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Award Nominations

SDATA Hall of Fame Honorees

Class of 2023

Tony Silva

Class of 2020

Terry Truex



Class of 2018

Bernadette Olson


Dr Olson’s career as an Athletic Trainer (AT) has spanned 30 years. She has practiced in the State of South Dakota since 1993, when she began her position at South Dakota State University (SDSU). During her tenure at SDSU, she has educated hundreds upon hundreds of students, treated and cared for student athletes, served in SDSU administrative roles, served the AT profession at the national, regional and state level, and educated, baseline tested, and served thousands of South Dakota High School students through her concussion outreach project. Her reach across of the state of SD extends from border to border. She has played a role in educating parents, constituents, legislators, students, and patients at all different levels regarding the profession of AT. Her innovative ideas and leadership have shaped the AT profession in the state of SD. Her work as an educator has influenced a majority of ATCs who currently work in the state of SD.  



Class of 2014

Bruce Fischbach

Bruce E. Fischbach MSS, ATC has been the Head Athletic Trainer for the University of South Dakota since 1987. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1984 and his Master of Sport Science Degree from the United States Sports Academy in 1991.  Bruce has been active in the SDATA and has served as President, Vice President, and Secretary/Treasurer as well as having served on the MAATA Board of Directors over the years.   Additionally, he has advocated for and defended the scope of practice for the athletic training profession through legislative efforts and as a liaison to the South Dakota Board of Medical and Osteopathic Examiners.  Further, he has directed USD to the College Athletic Management, “Award of Excellence for Athletic Training Management.”  The first award of its kind presented by this organization.  He has been a mentor to many athletic trainers who got their start as Graduate Assistant Athletic Trainers at USD as he has tirelessly served the healthcare needs of thousands of athletes.  He has worked with Special Olympics, minor league baseball, local youth athletics, and athletes in the National Wheelchair Basketball Association.



Class of 2006

Kathie Courtney

Dr. Kathie Courtney is a pioneer in the field of athletic training. She was one of the first few women certified in athletic training at the national level and was the first female certified athletic trainer in the state of South Dakota.  She has been instrumental in the development of the profession through her involvement in the South Dakota Athletic Trainers Association, having served in every office of that organization.  She has served on numerous district and national committees.  She has served as an excellent role model and liaison for women entering the profession of Athletic Training.



Class of 2001

Keith Fitzpatrick

Keith Fitzpatrick has been providing care to high school athletes for over 40 years. Fitzpatrick attended Trinity High School in Sioux City, Iowa, then attended college at Morningside College and finished at the University of Iowa.  Fitzpatrick started his athletic training career with the Sioux City Soos from 1950-53.  Fitzpatrick then served as a physical therapist in Omaha, Nebraska and Mitchell, South Dakota from 1954-93. 


Beginning in 1957, Fitzpatrick also served as athletic trainer for Notre Dame High School.  In 1970, he became the Head Athletic Trainer at Mitchell High School in Mitchell, South Dakota, continuing until 1992.  Today he still works as an athletic trainer for Mitchell High School and a therapist for Avera St. Benedict Healthcare Center in Parkston, SD. Fitzpatrick is a very active man, serving as a consultant to the athletic training program at Dakota Wesleyan University and as a clinical instructor for Cramer workshops over the years. 


Fitzpatrick has also been very active in the South Dakota Athletic Trainers Association.  Fitzpatrick is a charter member, and served as Vice President from 1977-81 and President from 1982-85.  During that time he helped co-chair the Athletic Trainers Bylaw and Legislative Committee.  Fitzpatrick was also a charter member of the South Dakota Physical Therapy Association and served as Vice President (1966-67) and President (1968-70). 


Fitzpatrick is an active member in the American College of Sports Medicine, the Mitchell High School Quarterback Club, Dakota Wesleyan University Teammakers, and Holy Family Catholic Church.  He has been active in the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars since 1948, and with the Boy Scouts, as a Troop Leader from 1960-1977.



Class of 1996

James Booher

Jim received his Bachelor’s Degree from Nebraska Wesleyan, his PT Degree from the Mayo Clinic, his MA in HPER at SDSU, and his PHD at the University of Utah.  He began his career as an Athletic Trainer at SDSU where he has been instrumental in establishing the Athletic Training Major. Jim served as the District 5 Secretary/Treasurer and then as District 5 Director 1990-1993.  He has been as active publisher of articles and textbooks. 

Jim was a charter member of the SDATA as well as serving as the group’s first President.  He was a key figure in the development of the SD licensure law and the regulation of Athletic Trainers in the state.  Jim has been a leader in the American Heart Association, the South Dakota Emergency Medical Technicians Association, the South Dakota Association of HPERD, and the Brookings CPR Committee.  Jim was chosen by his peers to be inducted into the SDATA Hall of Fame in 1990 and he received the NATA Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award in 1994.



Class of 1990

Rob Williams


Dr. Jack Billion

Jack Billion received his BA degree from Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa. He was awarded his Doctor of Medicine degree in 1964 from Loyola University Chicago and began his internship and residency training at St. Francis Hospital in Peoria, Illinois. After completing his orthopedic residency in 1969, Billion served two years in the United States Air Force as a Major. He returned to Sioux Falls in 1971 and practiced as a Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon through 1997. In 1992, Billion was elected as a South Dakota State Representatives from the Sioux Falls-based 13th District.  Billion was re-elected in 1994.


Jim Emmerich



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