Skip to main content
Faculty/Staff Resources
Search search
Mobile Search:
1978-79 Penn State Men's Basketball Team
Bud Miller (front row, far left), the inaugural Program Director for the University’s entry-level athletic training curriculum, was a clinician, educator, and scholar. He concurrently practiced as athletic trainer for the Men’s Basketball team.
Sayers J. “Bud” Miller, Jr.

Sayers J. “Bud” Miller, Jr., MS, PT, ATC arrived at Penn State in 1974 to create one of the earliest National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA)-approved athletic training education programs in Pennsylvania. In addition to his role as an educator, Bud served as athletic trainer for the Penn State Men’s Basketball team. As a scholar, he was a key contributor to developing the National Athletic Injury/Illness Reporting System (NAIRS), which was the earliest large-scale system in sports medicine to employ epidemiological methods.

As inaugural Chair of the NATA Professional Education Committee, Bud led efforts to establish standards for entry-level programs. In this capacity, he also contributed to the NATA Certification Committee, which precedes the Board of Certification for the Athletic Trainer, in developing the professional credentialing process.

Sayers “Bud” Miller Distinguished Educator Award
Named in honor of his service to the Professional Education Committee, the NATA’s prestigious Sayers “Bud” Miller Distinguished Educator Award recognizes individuals who follow his example and exemplify excellence in the field of athletic training education. Award recipients excel in promoting athletic training education beyond the local level through teaching, service, and scholarship. To observe Bud’s legacy, the NATA Research & Education Foundation and Penn State’s Department of Kinesiology, respectively, award scholarships to doctoral and entry-level students who demonstrate academic excellence.
Sayers J. “Bud” Miller (left) and William E. “Pinky” Newell    NATA Convention, Boston MA in 1976

Bud’s many accolades include induction into the NATA Hall of Fame in 1980, the Indiana Athletic Trainers’ Association Hall of Fame in 1993, and the Pennsylvania Athletic Trainers’ Society Hall of Fame in 2005.

Penn State received initial NATA approval for the Athletic Training Program in 1974 and was re-approved consecutively. Initial Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP )accreditation was granted in 1996, with continuing accreditation awarded in 2001. The program was awarded continuing accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) in 2008 and 2018.