National Athletic Trainers' Association 2022 Awards

7/8/2022
NATA 2022

The 73rd National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA) Clinical Symposia & AT Expo was held June 28th-July 1st in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. During the event four Athletic Trainers’ Society of New Jersey (ATSNJ) members were honored. Those receiving awards included: Michael Prybicien, Robb Rehberg, Joe Friedrich, and Steve Barandica. 

Robb Rehberg was inducted into the NATA Hall of Fame. The NATA Hall of Fame exists to recognize the very best of the athletic training profession. Induction into the Hall of Fame honors athletic trainers who exemplify the mission of NATA through significant, lasting contributions that enhance the quality of health care provided by athletic trainers and advance the profession. To date, more than 330 athletic trainers have been inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Dr. Robb Rehberg currently serves as Professor and Coordinator of Clinical Education for the Athletic Training and Sports Medicine Program at William Paterson University in Wayne, NJ.  He is a founder/owner of The Rehberg Konin Group, and is also the founder, President and CEO of Sport Safety International. Dr. Rehberg also serves as the subject matter expert for first aid and emergency preparedness for the National Safety Council, and is a medical consultant to the National Football League.

Robb is a former president of the ATSNJ and has served on the Executive Council. During his tenure as president, he played an instrumental role in the passage of legislation that revised the New Jersey Athletic Training Licensure Act. Dr. Rehberg has been inducted into both the New Jersey State Coaches Association and the ATSNJ Hall of Fame.

Michael Prybicien received the Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award (MDAT). This award recognizes NATA members who have demonstrated exceptional commitment to leadership, volunteer service, advocacy and distinguished professional activities as an athletic trainer. MDAT exclusively recognizes NATA members who have been involved in  service and leadership activities at the national and district level.

Michael Prybicien is currently employed as an athletic trainer at Passaic High School, an associate expert at the The Rehberg Konin Group, an athletic training adjunct faculty member at William Paterson University and a clinical preceptor for two universities. He is a recipient of the NATA Service Award as well as the ATSNJ Distinguished Service Award. Michael has been inducted into both the ATSNJ and the New Jersey Scholastic Coaches’ Association Hall of Fame.

Joe Friedrich received the NCAA Division II Head Athletic Trainer Award. The award recognises one individual for exceptional performance as a head athletic trainer at the NCAA Division II level. Recipients are actively involved in their community or campus, athletic training associations and promotion of the profession. 

Joe Friedrich currently serves as Director of Sports Medicine and Performance at Georgian Court University (GCU).  He is the NCAA Athletics Health Care Administrator and oversees the Athletic Training and Sport Performance staff. Joe holds a Masters of Arts degree in Integrative Health from Georgian Court ('21) and a Bachelor of Sciences degree in Kinesiology with an Athletic Training specialization from Pennsylvania State University (‘05).

Joe is actively involved in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) Athletic Trainers' Council and served as Chair 2016 - 2020.  He is an ATSNJ member where he sits on the technology and conference committees.  Joe was the 2022 recipient of the ATSNJ Phillip Hossler Loyalty and Commitment Award.

Steve Barandica received the Emerging Leader Award. The award is given to an NATA member, within their first 10 years of athletic training service, who:

  • Innovates and inspires ideas,
  • Demonstrates the highest level of service, integrity, professionalism and competence,
  • Raises the visibility and influence of the profession,
  • Actively shares responsibility and motivates others to accomplish higher levels of commitment to state service, and
  • Collaborates with other entities and organizations for the betterment of the state association.

Steven currently serves as an athletic trainer and equipment manager at Westfield School District. He is a graduate of Kean University where he received a Bachelors of Science in Athletic Training and a minor in Health Education. He also received a Masters of Education in Higher Education Administration from Auburn University. 

Steven currently serves as the Treasurer and Corporate Sponsorship Chair for the ATSNJ. He is also a member of several committees including the Secondary School, Golf, Conference and AT’s Care.