Brian Hortz, Associate Professor of Health, Exercise, and Sport Studies as well as Denison's Director of Sports Medicine, was recently inducted into the Ohio Athletic Trainers' Association Hall of Fame as recognition for his nearly three decades of outstanding work in the fields of health, exercise, and physical therapy.
Hortz began his path to the Hall of Fame right here at Denison, where he earned his B.A. in Physical Education as a part of the class of 1994. He earned his Master of Science in Athletic Training in 1995 from Ohio University, and his Ph.D. from The Ohio State University in 2005, as a Doctor of Philosophy in Sport & Exercise: Health and Physical Activity Behavior. Dr. Hortz has spent the last 22 years as an athletic trainer in the state of Ohio.
When asked what his proudest professional accomplishment has been, mentorship was the answer.
"I learned the value of mentorship very early in my athletic training career observing Dale Googins. I watched his interactions with students, his young assistants, and colleagues. It was very powerful to see how he was able to affect those with whom he interacted, as well as actively supporting each individual as they furthered themselves professionally and personally. His modeling and investment in others was a guiding principle to me throughout my career."
Since 2007, Hortz has been a member of the National Athletic Trainers Board of Certification Exam Test Writing Committee, and beginning in 2017 he currently serves as co-chair of the National Athletic Trainers Board of Certification Exam Stand Alone Item Test Writing Committee. He has previously served on four other committees and was a Test Site Administrator for the NATA Board of Certification Exam from 1997-2007. Since 2009, Hortz has given 12 presentations at meetings on the district, state, and national levels, as well as 10 others outside of these levels.
Since 2008, Hortz has served as an Associate Professor for Denison's HESS department as well as serving as Director of Sports Medicine. As an instructor, mentorship has been instrumental, as well as developing relationships with his students.
"These (relationships) entail a significant personal and professional connection, lasting more than just one course or one semester. These develop through an organic mutual investment. Dale (Googins) demonstrated to me that mentoring relationships are intentional…..These mentoring experiences have been critical to my students' intellectual awakening and their becoming more capable and more fully actualized human beings. It is the very essence of teaching and makes me very proud to have had a part in helping them find their best selves."
Throughout his career, Hortz has been published eight times in scholarly journals, including four times in the American Journal of Health Education. His most recent publication came in 2017 when Prospective Relationship Between Social Cognitive Variables and Leisure Time Physical Activity was published thanks to the work of Hortz, Denison's own Dr. Eric Winters, Melissa L. Grim and R. Lingyak Petosa.
"Mentoring relationships apply to my peers as well. Lateral mentorship occurs, so the mutual exchange is recognized earlier and more often. As athletic trainers, we learn a tremendous amount from each other. Today I work hard to do the same for others, my assistants, my colleagues on the state licensing board, my colleagues at the Board of Certification (BOC), (and) my many great mutual mentoring relationships with fellow AT's."
Hortz has received three major athletic training awards prior to his Hall of Fame induction. He was named the OATA athletic trainer of the year in 2008, the BOC / Dan Liberia Service Award in 2009, and the National Athletic Training Association Service Award in 2016.
Dr. Hortz is the lone member of the OATA Hall of Fame Class of 2018. Located in Athens, Ohio on the campus of Ohio University, the Hall of Fame has recognized the achievements of Ohio's best athletic trainers since 1990.