Chris Thompson Named Head Athletic Trainer
Director of Athletics Jim Knowlton has announced the elevation of Chris Thompson to head athletic trainer. Thompson, who is in his 12th year at Rensselaer, replaces Anthony Ortolano, who retired in the spring.
“Anthony built a great sports medicine department over his 26 years at Rensselaer,” said Thompson. “I am proud to have the opportunity to continue this tradition, lead an excellent staff of certified athletic trainers, and serve our dedicated student-athletes.”
“We are excited to have Chris take over as the head athletic trainer—he is completely qualified and a superb team player in the department,” Knowlton said. “He cares deeply about the student-athletes and will continue to raise the bar in our athletic training program.”
For the past six years Thompson has been the associate athletic trainer. In that role he was responsible for supervising and mentoring assistant athletic trainers, interns, and work-study students, communicating with the staff of the Student Health Center as well as with team physicians and orthopedists, budgeting, and coordinating the staff’s schedules.
He originally came to Rensselaer as an assistant athletic trainer in the summer of 2001. Among his duties since arriving have been providing daily athletic training coverage for the Division I men’s hockey team, assisting with the sports medicine and rehabilitation services for each of the Institute’s other 22 athletic programs, and serving as the department instructor of CPR and first aid.
He joined the staff after spending a year with Columbia Physical Therapy, P.C., where he was the head athletic trainer for five area high schools, performed administrative duties, and provided strength and conditioning services.
Thompson was a graduate assistant athletic trainer at the University of Massachusetts, where he earned a master’s degree in exercise science, from 1998-2000. He worked with the football team, which won the 1998 Division I-AA National Championship, as well as the baseball and men’s lacrosse teams. He also provided assistance with a variety of other sports, including swimming and track & field.
Thompson, who worked as an intern with the Washington Redskins on two separate occasions, earned a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology, with a concentration in athletic training, from James Madison University.
He is certified by the National Athletic Trainers Association, National Strength and Conditioning Association, National Academy of Sports Medicine, New York state as an athletic trainer, and the American Red Cross.