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In memory of those who served the profession, made a lasting impact on athletic training and, in particular, within the state of Arizona.    

In Memoriam of Dr. Gary Delforge

On Friday May 19, 2023, our profession lost a Pioneer in Athletic Training Education with the passing of Dr. Gary Delforge.

His passion impacted all of us, not only in our clinical practice of athletic healthcare, but our profession as a whole. As Arizona Athletic Trainers, we are immensely proud of the legacy he left us in the promotion of Athletic Training Education. Students will remember Dr. D for more than just his professional approach to AT Education. He will be remembered for his personal approach to teaching, which included staying close to his former students throughout the years. He was everybody’s surrogate father. He was very warm, welcoming, and friendly. But as many of us know, the “Little General’ had a strong will, too. He was adamant about standing firm in his convictions about athletic training education when speaking to others, including those in leadership positions that may not have always agreed with him, but respected his unwavering dedication. He was proud to be an athletic trainer and he celebrated the devotion, service, and accomplishments of his former students to the profession of athletic training. He spent his professional career advancing the education of athletic trainers, which has touched each and every one of us. He will be missed by many.


The Man - The Educator

“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”___ Einstein

Delforge’s greatest legacy will be his students:

  • 400+ Master of Science / Post-Professional AT Students
  • 100's of Head Athletic Trainers
  • 100's of District and State Officers
  • 45+ NATA Most Distinguished Athletic Trainers
  • 22 NATA Hall of Fame Members
  • 6 NATA Fellows
  • 2 NATA Presidents
  • 2 Accredited Graduate AT Programs (University of Arizona, A.T. Still University)
  • Many, many program directors and AT faculty.
Career Accomplishments:
  • 1960 BS Kansas State University
  • 1961 MS Kent State
  • 1962 Assistant AT – Western Michigan University
  • 1963-70 Head AT – University of Arizona
  • 1973 EdD from the University of Arizona
  • 1981 3rd Chair NATA Professional Education Committee
  • ____ Sayers “Bud” Miller Distinguished Athletic Training Educator Award
  • 1988 NATA Hall of Fame
  • 1994-2000 AT Education Program Director, Arizona School of Health Sciences / ATSU
  • 1994 Bud Miller Award
  • 1994 AzATA Hall of Fame
  • 1994 RMATA Hall of Fame
  • 2001 AOSSM Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award

Gary was blessed with 3 daughters: Julie, Sandy and Kelly

On Behalf of the AzATA Leadership Past and Present

Memoriam Authors - Micheal E. Nesbit, Dennis Murphy, and Jackie Kingma

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