Jim Gossett, Head Trainer for Columbia Athletics and Associate Director for Sports Medicine, will retire after 42 years of service today.

Jim Gossett, who has served as Columbia University’s Head Athletic Trainer and Associate Director for Sports Medicine, has announced his retirement after 42 years of service. Gossett will serve his last day on June 30, 2021. This information has been obtained from an article posted on Columbia’s Athletics website, which is included in full below. 

Jim Gossett hails from Indianapolis, Indiana, and graduated from Indiana State University in 1978. Gossett went on to receive a master’s degree from the University of Arizona in 1979 and joined the Columbia athletic community that same year. He was appointed the University’s Head Athletic Trainer in 1984, and in this capacity has worked with many of Columbia’s athletic programs including football, soccer, wrestling, rowing, and fencing. 

In addition to his responsibilities as Head Athletic Trainer, Gossett has spent the last 37 years running Columbia’s department of sports medicine. This expert oversight from the beloved athletic trainer has impacted the lives of the nearly 800 athletes who compete on Columbia’s 31 teams.

Gossett is appreciated within the Columbia athletic community for his careful attention to his students’ medical care. His staff and CUMC physicians have set a national precedent for student healthcare coverage. 

The retiring Head Athletic Trainer is renowned in the Northeast, having been inducted into both the Eastern Athletic Trainers Association Hall of Fame and ’49 Club. Gossett was given the honorable “Dan Libra Service Award” in 2004, the National Athletic Trainers Association’s “Most Outstanding Athletic Trainer Award” in 2003, the “Cramer Award” for outstanding service in 1994, the New York State Athletic Trainers Association’s “Thomas J. Sheehan, Sr. Award,” the Eastern Athletic Trainers Association’s “Joseph A. Blankowitsch Award,” and the All-American Football Foundation’s “Outstanding Athletic Trainer Award.”

Gossett was formerly the president of the Eastern Athletic Trainers Association, and was appointed to the State Committee for Athletic Trainers for a 15-year term. The retiring trainer also served as a spokesperson for Gatorade, bringing awareness to the effects of heat-related illnesses on various television stations. 

Columbia is not the only athletic program to which Gossett has lent his talents. The retiring coach previously served as the Head Athletic Trainer for the national fencing team in the 1991 World University Games. Gossett also trained the United States National Lightweight Crew team for two seasons. Gossett even trained rowers at the 1988 Olympics, and track and field runners at the 1987 Festival Olympics and Pan American Games. 

Another highlight of Gossett’s illustrious career was his appointment as a National Football League (NFL) “Eye in Sky.” In this role, Gossett helped identify injuries to the head and neck during New York Giants home games. Gossett worked in a similar capacity at both Super Bowl LXVII and Super Bowl LXVII.

Article Posted on Columbia’s Athletics website on June 4 at 12:01 pm:

NEW YORK—Columbia University Associate Athletic Director for Sports Medicine Jim Gossett, who has managed Columbia’s athletic training staff for the last 42 years, announced on Friday that he will retire at the end of the 2020-21 academic year. His final day at Columbia will be on June 30, 2021.

One of the best-known and highly honored athletic trainers in the nation, Gossett has overseen Columbia’s athletic training and sports medicine department for the last 37 years. He administers a staff of 10 full-time athletic trainers who provide a valuable service for the nearly 800 Columbia student-athletes competing on 31 varsity sports teams. Gossett’s staff also works closely with CUMC team physicians Dr. William Levine and Dr. Natasha Desai to provide the best in health care coverage for Columbia student-athletes. It has been a combination that has earned Columbia an outstanding national reputation in this area.

“Jim has been a fixture at Columbia and is a legend in athletic training,” Campbell Family Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Peter Pilling said. “Under Jim’s tutelage, our student-athletes have received the highest quality of medical care possible. His expertise is second to none and he will be greatly missed by everyone at Columbia.”

“I arrived at Columbia University 21 years ago young, inexperienced, but incredibly enthusiastic,” Dr. Levine said. “Were it not for Jim’s grace, professionalism and patience, it could have gone south in a hot second! Jim truly liked the former Head Team physician, but thankfully took me under his wing and I consider myself blessed to have worked with the consummate Head Athletic Trainer for over two decades. He never sought the limelight, but instead knew that his legacy would be of providing the highest quality care in the country for the Columbia student-athletes–a legacy that will continue well after Jim retires due to his insistence on excellence, culture, and team-building.’

‘Our student-athletes, trainers, sports medicine physicians, coaches, and administrators know that we can never replace Jim, but instead have to memorialize his tremendous tenure and celebrate the storied career of a true giant in the field of sports medicine.”

📰 @GoColumbiaLions‘ Associate Athletic Director for Sports Medicine and Head Athletic Trainer Jim Gossett announces his retirement.

🔗 https://t.co/wsQ76dl6KC#RoarLionRoar #GoColumbiaLions pic.twitter.com/zsgb1IbaDn

— Columbia Athletics (@GoColumbiaLions) April 2, 2021  

As a well-known athletic trainer in the New York Metropolitan area, Gossett was inducted into the Eastern Athletic Trainers Association Hall of Fame and ’49 Club. In 2004, Gossett was presented with the Dan Libera Service Award for outstanding contribution to the Board of Certification. He was honored by the National Athletic Trainers Association with the Most Outstanding Athletic Trainer Award in 2003, for which he was nominated and chosen by his peers, and received the All-American Football Foundation’s Outstanding Athletic Trainer Award. He was also honored by the New York State Athletic Trainers Association with the Thomas J. Sheehan, Sr. Award, its highest honor, and by the Eastern Athletic Trainers Association (EATA) with the Joseph A. Blankowitsch Award. A former president of the EATA, he was further honored with the 1994 Cramer Award for outstanding service, presented by Cramer Products in conjunction with the EATA.

Previously, he was selected to serve as a spokesperson for Gatorade, Inc., and the National Athletic Trainers Association. His role was to promote healthy practices to prevent heat-related illness during the hot weather months, and to serve as a resource, including on-air interviews with CBS, NBC, ABC, and Fox television affiliates in the New York area. The New York State Board of Regents reappointed Gossett to the State Committee for Athletic Trainers. His 15-year appointment was to the State Board for Professions, which regulates athletic trainers in New York State.

Gossett is most proud of the impact he has made on the future generation of athletic trainers. He has worked with or hired nearly 70 total athletic trainers and mentored over 20 LIU Brooklyn student trainers.

“Thank you to everyone for allowing me to thrive in this amazing institution,” Gossett said. “I have really enjoyed my 42 years of service here and am so grateful for everyone’s support. We were able to build an amazing service through the efforts of many individuals, but credit Drs. Louis Bigliani and William N. Levine for having the vision and commitment leading to our achievements. I have been truly enriched by working with thousands of gifted student-athletes throughout my tenure, I thank you all.”

On the national scene, Gossett worked as the head athletic trainer for the United States fencing team in the 1991 World University Games in Sheffield, England, and spent two seasons as the athletic trainer of the U.S. National Lightweight Crew. He was the athletic trainer for rowing at the 1988 Olympic Sports Festival and track & field at the 1987 Festival and Pan American Games. He also spent four summers as an athletic trainer for the ABCD/Nike basketball camps.

Gossett was one of the original athletic trainers selected as an “Eye in Sky” for the National Football League. His role over the past nine years has been to spot mechanisms of head and neck trauma during New York Giants home games. As part of the NFL’s attempt to identify concussions sustained during games Gossett’s role has continued to evolve and the program has grown. Gossett was privileged to be selected to work at both Super Bowl LXVII in New Orleans and Super Bowl LXVIII in New Jersey.

An Indianapolis, Ind. native, Gossett graduated from Indiana State University in 1978. He originally joined the Columbia staff in August 1979, shortly after receiving his master’s degree from the University of Arizona. Gossett was named Head Athletic Trainer in 1984. Throughout his career, he has worked with most of Columbia’s teams but has been particularly identified with the football, soccer, fencing, rowing, and wrestling programs.

Gossett via Columbia Athletics