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Locally: UI athletic trainer Chris Walsh earns recognition from Mueller Sports Medicine

UPDATED: Sun., Sept. 13, 2020

Walsh  (Courtesy of Idaho athletics)
Walsh (Courtesy of Idaho athletics)
By From staff and news services

During what might be called “a slow news period” for area colleges, a couple of announcements out of the University of Idaho are noteworthy.

The Vandals posted on their Twitter account on Sept. 4 that head athletic trainer Chris Walsh was recognized by Mueller Sports Medicine on Aug. 31 as its Athletic Trainer of the Week.

Last week, Idaho football coach Paul Petrino announced he has done some shuffling of his staff that included promoting graduate assistant Pryce Tracy to running backs coach.

The post on the honor for Walsh, UI’s head athletic trainer since March 2019, included the comment: “Don’t know where we’d be without him! Thanks for everything you do Chris!”

The Lewiston Tribune reported Idaho coaches credit Walsh with “providing guidance during the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring any athletic activities be conducted safely, and ultimately limiting the spread of the disease among athletes.”

“This guy should be trainer of the year for what he’s done for our department during this pandemic!” the newspaper said men’s golf coach David Nuhn posted to Twitter.

“A lot has been thrown his way, but he’s handled it with class and unparalleled smarts,” said men’s basketball assistant Kenny Tripp in a tweet. “For that we are thankful!”

The native of Renton, Washington, got into athletic training after serving eight years of active duty in the U.S. Coast Guard. He arrived in Moscow in 2014 to serve as a graduate assistant and in 2016 was hired full-time as an assistant athletic trainer, working under National Athletic Training Association Hall of Famer Barrie Steele.

When Steele retired in 2019, Walsh was promoted to head athletic trainer and director of athletic training services. He also serves as co-chair of the Big Sky Conference health and safety committee.

Tracy, who worked with the Idaho offense last year as a grad assistant, is a graduate of Indiana University South Bend. He spent one year as an assistant coach at Arkansas Tech, where he served as quarterbacks coach and recruiting coordinator, before joining the Vandals.

His coaching résumé includes five years at Notre Dame, where he helped the Irish get to four bowl games, and two at Alabama.

Tracy will replace Brian Reader as running backs coach. Reader has moved to the wide receiver group, the Idaho announcement said, and will remain as recruiting coordinator. Tony Spencer, who coached wide receivers the last three years, will move to the tight end/fullback group.

BasketballFor the second time in three weeks, former Gonzaga University women’s All-American Courtney Vandersloot was selected as the West Coast Conference WCC Alumni Player of the Week.

The Chicago Sky standout received the Week 10 honor for once again doing some rewriting of the WNBA record book when she had a league single-game record 18 assists in a 100-77 rout of Indiana on Aug. 31, highlighting a week in which she averaged 12.8 points and 14 assists. The old record was 16 assists, done twice by Sacramento’s Ticha Penicheiro in 1998 and 2002.

Miscellany

The Washington State athletic department and its website partner, SIDEARM Sports, announced they have teamed up to launch a redesign of WSUCougars.com with a streamlined look and slimmed-down front page.

Deputy director of athletics Chris Park said, “This newest redesign … will improve our fans’ website experience.”

The site will continue to provide all WSU athletics information, including news releases, game recaps and feature stories.

WSU and SIDEARM, a leader in college athletics website design, have been partners since 2016 when the initial launch was part of a Pac-12-wide new look.

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