Jim Whitesel Memorial Athletic Trainer
Scholarship (District 10)
Jim Whitesel’s family desires to establish The Jim Whitesel Memorial Athletic Trainer Scholarship. This scholarship would be awarded in 2019 to a qualified athletic training student, with preference to students in NATA’s District 10.*
About Jim Whitesel:
Jim (“Jimmy”) Whitesel attended the University of Washington (1966-1971) where he was the school’s first ever student athletic trainer. After graduating in 1971 with a MS Degree, he was hired as an assistant Athletic Trainer at Washington State University from 1971-1973. He took his expertise and intense passion for his profession to Seattle Pacific University where he was the head trainer from 1974-1976.
In 1976, Jim accepted a position as an Assistant Athletic Trainer for the Seattle Seahawks. He loved being a part of the Seahawks’ inaugural season, and the early years of a growing professional football team in Seattle.
In 1983, Jim became the Head Athletic Trainer for the Seattle Seahawks, serving until 1998. In 1988, his NFL peers recognized the professionalism and quality of care given to the Seahawks and named him and his staff as the “NFL Training Staff of the Year.”
He worked tirelessly in both public relations and government affairs at the state, district and national levels. He served with distinction across all levels within the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA). As president of the Washington State Athletic Trainers’ Association, Jim set the stage with legislators and a growing membership to work toward Washington’s state licensure. He rallied the Washington athletic trainers to see the value of licensure. As a prolific advocate, he lobbied non-stop with legislators in Olympia. He served as NWATA-District 10 Secretary/Treasurer (1988-1994) and then as Director/President (1994-1998). Jim was proud to be an Athletic Trainer, and equally proud of WSATA, NWATA and the NATA. For his efforts and contributions, he was recognized with the NATA Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer award and reached the pinnacle of recognition for the WSATA, the NWATA and the NATA by being inducted into these prestigious Hall of Fames. When asked about his NATA Hall of Fame ring, he always stated it was “more important than winning the Super Bowl because I was voted by my peers.”
Jim also owned two sports therapy clinics in the greater Seattle area. He took care of hundreds upon hundreds of the young and old, including high school, professional and weekend athletes. He donated time and financial resources to Lake Washington High School athletic and educational programs, as education was paramount to his vision for a well-rounded student athlete.
Jim passed away on August 9, 2018.
If you would like to make a gift to this scholarship please reference Jim Whitesel’s name in the “enter comments about your gift” section on the donation page.
* Gifts contributed in Jim’s memory will first accumulate towards the scholarship which will be awarded in 2019. Gifts beyond the original $2,500 required to establish a 1-year scholarship will then accumulate towards an endowed scholarship fund of $50,000. If achieved, this endowed fund will annually award a scholarship each year beginning in 2020. However, if by June 30, 2019, should the accumulated funds not reach the $50,000 minimum requirement to establish an endowment, the accumulated gifts will then revert to an unrestricted memorial gift in Jim’s name to the NATA Foundation.