CLASS OF 2002
In September 2002, Rudolph "Rudy" Corona, from Western Pennsylvania, will celebrate his 50th year in the profession of Athletic Training. He was instrumental in bringing Athletic Training and Sports Medicine into the Commonwealth’s Western region. Butler Area Schools, where he was the school’s first athletic trainer, Seneca Valley School District, Grove City Schools and Butler County Community College can all thank Rudy for bringing ATC’s to their schools. After serving his country in the Navy he became Slippery Rock University (then State College)’s first athletic trainer. Not to rest on his laurels, he also has been extremely active in the State, serving as a member of the medical teams that covered the Keystone State Games, Special Olympics - Butler County, the Pittsburgh Marathon, and many, PIAA Championship events. He has continued to support the profession throughout his long career by speaking to numerous civic and youth sporting groups on the value of athletic training. The Butler Area Red Cross recently recognized him for 40 years of service to his community. His work has not gone unnoticed in some very high places, as he was invited to and attended two state dinners at the White House during the Nixon and Regan administrations for his work with drugs and alcohol with young people. Rudy was a Founding Father of Athletic Training in the Commonwealth, and inducted into both the Butler Area and Slippery Rock Sports Halls of Fame.
I. O. Silver, MD
Dr. Silver holds legendary status in Central Pennsylvania where he served as the team physician for Steelton High School from 1947 – 1986. Upon his "retirement", he became Doctor Emeritus for Steelton for eight more years where he consoled, counseled and attended to thousands of Steelton and Steelton-Highspire student-athletes. During his amazing 47 years of service, he missed only 3 football games and 10 practices!!! Dr. Silver was truly dedicated to serving his community as made apparent by the throngs of athletes from the Harrisburg area who would fill his medical office. As the number of PIAA events increased, it was Dr. Silver who gladly answered the call to sit courtside for all PIAA events held at Hershey Arena; in 1957 he recruited several colleagues to cover the prestigious Big 33 Football Classic. He held this position until he became physically unable to perform his duties during the late 1980’s. It also was common knowledge that Dr. Silver not only cared for his athletes physically, but he also assisted many of these them financially as they went off to college. Because of his selfless dedication, he was inducted into the Pennsylvania Hall of Fame, and honored with I.O. Silver Day by the Harrisburg Patriots Football team in the 1980’s. On June 8, 1996 was posthumously honored by the City of Harrisburg with Dr. I.O. Silver Day.
John "Thatch" Thatcher has been instrumental in establishing certified athletic trainers in eight high schools in northeastern PA and across the river in New Jersey. In addition to his many duties as the Program Director for the CAAHEP-accredited Athletic Training Education Program at East Stroudsburg University, he still finds time to counsel local high school, amateur and professional athletes who are referred to him by local physicians. In addition to volunteering in his own community and for many statewide events, he was extremely active within PATS for many years, serving on its Professional Education, Long Range Planning & Finance, and Membership Committees; he also served as a member of the Board of Directors as its Treasurer. He presently assists the JRC-AT in evaluation of Athletic Training Programs through out the country. Despite all of these responsibilities and activities, it is still in front of the classroom where Thatch has excelled. He will be recognized as the recipient of the 2002 NATA’s Sayers "Bud" Miller Distinguished Educator Award. John prides himself in mentoring and educating the hundred of students who have graduated from East Stroudsburg University. An alumnus himself, he and long time colleague Lois Wagner - developed the CAAHEP-accredited program 28 years ago. His teaching prowess spilled over into the local community where he continues to be sought as a speaker on sports medicine topics.