Texas Hall of Honor, Southwest Athletic Trainers Association Hall of Fame, American Football Coaches Hall of Fame, and the Bellville High School Hall of Fame.
Rich Hanson entered the athletic training profession as a student at Northern Arizona University under Mike Nesbitt, where he earned a BSed. In 1977, he earned his MS at the University of Arizona through Dr. Gary Delforge and moved to El Paso shortly thereafter. He is presently retired from full time athletic training but does do some part time work for the Ysleta school district. His entire thirty-three year career was spent at the secondary level.Rich is beginning his third term serving on the TSATA board. He has been a member of the NATA since 1973 and was Certified in 1976. He is a member of the Sun City Athletic Trainers Association and was honored to be inducted into their Hall of Fame in 2005Rich and wife, Corine are the proud parents of two and have grandchild number six on the way.
John Overton entered the athletic training profession as a student trainer at Howard College under the direction of the late Everett Blackburn, where he earned his associates degree. He earned his BA from the University of Texas at Arlington and then earned his M.Ed. from Tarleton State University. John’s first job was at Boswell High School in Fort Worth Texas, where he held the head athletic trainer’s position for six years before making the move home to Big Spring, TX. At that time, he accepted the Athletic Trainer/Professor position at Howard College, which he has held for the last ten years. In his tenure at HC, he has been the Head Athletic Trainer for 3 national championship teams and numerous conference & regional championships. Overton has also helped to establish the Everett Blackburn Rockin’ Rodeo Sports Medicine clinic at Howard College.John is a member of the Texas State Athletic Trainers Association (TSATA), The National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA), and the Southwest Athletic Trainers Association (SWATA). He is also a Master Mason in Staked Plaines Lodge No. 598. Overton and family are members of Alive in Christ Lutheran church.John and his wife, Amy, have two beautiful girls, MaKayla(12) and MaKynlee(9).
Josh Woolbright has the honor to begin a new chapter in his athletic training career and join Lubbock Sports Medicine this past June as an Athletic Trainer/Clinical Coordinator. He is a graduate of Martin High School (Arlington, TX) and later earned his Bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech University.Other than his duties at Lubbock Sports Medicine, Josh travels the state speaking at different conferences to aid athletic trainers on integrating technology into their varied professional settings. He is a proud contributor to the learning platform iTunes U, which features his Sports Medicine classes that he has taught while previously at Muleshoe High School. Josh has also founded and developed the West Texas Sports Medicine Competition. This serves as a venue for student athletic trainers across the state to test their athletic training knowledge and build interest in the professions related to sports medicine. He is also active in giving back to his community and participating in providing athletic training coverage to such events as the Special Olympics. Josh is married to his wife, Kimberley, and they welcomed their first child, Ella Madeline, on March 25th of this past year.
Mark Gilbert is a native of Dallas, Texas. He began his Athletic Training Career as a Student Athletic Trainer at Bishop Dunne High School. He then continued his education at Henderson County Junior College and Texas Tech University where he graduated in 1978. Upon graduation Mark served as a Graduate Assistant Athletic Trainer under NATA Hall of Famer, Ken Murray.Currently, Mark is an Adjunct Professor in the Kinesiology Department at Tarleton Stae University in Stephenville, Texas. He also serves as an outreach Athletic Trainer for Cross Timbers Orthoopedics and as a PRN AT for Ben Hogan Sports Medicine. Mark continues to be an active member of the Justin Sports Medicine Team covering Pro Rodeo Events since 1994.Mark has been a Licensed Athletic Trainer since 1979, and a member of the SWATA and NATA since 1971. Professional activities include SWATA Honors and Awrds Committee, SWATA Executive Borard from 1996-1999, and SWATA President in 1998. Mark has received the Ken Locker Award, Frank Medina Award, and was selected to the SWATA Hall of Fame in 2005.
Mike Waters is currently the Head Athletic Trainer at Diboll High School. Mike is a native of Dallas, TX (Berkner HS) and received his Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Stephen F. Austin State University in 1986. Mike started his Athletic Training career in 1987 as the Head Athletic Trainer at Victoria Stroman High School. Mike has also served at the Head Athletic Trainer at Pasadena Dobie and Lufkin High Schools. Mike also worked in the clinical outreach setting at Lufkin Sports & Rehabilitation Center as a Staff Athletic Trainer, Sports Medicine Coordinator, Clinical Supervisor, and Interim Director of Physical Therapy. Mike obtained his Masters’ in Educational Leadership and Principal Certification from Lamar University in 2011 and served as an Assistant Principal for both Lufkin ISD and Diboll ISD. Currently, Mike is also a Preceptor for Stephen F. Austin State University’s Graduate Athletic Training Program. Throughout his career, he has been an active member in the National Athletic Trainers Association, Southwest Athletic Trainers Association, Texas State Athletic Trainers Association, Greater Houston Athletic Trainers Society, and East Texas Athletic Trainers Association, serving on numerous committees and held various offices for all of these organizations. Mike had the honor of serving the State of Texas as a member of the Advisory Board of Athletic Trainers from 2004 through 2013. Mike also had the honor of serving as the Athletic Trainer for both the Texas High School Coaches Association’s Baseball and Football All-Star games in 2004. Mike has been married for 30 years to his wonderful wife, Renee. They have two great children: Chelsea and Doug, a son in law, Jarrod and a granddaughter Alli! Mike and his wife are active members of the Diboll First United Methodist Church and he currently serves as Community Lay Director for the East Texas Emmaus Community.
Catherine Marr has been a professional athletic trainer since 1992 working with athletes at all levels and settings. Since 2007, she has been the Athletic Trainer/Teacher at Klein Collins High School in Spring Texas.Born and raised overseas a Military dependent, Cat continually strives to be a strong female Athletic Trainer, Teacher and Mentor, to serve the Athletic Training community, our profession and help us prosper and advance whenever possible.Cathrine’s record of leadership, willingness to service and ability to work well with various personalities will be of benefit as your TSATA representative. Her commitment to excellence, hard work and integrity is reflective in my service as GHATS (Past) President and North Representative, as a member of the NATA District 6 Committee on Professional Ethics (COPE) and currently as the NATA 2017- Houston Host City Representative. A recipient of the GHATS Bobby Gunn Award for Dedicated Service and NATA Athletic Training Service Award highlights her passion about the advancement of Athletic Training and education. Within her district; she has increased the high school’s approved curriculum to include all of the TSATA endorsed Sports Medicine courses (1-3), added the National Honor Society of Sports Medicine (NHSSM) and the National High School Sports Medicine Association (NHSSMA) to KCHS and has been awarded the Safe Sport School (1st team) and registered with the Atlas Project.She is happily married to Brian Marr who is also an Athletic Trainer and is the Director of KISD-DEAP (Annex).
Currently, Billy Ray Laxton serves as the Athletic Trainer for the Sports Medicine Division of Scott and White Orthopedics – Bone and Joint Institute in Temple, Texas. He is a Texas licensed and nationally certified Athletic Trainer who has worked several settings like High School, College, and Clinical. He has served on several SWATA (Honors & Awards), NATA (Ethics), and regional committees. Billy Ray has been elected twice to the TSATA Board of Directors from 2 different regions – 5 and 7. Currently, Billy Ray is the President of the Central Texas Athletic Trainers Society. A proud graduate of Texas Tech, Billy Ray has been a volunteer for Justin Healer Sports Medicine Program, the USOC, ACOG and the BOC. He and his wife, Joanna and their sons, Sam and John live in Belton, Texas.
Rodney Murray commenced interest in the profession as a Student Athletic Trainer at Luling High School. Following graduation from Luling and a two year Associate degree from Cisco Junior College, he transferred to Southwest Texas State University. Rodney graduated from SWT under the direction of Dr. Robert “Bobby” Patton with a Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science in Athletic Training.Rodney is currently employed as an Athletic Trainer for Smithson Valley High School and has served the Rangers since 1999. During that time, he has been a member of several professional organizations:
- National Athletic Trainers’ Association
- Southwest Athletic Trainers’ Association – Registration Committee
- Texas State Athletic Trainers’ Association – Secondary School Chair
- Alamo Area Athletic Trainers’ Association
- Symposium Chair – current position
- President – 2011-2013
He was presented with the AAATA Service Award in 2015.Rodney continues to search for opportunities to support the profession and is looking forward to serving the constituents of Region 8.
Jeff Darr began his athletic training career as a student at Arkansas State University. After graduation, he began his professional career with a short stint at Arkansas Sports Medicine Clinic in Little Rock as an outreach AT. In July of 1996 he accepted a job in the Austin Independent School District at Johnston High School where he served for 5 years. During his time in Austin he was involved in setting up the first district wide sport physical clinic which provided a free physical for underserved student populations in Austin ISD. Currently, Jeff is employed with the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD at PSJA North High School where he has been for the last 16 years. He is active in the Valley Athletic Trainers Association and has served on the board of directors, from 2005-2007 as Vice-President and 2009-2011 in charge of membership. Since 2007 he has been the committee chair for the South Padre Athletic Training Seminar working with a group of seven committee members to plan and carry out the yearly seminar. Jeff has been a Licensed Athletic Trainer since 1996 and is a member of the National Athletic Trainers Association, the Southwest Athletic Trainers Association, the Texas State Athletic Trainers Association, and the Valley Athletic Trainers Association.
Britney Webb, M.Ed. LAT, ATC has been employed since 2006 as the Clinical Site Coordinator and Senior Lecturer of Athletic Training at Texas State University-San Marcos. Her duties include teaching athletic training classes as well as overseeing the off-campus clinical site where the athletic training students participate in clinical rotations.Webb, a magna cum laude graduate from Tarleton State University (TSU) also received her Master of Education from Tarleton State as well.As an athletic trainer Britney‘s tenure includes Abilene Christian University where she spent two years as assistant Athletic Trainer and two years as the Head Women’s Athletic Trainer. Her duties included athletic trainer for volleyball, basketball, tennis, softball, cheerleaders, and recruitment of athletic training students. Other experiences consist of Co-Head Athletic Trainer at Granbury High School in Granbury Texas for four years and contract Athletic Trainer for Baird High School, Baird Texas, Hays High School, Buda, Texas, and San Marcos High School, San Marcos, Texas. Graduate Assistant Athletic Trainer at Tarleton State University for two years (1995-97) as well as Texas High School Girls All-Star Athletic Trainer (2000). She has also worked as an Athletic Trainer for Mesquite Professional Rodeo (2001-02) and the West Texas Fair and Rodeo (2005).Britney is active in the Southwest Athletic Trainers Association (SWATA) National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA), Texas State Athletic Trainers Association (TSATA) and Tarleton State Athletic Trainers Association (TATA). She is currently the liaison to the Life Balancing committee for the SWATA Work Options program and member of the NATA Honors and Awards committee. She has previously served as chair for both the SWATA Life Balancing committee and Women in Athletic Training committee (WATC) and served as a member of the NATA WATC. Britney is also an instructor for TSATA Sports Medicine I, II and III courses and serves as the parliamentarian and recording secretary as well for TSATA. In addition to her athletic training service, she serves on a host of committees throughout Texas State University – San Marcos. She is also the Texas State University-San Marcos sponsor for the Sigma Alpha Epsilon. . She is also active in the San Marcos Bowie Elementary PTO as a classroom representative and member of the SMHS baseball booster club.In 2007 and 2011 she was the recipient of the SWATA James Dodson New Horizon Athletic Training Award, and SWATA Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award, respectively. Britney was also recognized in 2011 for her service by being selected the College of Education nominee for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Service.Her husband, Bryan is the head baseball coach at San Marcos High School. They have three active children Gunner, Kannon and Kutter-Gage.