|Ronald L. "Ron" VanDam|
If you competed in sports at the University of Central Missouri between 1969 and 2000, you knew Ron “Doc” VanDam. He probably kept you healthy and helped you gain a competitive advantage. For more than 30 years, VanDam served as UCM’s head athletic trainer in all sports. He was an integral part in 78 MIAA conference championships, 41 conference tournament championships, 26 NCAA regional championships and three national championships.
He’s been inducted into several halls of fame, including the Missouri Athletic Trainers’ Association Hall of Fame in 1988, the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in 1994 and the District 5 Mid-America Athletic Trainers Association Hall of Fame in 1997.
As much as VanDam impacted the university’s competitive successes, he also influenced its academic programs. His ideas started the nationally accredited undergraduate and graduate athletic training programs at UCM today.
The university honored VanDam Jan. 22 by dedicating the Dr. Ron VanDam Athletic Training Facility in the just-opened, newly renovated Morrow-Garrison complex and by recognizing him during halftime of a basketball game. The dual celebrations made VanDam’s 74th birthday a memorable one.
“It’s appropriate that we dedicate this new facility as a new foundation for a great program that has brought together many aspects of the community,” said UCM President Charles Ambrose. “Great programs such as this leap from the shoulders of great educators and professionals like Ron VanDam, and they provide the foundation for future successes for student athletes and athletic professionals.”
Others congratulating VanDam were Walt Hicklin, president of the UCM Board of Governors and former UCM Mules football coach; Patti Dinges, former UCM athletic trainer; Robert Russell, former member of the UCM Board of Governors and longtime friend, and Jim Moore, chair of the
Department of Kinesiology and a former student. Hicklin described VanDam as both a trainer and father confessor. “Students knew they could talk to Doc if they needed to, and many times that allowed the coaching staff to head off problems before they developed.” He added that VanDam
not only started the UCM athletic training program but also saved it when its accreditation was in doubt by working with the UCM administration to develop the necessary programs and faculty.
Russell added, “We’re here because Doc is a giver, not a taker. As a trainer, he treated the whole athlete. Student athletes always felt better after they went to see him, and he is proud of his graduates.”
Missouri Sports Medicine Hall of Fame
CMSU athletic trainer Ron VanDam will be inducted into the Missouri Sports Medicine Hall of Fame Saturday. December, 1988.
Ron "Doc" VanDam Athletic Training Facility Dedicated
The Dr. Ronald VanDam Student Athletic Training Scholarship is available through the University of
Central Missouri Foundation for an undergraduate student pursuing a degree in Athletic Training with an
interest in becoming a Certified Athletic Trainer. This scholarship is made possible by way of a gift from
friends and former students in honor of Dr. Ronald VanDam.
To apply, a student must:
a. be a full-time undergraduate student in good academic standing at UCM;
b. be pursuing a degree in Athletic Training with an interest in becoming a Certified Athletic Trainer;
c. be worthy, deserving and of good moral character;
d. show promise of leadership and academic ability;
e. have a minimum overall cumulative GPA of 2.5.
1. The recipient(s) of the Dr. Ronald VanDam Student Athletic Training Scholarship will be
recommended by a selection committee comprised of the Head Athletic Trainer, the Athletic
Training Education Program Director and Dr. Ronald VanDam, or a designee named by him,
for as long as he wishes to be involved. Recipient(s) shall be approved by the UCM
Scholarships and Awards Officer.
2. The application must be delivered or postmarked by March 1. Recipient(s) shall be announced
by May 15 of any given year.
3. The Selection Committee, with the approval of the donor and the Executive Director of the
Foundation, will annually establish the number and award amount. If adequate funding is not
available, the Selection Committee may exercise the option of making no selection.
|UCM Dr. Ronald "Doc"VanDam" Athletic Training Facility Morrow-Garrison Building|
Ron VanDam was inducted into the Missouri Sports Medicine Hall of Fame in December in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the field. Ron has been athletic trainer at Central Missouri State University since 1969 and holds the rank of professor in the CMSU physical education department. He and wife Jonell (Willis '62) have two daughters, Ronda and Rebecca.
Before retiring from Central as professor emeritus of physical education, Dr. Ronald VanDam developed a reputation as one of the state’s outstanding collegiate athletic trainers. Dr. VanDam earned his Bachelor of Science Degree at Taylor University in Upland, Ind., in 1963; Master of Arts degree at Ball State University, Muncie, Ind., in 1966; and his Education Specialist degree at Central in 1970. He also studied at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, where he completed his doctorate in 1973. Dr. VanDam came to Central in 1969, and since that time served as head athletics trainer and professor of physical education. He played a key role in establishing a master’s degree program in athletics training at the university, and was instrumental in developing Central’s athletics training program into one of the finest in the nation. His mentorship played a significant role in helping many former graduate assistants and student assistants to achieve successful careers in athletics training.
Inducted into the Missouri Sports Medicine Hall of Fame in 1988, Dr. VanDam treated thousands of Central student-athletes and helped them recover from injuries to resume their playing careers. He devoted countless hours in support of the university and its athletic teams, while serving three directors of athletics and at least 50 different coaches during his tenure.