Long-time Minnesota State University Moorhead head athletic trainer Andrea “Andy” Scott was named the Head Athletic Trainer of the Year for Division II by the National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA) at their annual meeting last summer.

NATA recognizes one athletic trainer for exceptional performance in each of the following collegiate divisions: NCAA D1, NCAA D2, NCAA D3, NAIA and Junior College/Community College. Award recipients are actively involved in their community or campus, athletic training associations and promotion of the profession.

MSUM soccer player Marissa Wong is rehabbing after ACL repair surgery. Andy Scott is setting her up for a session of muscle re-education on electrical muscle stimulation.

Scott discovered athletic training through a softball injury during her freshman year at MSUM. By her sophomore year, she found her passion, and said her goal was to someday be MSUM’s head athletic trainer. Today, she coordinates the healthcare of MSUM’s 300 student-athletes—scheduling doctor appointments, taping ankles, rehabilitating knees after ACL surgeries, and managing concussions.

Today’s Dragon athletes are much like they were when Scott was a letter-winner: gritty, hard-working and passionate.

“Our student athletes attend school full time, practice up to 20 hours a week, and many work,” Scott said. “They are proud to be Dragons.”

Few people have more passion and pride for MSU Moorhead than Scott. She credits her undergraduate experience and the mentorship of former head athletic trainer Sam Booth for her personal and professional success.

“Andy wears her pride on her sleeve, and it shows in the way she supports the athletes, the athletic training students, the athletic department, and MSUM as a whole,” said Stacy Schurr, a 2014 athletic training graduate who attends graduate school at the University of Virginia. “Andy pushed me to be a better athletic trainer because she saw in me what I didn’t see in myself.”

“Andy’s focus on the entire student-athlete experience is what makes her one of the elite athletic trainers in the country,” MSUM athletic director Doug Peters said.

Building trust among the athletes, athletic training students and coaches is essential for success on and off the field.

“When I tore my ACL last year, it was really rough for me since my family is in Texas. At times I felt like giving up, but Andy was there to lift my spirits,” said Sienna Rebollozo, an accounting major and third-year soccer player. “She motivates me to be a better student-athlete by pushing me to go the extra mile.”

The caring culture the athletic trainers create for student athletes is clear when you know MSUM’s athletic training staff is one of the longest tenured in the NSIC. Assistant athletic trainer Keith Wiedrich joined MSUM in 1994, Ronda Peterson in 1999, and Charles Meek in 2007.

“Andy creates opportunities for all athletic training students to excel and encourages learning as much as possible. She is passionate about athletic training and it shows daily in her ‘hands on’ and genuine interest with the student athletes and athletic training students,” Wiedrich said.

Scott has essentially spent her entire adult life at MSUM. She graduated in 1992, received her master’s degree from West Virginia University in 1993, and worked two years at Winona State before returning to MSUM as an assistant athletic trainer in 1995. She was promoted to head athletic trainer in 1999, and played a key role in the development of MSUM’s athletic training education program.

Schurr praises MSUM’s athletic training program for providing a solid academic foundation, but said it’s the people who inspired her confidence and passion.

“I am lucky to call Andy my mentor. I wouldn’t be where I am right now, halfway across the country in graduate school, if it wasn’t for her. She changed my life,” Schurr said.”

“Everything I need to know about being a professional and how to live the right way, I learned right here in an atmosphere of collaborative learning at MSU Moorhead,” Scott said. “That’s where my pride and passion come from. I’m living the dream.”