Summers named football athletic trainer

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. –- Matt Summers has been named head football athletic trainer for the University of Arkansas’ Athletic Department, Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Jeff Long announced on Thursday.

Summers will coordinate and manage the medical care for the more than 100 student-athletes in the Razorback football program.

He joins Arkansas’ staff after gaining experience in both intercollegiate athletics, including the Southeastern Conference, and in the National Football League.

"The health, safety and wellbeing of our student-athletes is the primary responsibility of our department and our athletic trainers are essential to that commitment," Long said. "Through prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of athletic injuries our athletic training and medical staffs are tasked with providing the highest standard of care. Matt Summers’ experience in the NFL and intercollegiate athletics has prepared him for this important position with our football program."

Summers spent the 2008-09 year as senior athletic trainer at the University of Kentucky. He was the director of rehabilitation, generated daily injury reports for coaches, supervised graduate assistants and students, was responsible for the budget and supplies, and maintained injury records.

During the 2006 and 2007 football seasons, he was assistant athletic trainer for the NFL’s San Diego Chargers. He conducted and monitored the rehabilitation program, monitored the field and communicated with the coaching staff during practices, managed inventory and budgeting, and was responsible for the interviewing and hiring of summer students and seasonal interns.

He worked at the University of Louisville from 2003-06 while current Arkansas head football coach Bobby Petrino was the head football coach. Summers was a graduate assistant from May 2003 through June 2005, and assistant athletic trainer from 2005 until going to San Diego in 2006.

With the Cardinals, he assisted the head athletic trainer with the prevention, assessment and care of athletic injuries related to football, designed and implemented rehabilitation protocols, and recruited and supervised graduate assistants and students. As a graduate assistant, responsibilities included assisting in the design, implementation and documentation of rehabilitation protocols, and supervising the student staff.

Summers, who earned his bachelor’s in education from Kentucky in 2002 and his master’s in education and health and physical education from Louisville in 2005, interned with the Chargers during the 2002 NFL season.

As a student at Kentucky, he worked two years with football, one with men’s basketball and one with men’s tennis, and also interned with the Chargers during the summers of 2000 and 2001.

Summers has also worked as an instructor in UK’s Department of Kinesiology and in Louisville’s Department of Health and Sports Science.

He is a member of the National Athletic Trainers Association, the Southeast Athletic Trainers Association and the American Heart Association. He made professional presentations on aquatic therapy at the UK Wildcat Sports Medicine Symposium in 2009, a case study on multiple shoulder injuries to an offensive lineman resulting in unique surgery at the NATA convention in 2007, modalities and rehabilitation in the training room at the American College of Sports Medicine Team Physician Seminar in 2007 and a case study on a pneumothorax/pneumomediastinum injury to a professional football player to the California Athletic Trainer Society in 2006.