PISCATAWAY, NJ - Veteran athletic trainer Don Kessler, the Coordinator of Athletic Training Services at Rutgers University and a Burlington County native, has been named to the medical staff for the United States at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece. Kessler is among 20 athletic trainers selected to assist the U.S. athletes.
Kessler has volunteered at the Olympic training site in Colorado Springs and has worked extensively with the United States Rowing team, traveling to the World University Games in Korea last August and on a World Cup Tour last June that took Kessler on a two-week tour of Italy.
Kessler will work exclusively with the United States Rowing team during the first week of the Olympics and will then be reassigned to the clinic within the Olympic village. His obligation begins with an orientation program from May 7-9 in Colorado Springs.
“After 31 years, it is a good feeling to be selected for the Olympics and it is something I have always dreamed of doing,” said Kessler. “I have worked with several Olympic sports here at Rutgers and during my time at Princeton and Navy. I have also worked with many Olympians when I traveled with US Soccer.
“It will be exciting to be in the place it all started and to take in the history and sites of Athens as well.”
A 17-year veteran of the Division, Don Kessler coordinates the athletic training services for all 30 Division I sports at the University. In his position, he supervises a staff of ten full-time certified athletic trainers.
He is a past President of the Athletic Trainers Society of New Jersey, and was a President of the Eastern Athletic Trainers Association from 1993-1994. Kessler also served as a member of the Board of Directors for the National Athletic Trainer’s Association Research and Education Foundation until 2000. He has been recognized for distinguished service by both NATA and the Athletic Trainers Society of New Jersey in 1996, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the ATSNJ in March, 1998. Kessler has also been appointed by four governors to be on an advisory committee to the State Board of Medical Examiners, and currently serves as its chairman.