At Woodward, we are very proud of our Sports Medicine program. Our certified athletic trainers care for all Upper School student-athletes, evaluating injuries to determine if they can safely participate, taping and bracing to prevent injuries, and rehabilitating injured athletes in coordination with their own physicians.
In addition, athletic trainers are accessible at all practices and games to assist athletes in case of injury, and they keep records on individual athletes, their injuries, and treatments.
The full-time athletic trainers at Woodward are certified by the National Athletic Trainers’ Board of Certification, which requires them to hold a bachelor’s degree in athletic training, physical education, or a related field, and to pass a national exam administered by the board. They also possess thorough knowledge of anatomy, kinesiology, biomechanics, and physiology as well as the prevention, management, and rehabilitation of athletic injuries. In addition, our trainers are educated in nutrition, counseling, and psychology.
Meet Our Sports Medicine Staff
Gene Patterson, M.Ed., LAT, ATC, CAA
Assistant Athletic Director, Head Athletic Trainer
Mr. Patterson holds a bachelor’s degree in P.E. with an emphasis in athletic training from Iowa State University and a master’s of education in sports administration and sports management from the University of Georgia, where he served as head athletic trainer for the women’s basketball team. He also worked with high school athletes in clinical settings before joining Woodward in 2000 to expand the school’s sports medicine program.
Kristi Gray, M.S., LAT, ATC, CSCS
Assistant Athletic Trainer
Mrs. Gray holds a bachelor’s degree in wellness and athletic training from Defiance College in Ohio, where she played softball. She worked as a graduate assistant at The Westminster Schools while earning her master’s degree at Georgia State University and served as a athletic trainer at Whitefield Academy before joining the training staff at Woodward.
Jordan Olson, M.S., LAT, ATC
Assistant Athletic Trainer
Mr. Olson holds a bachelor's degree in Athletic Training from Florida Gulf Coast University and a Masters of Science in Medical Science from the University of South Florida. While attending South Florida, Jordan worked as a resident for two years at Berkeley Preparatory School in Tampa, FL. Prior to attending South Florida, Jordan worked as an assistant athletic trainer at Webber International University. During his time at South Florida, Jordan studied pediatric related athletic injuries with the S.M.A.R.T. Institute of USF. Jordan joined the Woodward Academy staff in 2017.
Joseph S. Wilkes, M.D.
Dr. Wilkes practices at OrthoAtlanta and is certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery. He also is a member of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine and is a Clinical Associate Professor at Emory University. He functions as as an orthopaedic consultant for the U.S. Luge Association and has been an associate team physician for the Atlanta Falcons. Dr. Wilkes served as coordinator of venue medical directors for the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games.
Gary Gropper, M.D.
Team Doctor/Woodward Academy Medical DirectorDr. Gropper graduated from Vanderbilt University and the University of Tennessee School of Medicine. He is certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery and has served as a neurological consultant to the Atlanta Falcons and the Atlanta Braves. Dr. Gropper practices at Atlanta Brain and Spine Care.
Rusty Gore, M.D.
TEAM DOCTOR/Sports Neurologist
Dr. Gore is the director of the Complex Concussion Clinic at the Shepherd Center and an Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University. He serves as a concussion consultant for multiple regional NCAA athletic programs. He trained at Vanderbilt University and the Emory University School of Medicine. Dr. Gore is certified by the American Board of Neurology and Psychiatry and he is a member of the Sports Neurology section of the American Academy of Neurology.
Our team also includes graduate assistants from Georgia State University. Graduate Assistants are certified & licensed athletic trainers working toward their master’s degrees in sports medicine.