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April 17, 2013

VIDEO: Blanc honored by NATA

   PITTSBURGH—University of Pittsburgh athletic trainer Rob Blanc has been named the 2013 NCAA Division I “Head Athletic Trainer of the Year” by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA).

   Blanc was selected for this prestigious award by the NATA College and University Athletic Trainers’ Committee, which annually recognizes individuals for exceptional performance as a head athletic trainer in each of the five collegiate divisions (Divisions I, II and III; NAIA and junior college). He will be honored at the 2013 NATA Convention, held in Las Vegas from June 24-27.  

      Blanc enters his 26th year as head football athletic trainer and clinical instructor at Pitt. In addition to his responsibilities with the football program, he has a lead role with Pitt's Performance Team, a unique blending of the university's numerous resources that focuses on the development and welfare of the total student-athlete.

   “Rob is a tremendous asset for our entire athletic department,” Pitt athletic director Steve Pederson said. “Having known him for nearly 17 years, the greatest compliment I can give Rob is that it’s obvious to everyone that his first and only priority is the well-being of our student-athletes. His knowledge and commitment to the athletic training profession is exceptional.”

   “It has been a privilege and a pleasure to work side by side with Rob Blanc for 25 years,” said Dr. Freddie Fu, chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Pitt and UPMC, as well as the distinguished David Silver professor of Orthopaedic Surgery. “He is a consummate professional, athletic trainer and educator — he helped to train our fellows on how to treat athletes, and many of them went on to become head team physicians themselves. I congratulate the NATA on his selection. It’s difficult for me to imagine that there are many more head athletic trainers who care more about, and care more for, their players and coaches, their team, their athletic department and their university."

   Blanc is an adjunct clinical instructor for Pitt's undergraduate athletic training curriculum, approved by NATA. He is a co-author of the textbook Emergency Care in Athletic Training. A 1982 graduate of Slippery Rock University, Blanc earned his master's in athletic training in 1984 from Ohio University. He is also a certified paramedic and was involved in an emergency medical service for 17 years in nearby Bethel Park.

   A native of Pittsburgh, Blanc served as head athletic trainer at neighboring Duquesne University for two years before joining the Panthers' staff. He began his athletic training career as the head athletic trainer at New Lexington (Ohio) High School in 1983. A year later, he began working for the Pittsburgh Steelers on a part-time basis, serving at training camp and at all home games.

   Blanc's wife's name is Peggy. He has three children: son Jason and daughters Jordan and Shannon.


Pitt's Rob Blanc named NATA Division I Athletic Trainer of the Year

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