By Teresa Varley
Steelers head athletic trainer John Norwig will be honored by the National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA) as a recipient of one of this year's Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Awards.
Norwig will be honored at the NATA annual meeting and clinical symposium in June.
"It's very flattering to have your peers nominate you for the award and to be selected by the committee," said Norwig. "It's great that people recognize what you have done for a while. It's an honor. It's nice to be honored, but it's not necessary either."
Norwig is entering his 18th season as the team's head athletic trainer and his 29th overall in the field.
He began his career in 1979 as athletic trainer at Bethlehem (Pa.) High. He then spent six seasons an assistant athletic trainer and health education instructor at Penn State. He also spent a summer at the San Francisco 49ers training camp during the time he was at Penn State. Norwig served as the head athletic trainer at Vanderbilt before joining the Steelers.
The award is presented to athletic trainers for either academic contributions or clinical contributions. Norwig falls under the clinical contribution category, although he has co-authored papers with Dr. James Bradley and Dr. Joseph Maroon, part of the Steelers medical staff.
Norwig credits the support he currently has, with assistant trainers Ryan Grove and Ariko Iso, and former assistants Rick Burkholder and Chris Peduzzi, for the success of the Steelers athletic training program, along with the team's physicians.
"I enjoy my job," said Norwig. "I have done it since college. With the Steelers it's unique. The Steelers are special. We are unique in sports and the National Football League. The athletes we have are the best in the world. It's a unique opportunity to be involved with the best athletes in the world.
"It's a whole situation that makes it unique."