Alumnus credits OHIO for "professional success and personal enjoyment"

By Joe Higgins | Mar 5, 2018


“I attribute all my professional success and personal enjoyment back to OHIO.”

That’s about the most ringing endorsement you can get and Timothy Neal, a Health Education and Athletic Training-Physical Education graduate (Cum Laude ‘79), means every word of it.

Neal teaches at Concordia University Ann Arbor where he is also the director of the athletic training program. Additionally, he runs his own consulting firm, TLN Consulting, Inc. and he’s a medical spotter for NFL games and for the University of Michigan.

In 1975, he enrolled at Ohio University and knew within a week that he had made the right decision. Growing up a fan of the Cincinnati Reds, Neal had witnessed Larry Starr run out onto the field to care for injured players and thought it looked like an interesting career. Starr, the Reds’ head athletic trainer at the time, is a graduate of OHIO and Neal wanted to do the same.

“Right from the beginning, I knew OHIO was where I was meant to be,” said Neal. “I remember it being a challenging yet rewarding curriculum that I felt fully prepared me to enter the profession of athletic training. It was a great combination of classes and content material as well as hands-on field experience.”

Neal said he was taught “If you can’t talk it and you can’t do it and you don’t know it” and he uses that same philosophy today in his own classes.

Over the years, Neal has cared for any number of intense injuries. At the forefront these days are concussions and he advocates caution and conservative care for athletes who have experienced concussion.

“We need to be well versed in all the variables with concussions. Cognitive, emotional, balance, visceral … there are lots of variables to this continuum of concussions with long-term effects that are affected by repetition,” he said.

Neal is pleased that more and more people seem to be listening to the topic of concussions, not just scientists but athletic trainers, team physicians, parents and athletes as well. He said educating young athletes and athletic trainers continues as more information is gathered on the issue.

 “OHIO is one of the top schools in the country in working hands-on with athletes,” said Neal. “Students get an up-close and personal understanding of the types of injuries they’re going to see in the field.”

Neal credits Fred “Fritz” Hagerman for instilling a love of teaching into him.

“He was instrumental in my development as a scholar in athletic training. I learned so much under his tutelage including a love for teaching. I teach now the same way I was taught. I highlight information and tell stories of why it’s important.”

One of the most important questions and lessons Neal utilizes for his athletic training students is “why are you here?” His answer: “You are here to take care of other people’s loved ones. You’re entering a professional world where you will take care of others’ sons and daughters.”

Ohio University holds a special place for Neal in his mind and also his heart. He was the first in his family to attend and graduate college and he met his wife, Anne, while in school. The two were married at OHIO’s Galbreath Chapel.

“My experience at OHIO defined me as a person,” he said.

Neal’s passion for learning had him reading up on material for the next quarter during breaks and that passion was willed to his daughter, Emily, and his son, Brooks, who also attended OHIO and also met his wife, Morgan, in class. Brooks Neal once held the role of director of sports marketing with OHIO.

Timothy Neal continues to try to give back to the school for which he could not be more grateful. He is a member of the Ohio University Alumni Association Board of Directors and in many of his dozens of publications, he makes sure to mention Ohio University.

Jim Berry Named Associate Athletic Director for Sports Medicine

Gregg Calhoon and Erin Variano Named Assistant Athletic Directors for Sports Medicine

March 2, 2018


Naval Academy Director of Athletics Chet Gladchuk announced today that Jim Berry has been promoted to Associate Athletic Director for Sports Medicine.  Berry replaces Adam Pecina, who left Navy for a position at the University of Texas.

“Jim has been with us for many years and has proven to be highly professional and dedicated to the advancement of proper care for our midshipmen and has earned the respect of both our trainers and doctors,” said Gladchuk.  “Jim's will oversee all aspects of Sports Medicine within the NAAA and will report directly to the Director of Athletics.”

Berry is in his 13th year at the Naval Academy and in his third year in charge of football. He is also responsible for supervising the postgraduate intern athletic trainers.

Prior to Navy, Berry earned his Master of Arts in Sport and Recreation Management from Kent State University (2004). His sport responsibilities included baseball, football, and wrestling. While an Kent, he acted as a mentor to the students in the CAATE accredited Athletic Training Education Program, as well as a coordinator of medical coverage for the Kent State sports camps.

From June 2001 to May 2002, Berry was an intern with the Cleveland Browns of the National Football League. He implemented rehabilitation programs, travelled with the team, and supervised the summer student interns in protocol and policy.

An Ohio native, Berry chose Ohio State University for his undergraduate education. He received his Bachelor of Arts in History in 2001 and was the recipient of the 2000 LeaderShape Institute Scholarship and the Ernest R. “Ernie” Biggs Athletic Training Scholarship.

Calhoon is in his 22nd year as an Athletic Trainer at the United States Naval Academy. He joined the staff in 1996, and currently serves as the Athletic Trainer for the women's soccer and women's basketball programs.

From 1994 to 1996, Calhoon was an Assistant Athletic Trainer at the University of Memphis, where he worked primarily with the volleyball and men's basketball programs. During that time, he earned his master's degree in human movement science from the University of Memphis.

Prior to Memphis, Calhoon worked in Minor League Baseball. In 1993, he was the Head Athletic Trainer for the Everett Giants of the San Francisco Giants farm system. He held the same position in 1992 with an affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers, the Stockton Ports.

Calhoon has twice served as the Athletic Trainer for the United States All-Armed Forces women's soccer team. He accompanied the team to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for the 2011 Military World Games, and in 2003, he travelled with the team to Warendorf, Germany for the CISM World Military Women's Soccer Championship.

Calhoon, who grew up in a Navy family and moved several times throughout his childhood, considers himself a native Kansan. He chose Fort Hayes State University in Hays, Kansas for his undergraduate education, where he attained a bachelor's degree in exercise science in 1991.

Variano is in her third year as an Athletic Trainer at Navy, joining the staff in August 2015. She currently works with the Navy football and men’s basketball programs.

Variano returns to Annapolis after previously completing a post-graduate internship at Navy in 2008-09. Variano holds certification as a Performance Enhancement Specialist through the National Academy of Sports Medicine and is a Level 1 Technique Specialist through the Romanov Sports Science Academy.

Prior to Navy, Variano was a Staff Athletic Trainer at Virginia Tech from 2014-15. While in Blacksburg, she functioned as the Athletic Trainer for the women's basketball program and supervised the graduate assistant athletic trainer covering tennis. In addition, Variano was the coordinator for the Virginia Tech Graduate Assistant Sports Medicine Program.

From 2011-14, Variano was an Assistant Athletic Trainer at Brown University in Providence, R.I. Her primary responsibilities were women's basketball and field hockey. She was also responsible for the medical care of the women's tennis and men's and women's fencing teams while at Brown.

Variano earned her master's degree in human movement with an emphasis in sports medicine from Utah State University in May 2011. During her two years in Logan, she was a Graduate Assistant Athletic Trainer with sport responsibilities including football, track & field and women's basketball.

In May of 2008, Variano graduated with a bachelor's degree in athletic training from Merrimack College. In addition to her athletic training studies, Variano was a member of the women's lacrosse team from 2004-08.

“I am proud and excited to have Gregg and Erin elevated into their new roles,” said Berry. “They both bring varying degrees of medical expertise and levels of experience that will continue to develop and push our sports medicine department to the next level.”