Former Team Physician to be Inducted into Missouri Athletic Trainers Association Sports Medicine Hall of Fame


Southeast faculty member named Missouri Athletic Trainers’ Association’s Athletic Trainer of the Year


May 22, 2006 – Southeast Missouri State University’s former team physician will be inducted into the Missouri Athletic Trainers Association Sports Medicine Hall of Fame June 3 on the Southeast campus.

Dr. William Thorpe of Orthopaedic Associates of Southeast Missouri will be inducted at The Hall of Fame Banquet at 11:30 a.m. in the Dempster Hall atrium. Thorpe will be enshrined into the Hall of Fame for outstanding service, dedication and contributions in sports medicine. The guest speaker at the event will be Rep. Rod Jetton, Speaker of the Missouri House.

Thorpe has provided medical and surgical care to athletes in southeast Missouri and throughout the state with compassion and respect.  He served as the team physician for Southeast Missouri State University for more than two decades and has been actively involved in its athletic training education program.  He is also a well traveled guest speaker on surgical procedures.

Thorpe was nominated for induction into the Sports Medicine Hall of Fame by Rob Hunt, head athletic trainer at Southeast. In his letter of nomination, Hunt wrote, “As athletic trainers, we often have contact with individuals who go beyond the call of duty to sustain our efforts. Bill Thorpe is one of those individuals who always went the distance to make sure an athlete was cared for and the athletic trainer was supported.”

Hunt said Thorpe provided sports related medical and surgical care to thousands of Southeast athletes and staff for 23 years.

“He provided effective, efficient and successful orthopedic sports medicine surgical care,” Hunt wrote. “The staff and athletes at SEMO knew that Dr. Thorpe would provide the best care he could which was always in the best interest of the student-athlete.”

Thorpe retired from his role as team physician at Southeast in December 2004.

“Southeast has missed having a person willing to donate so much of their time and energy to their students-athletes’ welfare,” Hunt wrote.

Thorpe has been a member of the NATA and has been a strong admirer of athletic trainers and the profession of athletic training. He served as medical director of the athletic training education program at Southeast.

Thorpe is a 1969 graduate of Princeton University in which he graduated magna cum laude. He completed medical school in 1973 from Harvard University Medical School, where he went on to complete his surgical residency in Boston, Mass. Thorpe moved to Cape Girardeau in 1982 and joined Orthopaedic Associates of Southeast Missouri. It was at this time that he began serving as head team physician with Southeast Missouri State University. He also served as a team physician for Southern Illinois University-Carbondale during the same period.

“Dr. Thorpe is a man with great integrity and dignity,” Hunt wrote in his nomination letter. “His compassion and kindness is what separates him from the average physician. Dr. Thorpe embodies all the qualities of the individuals currently represented in the Missouri Sports Medicine Hall of Fame.”

In addition to Thorpe’s induction, Dr. Amanda Sinclair, assistant professor of health, human performance and recreation at Southeast, has been named the Missouri Athletic Trainers’ Association’s Athletic Trainer of the Year for her contributions to the field and willingness to take on the challenges of promoting the profession. 

Also being inducted into the Sports Medicine Hall of Fame is Dr. Richard Lehman of The U.S. Center for Sports Medicine in St. Louis. Lehman has been treating athletes of all ages in the St. Louis area for 20 years.  He has served as team physician for a number of high school, collegiate institutions and professional teams in the area.  He also has been involved in the advancement of surgical research and published related articles.

The Missouri Athletic Trainers Association is made up of more than 600 certified and licensed athletic trainers throughout the state and focuses on promoting the athletic training profession.