Influential Sports Medicine Practitioners Honored with Endowed Scholarship

A new athletic training scholarship will honor two local, influential sports medicine practitioners. The Craner-Wade Athletic Training Scholarship will honor both Gary E. Craner, founding head athletic trainer at Boise State University, and George Wade, M.D., founder of Idaho Sports Medicine Institute and a Boise State Broncos team physician.

Gary Craner
Gary Craner
George Wade
George Wade

Craner and Wade have cared for thousands of Boise State athletes through their careers as well as mentoring and inspiring many students in the Athletic Training Program, Department of Kinesiology, School of Allied Health Sciences.

“These two men have meant so much to so many students of the Athletic Training program, staff athletic trainers and, of course, the student-athletes they cared for,” said Dave Hammons, director of the Athletic Training program in the Department of Kinesiology, School of Allied Health Sciences. “I continue to hear of their influences from posts by our alumni on our Facebook page. The Athletic Training program, along with so many past and present students, expresses a great deal of admiration for the time and knowledge that Gary and George have invested through countless learning opportunities. What’s great is that both of them continue to impart their wisdom on current students and staff. Their legend is still very much a part of this program.”

The Craner-Wade Athletic Training Scholarship is established to recognize their dedication, passion and accomplishments as educators and mentors. Craner and Wade were instrumental in creating the comprehensive Sports Medicine program serving Boise State athletes today and they passed on their knowledge and passion to hundreds of athletic trainers along the way. Craner and Wade dedicated their professional careers to translating classroom learning into practical application for athletic training students for over three decades; teaching both the science and the art of athletic training and sports medicine.

Craner was the first athletic trainer in Idaho to be certified by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association. He served as the head athletic trainer at Boise State from 1972 to 2008. He founded the Idaho Athletic Training Association in 1985 and served as its first president. Craner also helped develop legislative measures for athletic training registration which was the first step in later gaining licensure for athletic trainers in Idaho.

Wade became the second Boise State University team physician in 1979. That same year he created the Idaho Sports Medicine Institute, a specialized orthopedic care facility for athletes and active people of all ages and abilities. In 1984, Boise State’s athletic administration requested that the Idaho Sports Medicine Institute clinic move to the Boise State football stadium, now Albertsons Stadium. The move created the first privately owned medical facility on a state-owned university campus in the United States. Wade helped with Craner’s work for legislative measures for professional licensure for athletic trainers in Idaho by providing both testimony and financial support.

“Wade was one of the first physicians that understood and believed in a multidisciplinary approach to sports medicine,” said Tamara Pascoe, M.D., Boise State alumnus (BS, athletic training, ‘90 and MS, exercise and sports studies, ‘99) and creator and donor of this scholarship. “He hired and supported athletic trainers before many other clinics in the Treasure Valley.”

“This scholarship is my way of paying it forward. George and Gary were my mentors; they believed in me and ultimately pushed me to go beyond the world of Boise State to become a physician and follow my dreams,” said Pascoe. “I am one of hundreds of students that they have inspired, supported and taught in the past thirty-plus years. I want future students to know and understand who the individuals were that paved the way for the current status of athletic training and sports medicine at Boise State and in Idaho.”

If you would like to contribute to the Craner-Wade Athletic Training Scholarship fund, contact Jon Larkin at 208-426-2124 or jonlarkin@boisestate.edu.