Athletic Training Professor is the NCAA Medical Coordinator
Students are given the opportunity to work directly with NCAA athletes at Div. II and III championships
Jim Buriak, Roanoke College's chairman and associate professor of the health and human performance department, has been the Division II and III National Collegiate Athletic Association championship medical coordinator for the past 10 years.
The City of Salem, along with the Old Dominion Athletic Conference, has hosted over 38 championship games for the NCAA in the past 13 years. In 1993, the City of Salem began hosting the Division III national football championship, known as the Amos Alonzo "Stagg Bowl". Since then, the city has also hosted the Division III men's basketball, baseball, volleyball and Division II and III softball championships.
As a medical coordinator, Buriak is present at every game providing all the athletic training services and proper equipment for the visiting teams.
"I always like to be involved with the championship games, not only for myself, but for my students," says Buriak. He says the greatest part about this job is that he is able to bring the College's athletic training students with him.
"When I chose Roanoke College I did not know that Salem was known as Virginia's Championship City," says Peachie Robinson '06 athletic training major, "but now, I am very appreciative of the opportunities that I had when accompanying Mr. Buriak to several ODAC and NCAA championships."
Roanoke College's athletic training program is already designed to get students out of the classroom and into the games working one on one with the College's athletes. However, Buriak feels working at a national level is an even greater opportunity for the students as they are being challenged with a more exciting athletic training experience.
"Not many students can say they have national championship exposure, but our students can," says Buriak.
Buriak was an athletic training, health and physical education student at Lock Haven University, Pennsylvania. He finished his graduate work at the University of Illinois in health education and is currently a licensed athletic trainer in the state of Virginia. In 1981, Buriak came to Roanoke College to start the College's first athletic training program. For 25 years, Buriak has continuously been improving the athletic training department, particularly when he expanded the program from a concentration to a major. As a major, the program allows students to receive and complete all the necessary education requirements to sit for the Board of Certification Exam. The Roanoke College athletic training program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of the Athletic Training Education.