Log in


Arizona Athletic Trainers' Association Hall of Fame

The AzATA Hall of Fame Award is the highest honor available to AzATA members.  It recognizes individuals that have shaped the profession through their noteworthy accomplishments and dedication to service, leadership, and professionalism. 

Every so often a truly gifted person comes along, whom by genius, hard work, and exceptional talent sets themselves apart and distinguishes themselves as the very best of the profession.

AzATA Hall of Fame Inductees (by year)

In Memoriam Gary Delforge  - 1994

Dr. Delforge's illustrious career as an athletic training educator has earned him numerous honors and awards. Delforge has served on the NATA Board of Directors and chaired the NATA Professional Education Committee. Prior to starting the Athletic Training Program (formerly Sports Health Care Program) at ATSU, Dr. Delforge spent 32 years at the University of Arizona where he served for seven years as the head athletic trainer before devoting 100 percent of his time to athletic training education. Dr. Delforge started one of the first two accredited post-professional athletic training education graduate programs in the country at the U of A and has mentored and educated a distinguished list of leaders in the athletic training profession. Dr. Delforge earned his Ed.D. in rehabilitation administration at the University of Arizona and a master’s degree in health, physical education, and recreation at Kent State University.

Warren Lee  -  1994

Warren Lee, the namesake of the AzATA Athletic Trainer of the Year award, served as the Head Athletic Trainer at the University of Arizona (UA) from 1970 until his death in 1982. He was a pioneer for the profession, overseeing the transformation of the AT program at UA, serving as the Rocky Mountain Athletic Trainers’ Association District Secretary and District Director, and remaining involved in community programs such as the Saguaro Little League.

Troy Young  -  1994

Troy Young was head athletic trainer for Arizona State University from 1979-1991.  He served on the NATA Board of Directors from 1977-1980.  Young is co-founder of the Arizona Athletic Trainers’ Association and a charter member of the Sports Medicine Committee of the Arizona Medical Association.  He is retired and living in Arizona.

Mike Nesbitt  -  1996

Mike Nesbitt was head athletic trainer and associate professor at Northern Arizona University when he retired in 2006.  During his tenure at NAU, he promoted and justified athletic trainers in numerous Arizona high schools.  He was a leader at the state, district, and national levels, representing the RMATA on the NATA Board of Directors from 1986-1992.  He also served the Arizona Board of Athletic Training for several years. He now serves as president of Jonesco Trucking.

Matt Webber  -  2005

Matt Webber is known as a compassionate athletic trainer who cares for his students, as well as an advocate for his colleagues and profession.  A president of the Arizona Athletic Trainers’ Association and the first chair of the Arizona Board of Athletic Training, Webber worked to draft and implement athletic training licensure laws and regulations in the state.  In addition to his legislative efforts, he is credited with writing the bylaws and constitution of both the AzATA and the RMATA.  A longtime high school athletic trainer, Webber served on the NATA Board of Directors and numerous committees.  Webber has retired and is now documenting the history of athletic training in books, presentations, and articles.

Scott Linnaker  -  2005

Scott is a graduate of the University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education and a Master of Science in Exercise & Sports Sciences with a concentration in Athletic Training.  Scott spent most of his professional career at the high school level teaching and practicing athletic training; he spent the most years at Canyon del Oro High School and Peoria High School respectively.  He has settled in at Arizona Sports Care, LLC as a partner.  Scott regularly presents on leadership in athletic training.

Ben Carbajal  -  2009

Benjamin L. Carbajal, is widely regarded as strong advocate for athletic training. Mr. Carbajal has dedicated his life to the care of Pima student-athletes and the advancement of the profession.  He was the Head Athletic Trainer and Adjunct Faculty Member at Pima Community College from 1979-2014. A charter member of the National Athletic Trainers Association’s Ethnic Diversity Advisory Committee, Carbajal was the 2012 recipient of the Bill Chilsom Professional Service Award and AzATA’s Athletic Trainer of the Year (Warren Lee Award) in 1986. 

Gregory Pott  -  2010

Gregory Pott, a graduate of Arizona State University, spent time at Yuma High School in Yuma, AZ, and Mountain View High School and Red Mountain High School in Mesa, AZ.  With 30 years of high school experience and part time involvement with USA Baseball, Olympic Sports Medicine Team, USA Hockey Team, Justin Sports Medicine Team, and Pan-Am Games, Gregory has an abundance of sports medicine experience.  Gregory has spent time on the AzATA Board and was honored with the Warren Lee Athletic Trainer of the Year award in 2005.  Education was Gregory’s main focus; he developed three high school athletic training programs.  Gregory had 31 students honored with the Lannie Williams Scholarship, while 12 of his students became certified athletic trainers.

Leah Oliver  -  2013

Leah Oliver has been the Head Athletic Trainer at Mountain View High School in Marana, AZ her entire 27 year career. She has presented at two separate RMATA Symposiums as well as attending “many, many” NATA Annual Clinical Symposiums.  Leah is an involved member of the AzATA, in the past she has been on the Honors & Awards Committee and the Professional Education Committee. For many years she has organized the student workshops at the AzATA winter meetings, with and without HOSA. Her greatest contribution to the profession has been teaching her students and she is grateful to have mentored 20 Lanny Williams Scholarship Awardees.

Laurie White  -  2015

Laurie is the Co-chair of the Government Affairs Committee and the liaison with the Arizona Board of Athletic Training from 2014 to present.  Laurie has been the head athletic trainer at Xavier College Preparatory School for seven years.  Laurie was an Athletic Trainer Specialist and Sports Medicine Instructor at the Sports Medicine Magnet Program at Alhambra High School for eight years.  Laurie served as an instructor at A.T. Still University for five years.  Laurie has held other head athletic trainer positions at Barry Goldwater High School, North High School, Carl Hayden High School, and Catalina High School.

Chris White - 2017

Chris was a 3 sport athlete in high school with an interest in medicine. A high school survey steered him towards his career in Athletic Training. He got his undergraduate degree from Ithaca College. He complete his Master's degree at the University of Arizona, where he worked at Palo Verde High School during that tenure. He has spent the past 30+ years as Athletic Trainer and teacher at Brophy College Preparatory in Phoenix. Chris has served as the AzATA President, Publicity & Promotions Committee Chair, Hall of Fame Chair, and AzATA Vice President. He received the President's Award in 2012. He has also served in various capacities in the RMATA and the NATA. Chris attributes his longevity in the profession to "loving what I do and working with the young people".

Joe Proski - 2017

Joe was brought into the athletic training profession by his father and a Dodgers manager (Pete Reiser). He attended the Gus Mauch Florida School for Athletic Trainers. He was certified in 1958. Upon finishing school he worked with major league baseball for about 10 years.  Following, he spent 30 years as the Head Athletic Trainer for the Phoenix Suns. He was instrumental in supporting the AzATA when it was created in 1972 and he continued to provide that support during his tenure with the Phoenix Suns. He has been emphatic about the employment of athletic trainers at the high school and college level. His honors include:  the 1st recipient of the Warren E. Lee Athletic Trainer of the Year Award, AzATA Distinguished Service Award, and the Phoenix Suns Ring of Honor. Joe attributes his longevity in the profession to "not being afraid to work, putting in the long hours and doing whatever it takes to get the job done."

Michelle Gonzalez - 2023

Michelle Gonzalez completed her bachelor’s degree at Washington State University and masters at the University of Arizona as a member of Gary Delforge’s last graduate class.  She spent her AT career at the secondary school level, working at Catalina High School and later, Sabino High School in Tucson.  During her tenures, both schools earned the NATA Safe Sports School Award.  She served in many capacities in the AzATA including the inaugural Meetings & Events Chair and later the first female AzATA President.  Michelle also served on various AzATA and NATA committees, as well as holding positions within the RMATA.   Promoting the AT profession and more specifically educating the public were important initiatives, and she worked to create the AzATA/AIA Safety in Sports Helmet Decal Campaign.  Michelle has received the AzATA Service Award, NATA Service Award and NATA Servant’s Heart Award in honor of her efforts.

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software