Vol trainer resigns

Tennessee Head Athletic Trainer Keith Clements made it official Thursday, announcing he has resigned to accept a medical sales position in the Knoxville area. His resignation from UT is effective April 10.

Clements, 34, began working on the UT staff in 1997 while finishing his Ph.D. in sports medicine. He was promoted to head athletic trainer in September 2002 and served his entire tenure as the youngest person to hold his position in the Southeastern Conference.

"The past two months have been extremely difficult as I have deliberated the direction of my career and whether it would be best served by staying put at the University of Tennessee or by enacting a complete change of career with a new employer," Clements said in a statement to Athletics Director Mike Hamilton.

"While I never thought that I could leave the prestige of head athletic trainer at UT, this new opportunity will allow me to use my educational background, business management experience, and medical expertise to significantly enhance the 'quality of life' for my wife and daughter and the customers and patients I serve."

A native of Arcadia, Calif., Clements came to UT as a doctoral graduate assistant from the University of La Verne, where he was football athletic trainer, and from a four-year summer stint with the U.S. Olympic Soccer Team?s Development Goalkeeper School.

Prior to that, Clements spent three years at Cal Poly Pomona, serving as assistant athletic trainer while earning a master's degree in exercise biochemistry. He achieved that degree in 1997 and received his bachelor's degree in 1993 from Fresno State, majoring in athletic training.

Clements primarily was responsible for coordinating all sports medicine coverage rendered to the Tennessee football program. He brought to UT a vast array of experience from schools in all three NCAA divisions as well as his Olympic team involvement. Clements also maintained administrative oversight of the department?s comprehensive sports medicine coverage for all men's athletics.

In addition to football, Clements spent time with the UT track and field team and was their athletic trainer during the 2001 NCAA outdoor national championship season. He was a presenter for the 2000 UT College of Pharmacy Lecture Series and has been an active presenter among his colleagues at SEC sports medicine meetings.

"Let it be known that I cannot say enough wonderful things about the UT athletics department," Clements added. "I only wish the very best for the entire Volunteer family."

Clements and his wife, the former Karen Webber of Johnson City, are the parents of a 1-year-old daughter, Sydney.

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