Houston, TX

University of Texas-Austin's alum receives 2020-2021 Red River Athletic Conference Trainer of the Year award

Jason Martinez

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HOUSTON, TX — The head athletic trainer of the University of Houston-Victoria, Thomas Pribyl, was named the 2020-2021 Red River Athletic Conference Trainer of the Year. He was selected through a peer vote with all-conference athletic trainers voting.

The award recognizes an RRAC’s National Athletic Trainers’ Association certified athletic trainer who has distinguished themselves as a model of the profession in personal conduct and professional allied health service to student-athletes.

Upon the announcement, Pribyl said, “I am humbled and honored to be selected by my fellow athletic trainers on the Red River Athletic Conference. It is always a great achievement when you are recognized by your peers.”

“I have to give credit also to my assistant athletic trainer Amanda Rathbun who is in the trenches with me daily as well the continued support that we receive from our Athletics Director Ashley Walyuchow, and our administration.”

“We have a great group of athletic trainers and we all work together facing similar challenges, especially with the COVID-19 restrictions, but always with the safety of the student-athletes first. With what the conference was able to do for competition this past year, I think everyone is an athletic trainer of the year,” he added.

Meanwhile, LSU-Shreveport Athletic Trainer and RRAC Chair Lance Champagne commented, “Every athletic trainer in the RRAC deserves acknowledgment for their hard work navigating such a difficult year. Selecting just one individual for this award was a near impossible task.”

“This recognition is a long time coming for Thomas. He has been a consistent presence in the RRAC for years. He had his hand in helping develop a lot of policies we currently use and has served at the national level as well.”

“When dealing with COVID-19 issues at the conference level this year, Thomas was on the forefront of pertinent information as it became available and was quick to share input with the rest of the conference. Congratulations Thomas on this well-deserved honor,” he continued.

Facing the pandemic in his tenth year on the staff at UHV, Pribyl started working on COVID-19 policies and procedures in April 2020. He attended webinars and gathered information from other institutions and conferences to formulate departmental guidelines.

With contact tracing within the athletic department, Pribyl has helped the COVID-19 Operations Center of the UHV Campus to detect and report any positive cases.

After earning his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from the University of Texas-San Antonio in 1996, Pribyl finished his Master of Education in kinesiology from the University of Texas-Austin in 1999.

Since 1995, he has become a member of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association.

Before arriving at UHV, he served as an athletic trainer in the minor league system of the Pittsburgh Pirates organization for 10 years.

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