A Long Track Record of Success
If you’re seeking a career as a Certified Athletic Trainer, you’ll find opportunities at UNC that no other Colorado program can match. Developed by pioneering educator Dan Libera, our athletic training program established a national model for excellence in athletic training education. At UNC, you’ll gain exceptional career preparation with direct athletic training experience in nearly 24 NCAA Division I sports, while qualifying to take the national Board of Certification exam. UNC is Colorado’s only NCAA Division I school that offers an athletic training program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE).
Graduates of our athletic training program work throughout the profession, including the professional sports world— longtime Denver Broncos head athletic trainer Steve Antonopulos is a UNC alumnus. You’ll find career opportunities in college and university settings, secondary schools, clinics, hospitals, and many other settings.
B.S. in Athletic Training
This degree prepares you for employment as a Certified Athletic Trainer. You’ll learn the professional skills required to work with individual athletes and teams on the prevention, recognition, management, and rehabilitation of injuries. The average athletic training major at UNC logs an average of 1,500 hours of clinical experience, so you’ll graduate with outstanding workplace skills, experience, and professional contacts. Admission to the clinical portion of the athletic training program typically occurs during your sophomore year, after you’ve completed basic prerequisites. Admission is limited and granted on a space-available basis.
Denver Broncos Head Trainer
When the Denver Broncos played in their 8th Super Bowl in February 2016, UNC was right there with them on the sidelines. The team’s training staff included two alumni of the UNC athletic training program: Head trainer Steve Antonopoulos, and assistant trainer Mike Sundeen.
Antonopoulos, who earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UNC in the early 1970s, has been on the sidelines for all eight of the team’s Super Bowl appearances. He joined the Broncos as an assistant trainer in 1976 and became their head trainer in 1980, making him the longest-tenured athletic trainer in NFL history.
Sundeen, who earned his athletic training degree from UNC in 2010, served as an intern on the training staff for three seasons. His UNC connection with fellow alumnus Antonopoulus helped him land that opportunity. After completing his master’s degree in athletic training, he joined the Broncos’ staff in 2014 as an assistant athletic trainer.
“I owe my career to the University of Northern Colorado,” says Antonopoulos, more commonly known as “Greek.” The university “pushed me to the next level, motivating me to learn more, to investigate more, to be better at what I’m doing.”
America’s focus on health and fitness has led to a growing range of employment opportunities. Certified athletic trainers work with individual athletes and/or teams to optimize performance, maximize health, and prevent, manage, and rehabilitate sports-related injuries. UNC has an extensive alumni network of professional athletic trainers throughout the region. Graduates of our athletic training program have a job placement rate approaching 100 percent.
Consider UNC’s B.S. in Athletic Training if you are:
- Passionate about sports, health care and fitness
- An excellent communicator and critical thinker
- Have a strong interest in science
- A good collaborator who can work effectively with other health care professionals
- Physics and kinesiology of athletic activities
- Pathophysiology of sport-related injuries and conditions
- Injury rehabilitation and therapeutic techniques
- Medical pharmacology
- Administrative aspects of clinical practice
- Anatomical Kinesiology
- Mechanisms and Evaluation of Sports Injury
- Clinical Methods of Sports Injury Rehabilitation
- Exercise Physiology
- Human Anatomy and Physiology
- Introductory Physics
UNC’s Athletic Training degree includes five clinical practicums, beginning with admission to the clinical portion of the program (typically in your sophomore year). Each of these apprentice-type experiences enables you to gain supervised clinical experience with professional athletic trainers in real-world settings. You’ll complete some of your practicum experiences on campus, working with UNC’s NCAA Division I athletes and teams. Other experiences will take place off campus in high schools, sports medicine clinics, professional sports teams, and other settings.