Karen R. Toburen


Karen R. Toburen was born in Greenwood, Wisconsin and graduated from UW La Crosse with B.S. and M.S. Degrees before receiving her doctorate from the University of North Carolina Greensboro. Toburen taught in the UWL Physical Education Department and coached field hockey (132-27-8) and basketball (76-12), taking her team to the last AIAW National Tournament.  She helped pioneer women’s interscholastic sport teams and was the first coach to serve as President of the WWIAC (1978-1981).

Dr. Toburen was Professor and Sports Medicine/Athletic Training Department Head at Missouri State University and Professor and Athletic Training Program Director at UWL where she implemented and received NATA-PEC recognition for the first Athletic Training curriculum in the State of Wisconsin.  She chaired the NATA Convention Committee from 1996-2004 and was a member of the NATA PEC, the JRC-AT, the NATA Continuing Education Committee, and the NATA Education Task Force.  Karen has been a frequent invited speaker at the state, regional, and national levels and was a site visitor for numerous NATA-PEC/JRC-AT program evaluations.

Karen served as an athletic trainer for the Olympic Games in Seoul, Korea; the USA Women’s Basketball team for the 1986 Goodwill Games; 1986 World Championship in Moscow; and the 1983 World Championships in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  Other international basketball experiences included the USA National Team competition in Poland and Yugoslavia; Jones’ Cup in Taiwan; and USA National Team in the Pre-Olympic Tournament in Seoul, Korea.  Nationally, Toburen was selected to work numerous competitions including Olympic Trials.

In addition to being inducted into the NATA Hall of Fame (1999), she received the NATA Sayers “Bud” Miller Distinguished Educator Award (1995), the NATA Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award (1995), the NATA Tim Kerin Excellence in Athletic Training Award (2003), and the University of North Carolina Greensboro Distinguished Alumni Award (2000).  Karen was inducted into the UW La Crosse Athletic Wall of Fame in 1986.

While honors and awards are appreciated during one’s professional career, the most satisfying reward is the professional development and success of the students, faculty and staff with whom she has been most fortunate to have worked and served as a mentor, role model, and friend.

Inducted May 2, 2008