By BRAD KEITH
STEPHENVILLE (February 12, 2016) — Stephenville ISD head athletic trainer Mike Carroll is set to receive the highest honor possible in the Southwest Athletic Trainers Associaton.
Carroll, 48, will be inducted into the SWATA Hall of Fame, the highest honor a member of District VI may achieve, according to a press release from former SISD assistant athletic trainer and SWATA public relations chair Kendall Goldberg.
“I think it just means I’m getting old,” joked Carroll Friday morning, before adding, “I haven’t done anything in athletic training or as part of the association hoping to win awards, I just always want to help make the profession better and take care of kids.”
Not that the meaning of joining the most elite level of his profession is lost on Carroll, who has spent the last 13 years at Stephenville.
“It is nice to be recognized by peers for a career of hard work. This isn’t a one-weekend thing where they thank you for helping with something. You have to be a member 25 years to be eligible,” Carroll said. “It is an honor to be able to look and see who the others are in the Hall of Fame and to be a part of that group. It’s very humbling.”
Carroll was president of SWATA in 2009-10 and National Athletic Trainers Assocaiton Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer in 2012. He also earned the NATA Athletic Trainer Service Award in 2008 and the SWATA Eddie Wojecki Award and Bobby Gunn Unsung Hero Award in 2005, according to the release.
Carroll is the second athletic trainer in Stephenville to join the Hall of Fame in as many years. Tarleton State Kinesiology Department Head Dr. Steve Simpson was inducted in 2015.
“It’s been a pretty good run here for Erath County athletic trainers,” said Carroll with a laugh. “There are two more Hall of Fame members living in Granbury, so there will be four of us within a 30 minute drive of here.”
Before coming to Stephenville, Carroll worked one year at Georgetown. That followed nine years in Sweeny, where one of his athletes was current Stephenville boys basketball head coach Bill Brooks. Carroll was also at Fort Bend Kempner for a year after graduate school at Virginia. He also earned a bachelor’s degree at Texas A&M and spent one year at Waller High School.
Carroll and his wife DeNae have been married 18 years. They have two children – Nolan, a ninth grader at SHS, and DeLaney, a sixth grader. They also are hosting an exchange student, Belle Dandle, a junior from Australia.