Bucknell director athletics and recreation John Hardt announced in February 2017 the appointment of Ian Wood as associate athletic director for sports medicine. Wood oversees Bucknell’s athletic training program and coordinates health care to student-athletes in each of Bucknell’s 27 varsity sports programs.
Wood brought more than 20 years of experience as a certified athletic trainer. Since 2012, he had been serving as director of sports medicine at Colorado College, a private liberal arts college that features two Division I athletics programs and 15 others that compete at the Division III level. Wood led a staff of four full-time assistant athletic trainers, two graduate assistants, an insurance coordinator and approximately 20 student workers.
“I am very excited to welcome Ian to our administrative team at Bucknell,” said Hardt. “Throughout his impressive career, Ian has developed a wide range of experience delivering first-rate sports medicine care to athletes at various levels of competition. He has worked in high-academic environments at West Point and Colorado College, with a strong Big 10 football program at Wisconsin, and with elite military athletes harboring Olympic aspirations. In addition to his talent as an athletic trainer, Ian has demonstrated terrific leadership in oversight positions.”
A 1994 graduate of Purdue University, Wood went on to earn his master’s degree in exercise physiology at the University of Pittsburgh in 1996. Later that year he found his first opportunity to work as a full-time athletic trainer at the U.S. Military Academy. In four years at West Point, Wood worked with the football, men’s basketball, ice hockey, men’s lacrosse, cross country/track and field, and softball teams.
In 2000, Wood moved on to the University of Wisconsin, where he spent the next six years working primarily with the Badgers football team, first as an assistant and then as the head football athletic trainer. He also provided healthcare and oversight of graduate assistants covering the sports of wrestling and men’s and women’s soccer.
Wood in 2006 was named chief of sports medicine with the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program in Ft. Carson, Colorado. In that role, he provided healthcare for elite soldier-athletes preparing to compete in major international competitions, including the Summer and Winter Olympics. When he arrived at Ft. Carson, Wood took over a dormant sports medicine program and created a new, multi-discipline model based on a soldier-first philosophy. He worked closely with healthcare professionals including physicians, sports psychologists, dieticians, human performance experts, strength and conditioning and massage therapists. Wood also coordinated athletes’ drug-testing education with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.
Wood remained in Colorado but returned to the collegiate ranks in 2012, when he was named director of sports medicine at Colorado College.
Wood has also been an active member of the National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA). He was a member of the NATA’s Career Center in 2011-12, while also serving as his district’s representative to the Committee on Emerging Practices in Athletic Training. From 2013-15, Wood was vice president of the Colorado Athletic Trainers Association. He currently serves on the Colorado Masons’ Benevolent Fund Scholarship Committee.
At Bucknell, Wood becomes just the third head athletic trainer since the Bison sports medicine program was born in 1948. Hall-of-Famer Hal Biggs founded the Bucknell athletic training program and served for 38 years before handing the reins to Mark Keppler in 1986. Keppler was Bucknell’s head athletic trainer for the next 31 years before retiring in December.
“I am extremely excited to become a part of the Bucknell family,” said Wood. “Having worked in the Patriot League previously, I have long admired Bucknell’s athletics program and the manner in which they treat their student-athletes. I am looking forward to getting to know them and the wonderful group of dedicated coaches. I am also looking forward to working with the sports medicine staff at Bucknell. Mark Keppler is extremely well-respected in our profession, and it is an honor to accept the challenge of taking over a program that has been guided so well for the last several decades.”