Dawn Hearn, UTEP'S head athletic trainer, is the definition of '"true grit.'" Although Hearn doesn't like to consider herself a pioneer in sports... she is. Hearn started at UTEP in the days of Coach Don Haskins. Hearn rose to become one of the first female Division 1 athletic trainers in the country, mostly on the merits of grit..., but also on the merits of physical and mental stamina.
Today, in this growing field of athletic training, a fusion of sports medicine and physical therapy -- there are now more women than men in the ranks. Hearn says, the role of athletic trainers has become more versatile..., even expanding into industrial environments and the arts.
As the head of the athletic training department at UTEP, Hearn now commands five full time assistants, five graduate assistants and 15 student athletic trainers. Division 1 colleges also now offer scholarships specifically for athletic trainers. The scholarships are earned through meeting the demands of grueling schedules and both academic and athletic expectations. Today, Hearn said, this field of medicine is evolving and the role of athletic training is becomes more in demand. At the same time, the qualifications are becoming more demanding. Soon only kinesology graduate students will be allowed into this field at UTEP. By 2020, Hearn expects UTEP will be offer a master's degree in athletic training.