MC Graduate Chris Gillespie Joins National Athletic Trainers Hall of Fame
Mississippi College graduate Chris Gillespie, the longtime director of athletic training education at Samford University in Alabama, is gaining another honor as a new member of the National Athletic Trainers Hall of Fame.
MC leaders say the latest award is well-deserved for Gillespie, who was saluted as the Department of Kinesiology’s 2011 Distinguished Alumnus of the Year at Homecoming festivities on the Clinton campus last fall.
The athletic trainers Hall of Fame includes more than 250 members. Founded in 1950, the Dallas-based athletic trainers association today is the professional membership group for more than 30,000 members worldwide.
In 2003, Gillespie founded TEAM 413, his labor of love for world’s runners. With the organization, he seeks to impart to others the truth of Philippians 4:13 that says “I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me.”
A Samford university professor, Gillespie founded the organization because he was inspired by God’s calling on his life. He truly lives his faith on and off the job.
“It is my goal to portray Christian character and professionalism through words and activities as I help students, athletes and coaches achieve their individual and collective goals,” Gillespie says.
“In the sports world, I seek to be a positive influence on the lives of the individuals I serve through education, hard work, dedication and the achievement of team goals,” added the 1980 Mississippi College graduate.
Gillespie first honed his craft as a student athletic trainer from 1976 through 1980 for MC Choctaws sports teams.
The Pontotoc native earned a master’s of education degree at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. He served as head athletic trainer at Samford from 1984 through 1999. Based in Birmingham, Alabama, the Southern Conference school is home to 17 NCAA sports teams in 2012.
Gillespie is much in demand as a speaker around the USA. In 2010, he spoke at the Bass Pro Shops Outdoor Fitness Festival in Springfield, Missouri. He served as a featured speaker at a Mississippi College convocation on the GraceRunner Journey program last year.
Vice President for Christian Education Eric Pratt and Kinesiology Department Chairman Chris Washam are among the MC leaders commending Gillespie this week for the newest honor that adds to a stellar career filled with achievements.
Gillespie has served as president of the Alabama Athletic Trainers Association. He previously received the National Athletic Trainers Association service award.
Gillespie and his wife, Kiki, live in Calera, Alabama. The Alabama couple has four children.
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