Serving 500+ student-athletes in 21 intercollegiate programs at the University of Hawai‘i Athletics Department is all in a day’s work for the UH athletic training staff.
The athletic training staff is responsible for the care, prevention, evaluation and rehabilitation for each of the student-athletes in their respective athletic programs. All graduate assistants and full-time staff are certified by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) and travel with various athletics programs.
Eric Okasaki, an athletic trainer at UH for over 30 years, heads the staff. He has seen the department grow by leaps and bounds. Okasaki was the athletic trainer for the 1980 Rainbow baseball team and the 2010 Rainbow Wahine softball team who both advanced to their respective College World Series. Okasaki oversees and services all UH sports.
Okasaki is assisted by five veteran assistant athletic trainers in Jayson Goo, Lyn Nakagawa, Renae Shigemura, Daniel MarChong and Brian Wong. In addition, certified graduate assistants and athletic training students help in the overall operation of the athletic training facility.
The athletic training staff also includes a medical staff, comprised of team physicians and a number of consultants from throughout the community. They attend most UH-hosted events to provide assistance to the athletic training staff.
The medical staff conducts general physicals and orthopedic examinations on each student-athlete to ensure they meet the minimum requirements necessary to compete in Division I athletics.
The Saake Athletic Training Room features treatment and taping areas, walk-in hot and cold therapy pools, and offices for the team physician and staff.
There are also four other athletic training rooms on the UH lower campus, including facilities at the Clarence T.C. Ching Athletics Complex, Les Murakami Stadium, Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium and Stan Sheriff Center.
Each is equipped with the latest technological resources on injury prevention and rehabilitation. Isokinetic and cardiovascular machines, electrical modalities and X-ray units are available.
The athletic training staff also works with the Kinesiology and Rehabilitation Sciences (KRS) program in providing a clinical setting for athletic training students to work on their master’s degrees at the University and towards NATA certification.